Crip, Spastic, Nutjob, Handicapper,these were once words that were spoken freely and now in 2014 they have fallen out of use why? October 2007 and a diverse group of people sit in a room sizing up one another, tall, small, fat, thin, black, white, male and female, And What brought this eclectic group together to do a diploma in disability studies?
It was an article in a shop window that lead to a meeting in the Arklow Bay Hotel in County Wicklow Ireland which led to the starting of our course. Our reasons for doing the course were varied, some people felt they needed the Diploma in Disability studies to further their career and some wanted to improve their knowledge about the area of disability. Some people on the course experience disability in their daily lives, which brought a reality to the content and quality of the course.Knowledge is empowing and the course was an eye-opener to anyone who had no experience of disability.
It allowed us to asses the Impact of attitudes on the rights of people who experience disability. People who experience disability are unseen by society and unknown due to the barriers created by society and their attitudes.
Society is a causal factor in disability ? If a person in a wheelchair cannot get up a flight of stairs is the wheelchair the problem? Or the fact that their legs dont work , or is it simply that someone didn’t build a ramp! Have you ever tried to get money from an ATM with your eyes closed? Blind people do on a daily basis.
At long last an inclusive debate is happening, instead of in isolation, but now, through education where everyone has an equal voice and maybe the challenge to us all is to ask how do we as individuals disable others in society?