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Down Syndrome NSW
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Monday, 6 February 2017

Carly Findlay on inspiration and objectification.

Melbourne writer and activist, Carly Findlay has invited readers to share her recent post, written in response to a request for a resource for teachers and parents, from a parent. We are happy to oblige - it is thoughtful, substantial, well researched and illustrated, founded in Carly's personal experience, as well as others'. One of the references is to the Indiana campaign included in our weekend post.

The Down syndrome community is replete with references to inspiration and with objectification - we need to consider this phenomenon/behaviour seriously, take on board what people with disabilities have to say, and alert our schools and communities to it.
Sue asked me if I knew of any resources for parents and teachers that teaches young people about the impact of inspiration and objectification on people with disability. She and a friend wanted to see something written from the perspective of a disabled person, that was "informy, rather than blamey". She wanted it to be in palatable language for a broad audience ...  
... When I've previously mentioned inspiration as objectification of people with disability, using the term Stella Young coined, some people have felt uncomfortable. They don't like the term, so deny it exists or don't want to look into the issue further. This happened a lot during the #crippingthemighty discussions While I never want to censor myself, sometimes I realise the need to soften language to make serious issues more palatable, to reach an audience that needs to hear it. There is definitely a need for this post ...
Carly Findlay, 5 February 2017 

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