Crippen looks at the portrayal of Disabled people as being the problem / 31 August 2009
The following excerpts were taken from an online newsletter, written by Disabled people for Disabled people. If even we can’t get it right, what are the chances of the mainstream press understanding the issues around barriers and the Social Model understanding of disability?!
‘A teenager has triumphed in his A-levels after refusing to let his cerebral palsy hold him back at school … ’
I would suggest that it’s not his cerebral palsy holding him back at school but the barriers that exist within our educational system that created a lack of access for him!
‘A Welsh woman has overcome [her] disability to win an award for her painting skills ...’
Again, it’s not her ‘disability’ that is the problem. It’s the barriers within society that she had to overcome in order to demonstrate her true potential!
A young Welsh student speaking about the poor access to university classes, libraries, bars and leisure facilities on campus said: "I knew that because of my disability I would have less choice … to [be able to] decide on the right university.”
Altogether now … It’s not because of her ‘disability’ that she has less choice. It’s the barriers that exist within our higher educational system that prevent her from a full and active participation!
Remember - WE are not the problem. The BARRIERS that exist within our society are the problem.
We are Disabled by these barriers within our society, be they physical or environmental, attitudinal, concerning information or communication, or are institutional, organisational or administrative. All of these barriers conspire to rob us of our human rights to enjoy full and unlimited access to our society and the right to participate fully in its continuing growth and development.
WE ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!
Keywords: disabled people's movement,social model,