Dear Ozcan and Judith (primarily)
I think you raise issues that most of us could we agree with - although I
suspect that we would all attribute 'blame' for such negative outcomes to
others (I certainly do)! : )
Please forgive so long a message, but I think I may have had one of those
'aha' moments that I would like to share!
In writing to Judith personally, it occurred to me that perhaps our (all of
us on this list) greatest problem is that mainstream apathy about disability
forces too many people from diverse disciplines/backgrounds into this
evolving 'disability studies' grouping.
Without going into significant detail, it occurs that 'disability studies',
as discussed on this list, seems to encompass:
1) medical science/practice
2) rehabiliatation science/practice
5) public policy
6) political science
11) language studies....etc., etc. [sorry if your discipline has been
You will note that the above deals with academic 'disciplines', but if we
1) levels of understanding/experience of the disability debate
2) the multifarious reasons that made any of us 'sign-up' to the list in the
3) the vast range of impairments represented by people on the list
4) the significant number of a.b.'s - some of whom are part of the
'disability movement', some of whom are not - who contribute, and
5) the varying involvement or attachment to disability - i.e. politicised
d.p., non-politicise d.p., parent/family-member, 'professional' etc., etc.
it strikes me as amazing that the list hasn't dissolved into complete
anarchy and threats of personal injury!
For me, it is inevitable that a subject that includes so much personal and
heartfelt experience/oppression (whatever) and opinion, is bound to lead to
vigorous postings. No matter how hard we might try, understanding or
agreeing with some of the views expressed on the list is going to be
impossible for all of us at some point and, if we respond, no matter how
carefully we craft our message, we cannot be sure of the context in which
our postings will be received.
I know that many of us on the list have problems with the nature of
responses at times, and that we are also just as likely to post messages
that (desired or not) will cause someone else frustration/anger/pain but I
fear that all we can do is strive for responses to issues and not
personalities and, if we feel that someone has over-stepped the mark (i.e.
attacked someone personally) we send a simple message - like 'inappropriate'
to voice our concern.
That still leaves the problem of those who by choice or mood decide to be
deliberately provocative or unpleasant and those whose sense of humour is so
'off the wall' that misunderstanding is inevitable (I fear that I may come
dangerously close to that category)!
Sorry, once again, for the prolix posting folks.