reflections related to disability advocacy, family and (needed) cultural change
Friday, October 10, 2008
Warning: I am Getting Political
Well, my original plan was to beg Sarah Palin to cut it out. She was driving me crazy by mentioning "special needs children" over and over again as an area of priority for her campaign.
It seemed to me that invoking "special needs children" without mentioning any substantive measures she supports to make lives better for people with disabilities was going after the "AWWWWW!!!" reaction.
Equivalent to saying "I love kittens." (AWWWW!!!)
I thought people with disabilities deserved more--they are not children long and they need actual support that will allow them to move beyond living in their needs so they can contribute--to our communities and to our economy.
Education leads to work. Healthcare leads to health. Employment leads to economic gain.... You get the picture.
I wanted to implore, mom-to-mom that she think bigger--our communities need it, people with disabilities need it, our economy needs it. I figured that when Trig was older she would feel she'd been superficial and regret it.
Then someone sent me this:
(The part that caught my attention starts around 2:30ish)
My plans for this post changed drastically. Call me gobsmacked.
First John McCain just gushed about "relieving the burden" of disability. I would be raging at the insult to the largest minority group in the country if I weren't gagging at the sentimentality of it all.
(FYI, Candidates: The biggest burdens people with disabilities experience are the barriers created by a society that discriminates against them.)
THEN Sen. McCain said that Sarah Palin is "uniquely qualified" to FIND A CURE FOR AUTISM!!!
Now, I have a Bachelors degree (though I only went to one university) and I have had a child with Down syndrome for nearly 15 years yet...
I have not cured autism--or anything else, actually.
Clearly I am not living up to my potential.
I had toyed with the idea that autism is just a different way of being human, that research could teach us more about autism's causes and treatments, that funding streams and media coverage was increasing awareness of autism....
I am the mother of three, wife of one. I am a Partners in Policymaking graduate and a committed disability advocate. I want to catch up on my scrapbooking, learn more about art-journaling, get my house in order, read all the books I have set aside to read and change the world--not necessarily in that order. The opinions in this blog are my own and not those of any of employers.