Disability Rights and Representation
My thoughts on the subject
Disability rights and representation are a very important topic in our world. I remember this situation like yesterday…I randomly stumbled upon a Holiday parage in California, while on a friend’s trip. An autistic young man and his mother were struggling waiting for the parade to start. I was kind. I told her “she was doing a good job and asked if I could help.” She cried and when I got on a flight recalling a beautiful interaction with a family whose son had autism…I was overwhelmed with emotions and cried for much of the flight.
Then, when I saw this picture again, I felt the same way. I’m always interacting with a families and professionals. So, many of them are struggling right now. It’s a stressful system, especially when your child has an IEP and needs assistance to thrive in a way that works for them.
Why does disability rights matter?
So, many of us parents, teachers, doctors, and professionals want to do the right thing. The system is strained, tired, and broke.
Again, my heart aches…systems are set up to help our most vulnerable populations, yet they make our lives harder.
Parents are exhausted and honestly don’t want to fight.
Professionals are exhausted and they too don’t want to fight.
So, let’s start working TOGETHER to end the struggle and, in everyone’s eyes, do what’s right for the child. It can be that simple.
What are disability rights?
- Equality and non-discrimination: People with disabilities should have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, and shouldn’t be discriminated against based on their disability.
- Accessibility: When talking about the physical and social environment it should be designed and adapted to ensure everyone can participate, regardless of disability.
- Reasonable accommodation: Somtimes it is necessary, adjustments or modifications should be made to accommodate the specific needs of people with disabilities, allowing them to participate.
- Independent living: People with disabilities should have the right to live independently and make their own choices about their lives, with appropriate support if needed.
- Participation and inclusion: People with disabilities should be actively involved in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Their voices should be heard and valued.
Educate yourself and act on Disability representation
Here are some ways you can support disability rights:
- Educate yourself about disability issues and challenges.
- Challenge discriminatory attitudes and practices.
- Support organizations that advocate for disability rights.
- Be an inclusive and respectful friend, colleague, or community member.
What is disability inclusion?