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DISABILITY-RESEARCH  June 1999

DISABILITY-RESEARCH June 1999

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Subject:

Re: prevention vs. inclusion?

From:

homan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 21 Jun 1999 21:18:32 +1000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (154 lines)

Good evening Phyllis, 

any time you are ready,

rgds John

Phyllis Rubenfeld wrote:
> 
> Hi,
> I can hardly believe it but I've been considering this as well.  Am not
> able to write at he moment but would like to discuss this with you
> further.
> Phyllis Rubenfeld
> Survivor and Professor
> Special Education
> Hunter College of the City of New York
> 
> On Thu, 10 Jun 1999, homan wrote:
> 
> > Good evening Paul,
> >
> > I believe we are to glib in asserting that policies of inclusion will be
> > the panacea for all our ills and pains. I once thought inclusion was
> > very nice, but have concluded after much observation that it is not a
> > natural thing people do or aspire to. On the contrary. In our
> > relationships we tend to have many more shallow relationships than close
> > acquantances, and again many fewer friends. It is a natural gradient,
> > and pretty obvious when as a golfer you stand at the bar of a yacht
> > club, or for that matter another golfclub than your own.
> >
> > rgds John
> >
> > Paul Duckett wrote:
> > >
> > > I hear your point, and my concerns are very much with people we label as
> > > having learning difficulties [UK] (there is quite a cultural difference in
> > > the labels we apply here which I always found intriguing).
> > >
> > > I accept what you say, and wish to add something which may further
> > > problematise the reconciliation of prevention with inclusion. That is, in
> > > the case of people with learning difficulties, pre natal diagnosis can cause
> > > the impairment that the method is seeking to diagnose.
> > >
> > > But I think reconciliation between prevention and inclusion is possible if
> > > we focus on pain, including spiritual, psychological and physical. I think
> > > that pain is the thing that is disabling and this is what needs to be
> > > prevented. The pain of stigmatisation, exclusion and isolation can all be
> > > things we can seek to prevent through social and political intervention,
> > > most noticeably through policies of inclusion. Having a learning difficulty
> > > can be spiritually, psychologically and socially painful. Having toothache
> > > can be physically painful [though psychological painful also if you get
> > > admonished by your dentist for not brushing your teeth regularly]. Inclusion
> > > of one in order to reduce social pain while exclusion of the other
> > > [extraction of the tooth] both seem satisfactory. However, that is perhaps
> > > simplistic. Afterall, physical pain very seldomly has a physical cause
> > > rather, it is more often a symptom of such things as psychological strain of
> > > living in a spiritually toxic environment. I think we can reduce pain once
> > > we realise what that pain really is. However, we must be careful as pain is
> > > often thought of in bio-medical terms which leads us up the path of
> > > extracting human beings from our society rather than extracting such
> > > pollutants as disabilism sexism, racism from our social environments.
> > >
> > > Hope that has stirred the pot. Am enjoying this discussion
> > >
> > > paul
> > >
> > > > -----Original Message-----
> > > > From: homan [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> > > > Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 1999 10:30 PM
> > > > To:   [log in to unmask]
> > > > Cc:   NICHOLAS ACHESON; [log in to unmask]
> > > > Subject:      Re: prevention vs. inclusion?
> > > >
> > > > Good morning all,
> > > >
> > > > As the husband of the mother, and the father of a 30 year old
> > > > intellectually disabled girl, there is is an aspect that has so far been
> > > > lost in a discussion seemingly dominated by physically but not
> > > > intellectually disabled participants.
> > > >
> > > > There is the real possibility that pre-natal diagnosys may not only
> > > > identify disability, but also type and extend with sufficient
> > > > statistical accuracy that it can be taken seriously.
> > > >
> > > > There is the real option then, if the disability can not be mended with
> > > > vinegar or brown paper, that parents will seriously opt for abortion,
> > > > not necessarily for selfish motives.
> > > >
> > > > Rgds John
> > > >
> > > > [log in to unmask] wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > On Wed, 9 Jun 1999, NICHOLAS ACHESON wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > Here, here to Martin's comment.  Surely is is a matter of both
> > > > > > prevention and inclusion.  Is there anybody out there who would
> > > > > > advocate the ending of road safety campaigns to reduce the incidence
> > > > > > of brain injury because to do so might somehow imply that they were
> > > > > > therefore opposed to the full social,  political, and economic
> > > > inclusion of disabled people as a social
> > > > > > category?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Speaking personally, I suspect that I would continue to find my
> > > > > > own impairments - the results of meningitis - incommoding from time
> > > > > > to time even in a fully inclusive utopia.  I have no problem with
> > > > > > research aimed at preventing and treating meningitis as an illness.
> > > > > > I think therefore that it is possible to argue that in any possible
> > > > > > world, it is better not to have had this particular illness.    We're
> > > > > > back here to the distinction between illness and disability - not
> > > > > > the same thing at all!
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >     No--we're 'back'to the distinction of disability vs. 'normalcy,' I
> > > > think;
> > > > > and whenever you situate the former as something tragic and
> > > > undesirable...by
> > > > > aggressive work in PREVENTION...you reify the myth of the latter.  It's
> > > > not as
> > > > > simple as the road-accident scenario you offer: Of course we want to
> > > > prevent
> > > > > injuries caused by drunk drivers, but does that mean we have to ascribe
> > > > a
> > > > > 'worse-than-death' diagnosis to the person who becomes impaired due to
> > > > the
> > > > > accident?  I recall a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) poster
> > > > enshrined in
> > > > > the cafeteria of my son's high school years ago: a photo of an isolated,
> > > > > deeply saddened young man in a wheelchair, with the inferred message,
> > > > > "Don't let this happen to someone because you mixed drink and driving."
> > > > I
> > > > > asked a teacher to take the poster down, because (altho I couldn't
> > > > articulate
> > > > > it at the time) it offended me.  A case of 'prevention' unable to
> > > > coexist with
> > > > > an inclusive mentality.
> > > > >
> > > > > Likewise, your example of meningitis--or another scenario recently
> > > > offered,
> > > > > polio--These are, like the consequences of war, obviously something we'd
> > > > all
> > > > > like to see diminished.  But the fact is, congenital and acquired
> > > > impairments
> > > > > of some kind will always exist, and as long as we posit the results as
> > > > tragic
> > > > > we do further injury to the 'soldiers' who must endure society's
> > > > conclusion
> > > > > that bodily difference is damnable, no?
> > > > >
> > > > > Dona
> >


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