Hi- I have used this "assessment" before and I don't particularly like it.
In Oakland at the SDS conference where the Leeds group explained their
version of "disability" meant social oppression they used the same
concept. Disability was what you experienced when you were discriminated
against on the grounds of your being/impairment/nonconformity. But this
scares me. Am I only what people respond to me as? Can I not have a
positive and or neutreal existence as a person with a disability? Many
people have tried to convince me its a matter of semantics. That the use
of the term "disabled" in Britain means what the US and Canada calls
handicap. In other words, People have told me the disadvantage or
discrimination associated with the "x" is the disability (or handicap).
I will explain the analogy I will use immediately following it for those
who need it. If a lesbian or gay person is no longer discriminated
against, because homophobia is gone or attitudes are now positive and all
policies are supportive, does that mean the person ceases to be gay or
lesbian? Or can the person still BE without the discrimination?
Explanation- If a person who uses a wheelchair or who has a cognitive
or learning disability/difference no longer experiences any
discrimination-not physical access or attitudinal problems, does that mean
they no longer are "disabled" or have disabilities or does it simply mean
the disability is not problematic or the disability is not a disadvantage.
I have also talked to leaders in both the survivor (mental health) and
physical disability movement about who "counts" as being disabled and the
"consensus" if that exists, was not to replicate the medical model of
measuring who fits a specific height, behaviour, or functional limit but
who identifies themselves. By using this self-identification process
anyone who wants to call themselves disabled can. This is not to say it
works in policy implementation but I like the idea that we, collectively
or individually get to control our identities by "claiming disability" if
we so desire, and leaving us the choice to not claim it also.
I want to be able to be disabled, have a disability and be Deaf EVEN WHEN
or IF there is no discrimination against me, OR BETTER STILL DESPITE the
absence of oppression, I want to be able to celebrate my self(ves).
is moving in August please stay tuned for new address and phone
number. Visit http://members.xoom.com/doetanis1/newhome.html for some
links. Pls send attachments to [log in to unmask] not to this email thanks.
On Fri, 29 Oct 1999, Judy Singer wrote:
> > by your definition I must be on tha autistic spectrum - selectively - as I
> > can get very excited, passionate, forceful, narrow minded, bigoted, and hard
> > to get on with on some things. (that is my wife's description) Me? I think I
> > just have strong opinions.
> I think that if you have been discriminated against, oppressed, abused for
> your "wiring" - then you have a disability or a disability issue. If not, you