Friday, 12 August 2016

Weekend reading and viewing: 13 - 14 August 2016

How and Whether It Is Possible to Integrate Without Exclusion?

Rhys Wyn Evans Huffington Post UK (blog), 25 July 2016
... The Girl is very sociable and is liked by quite a few mainstream children. But she is intellectually and physically slower than these mainstream peers. Despite this, she is very aware of what goes on that doesn’t include her.

In recent years, we’ve found that where parents tell their kids that, for this party, they should choose to invite, say, six or eight friends, it is unlikely that - and unusual for - the kids to pick the little girl with DS. (There is little or no ‘side’ behind that statement. It’s simply a factual observation.) Not, I hope, because they are prejudiced against DS but because they have MORE in common with, say, eight mainstream peers ...

Social Sensitivity
Dennis McGuire, UPS for Down Syndrome (Newsletter), April 2014
... Having good social skills and social sensitivity serves people with Down syndrome in many positive ways in their lives. This may help them to make and maintain positive relationships in all key areas: with family at home, with friends in social and recreation settings, with students and teachers in school and educational settings, and with bosses and fellow employees in vocational settings. Although social skills may be a great strength in persons with DS, there can be a major down side to this social sensitivity. We have found that people with DS may be too sensitive to negative feelings and emotions ...

  • This article is reprinted, with permission in the current issue of Voice (July 2016) - the journal of Down Syndrome Australia.
Dear The Camp Director Who Insulted My Disabled Brother
The Odyssey Online, 9 August 2016
... you said that the camp "isn't equipped for kids like that." Kids like what? Kids that have Down Syndrome? As I recall, the previous director was more than accepting and willing to work with "kids like that". The school district pays for "kids like that" to attend the community camp so "kids like that" can remain with their peers and aren't excluded. This camp focused on inclusion not just integration ...

The Gl-are And More
Dave Hingsburger, Of Battered Aspect, 7 August 2016
... He needs strategies to deal with that difference. Parents of kids with Down Syndrome and other disabilities are often told to pay no attention to the disability, 'to us he's just a child' ... well that's not who he is to the world. He needs strategies to cope and strategies to protect and strategies to confront and strategies to engage ... with a world that will see his difference first. Let's state it clearly, it's hard to live a "person first" lifestyle in a world that has a "difference first" value system ...

Census Fail Makes Disabled Australians Grin A Bit
Samantha Connor, The Stringer, 10 August 2016
... Whilst social media explodes in Census website-crash outrage, problems with the new government run NDIS portal has halted millions in payments to service providers. It’s been months now, but it’s caused barely a ripple in the media. Social Services minister Christian Porter has announced that there will be a ‘review’.

The portal that we’re talking about collects information that is far more sensitive than that collected by the Census. It’s not just our names and addresses we are talking about – imagine uploading your whole life plan, bank account details, intimate and personal details of your goals, dreams, sexuality, plans for the future ...

Ms. Harrari, is it you that gets to define quality of life?
Tessa Prebble, One in a Million Baby, 8 August 2016
... Maybe (the journalist) Harrari actually wanted to draw attention to the lack of supports and funding for special needs adults in their families. Maybe she wanted to highlight a vulnerable group in society that needs more attention and care? Maybe she wanted to make a real change.

Maybe. But in doing so she reinforced so many dangerous negative stereotypes and assumptions made by those who have no connection to the special needs world. Her article positively dripped with ableist rhetoric ...

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