Sometimes A Turn Of Phrase Is A Wrong Turn

a silhouette of many different people with the words 'people first' in the centerI realize it was more than likely a problem of word count. Or of column width. (“Providers Agree System is Troubled,” Providence Journal. Jan. 16, 2014, A1-2) Nonetheless, when direct attribution is provided, the quote should be accurate. Although I had no problem with the paraphrased paragraph that preceded the quote, I had a big problem with the quote:

“The problem was he was only working with the disabled,” she said. “I believed he was capable of more.”

What’s the big deal? What’s the difference between saying “people with disabilities,” and its compressed counterpart, “the disabled” (to the general public at least)? Does anyone remember hearing Donald Trump say “the blacks?” Or Stephen Colbert’s character say “the gays?” Those phrases are offensive. The difference is that “the disabled”, like “the blacks,” and “the gays,” are people first! None of these groups are individuals who should be lumped together by having one aspect of their persona in common.

Click here to read the rest of the article about using person-first language and about a recent misquote in the Providence Journal.

People are NOT defined by their disability!!!

an ad from Disability.gov: No matter who you are or what your goals in life may be, Disability.gov can help youDisability.gov website blog unveils eight new PSA ads featuring people with disabilities. The website is intended to provide resources specifically for people with disabilities and other interested people in 10 different categories including transition, advocacy, employment, benefits, housing, etc.

Click here for more information about the Disability.gov ad campaign.

The Arc Launches New National Resource Center on Justice and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Washington, DC — The Arc has announced it has been awarded a two-year grant for $400,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to develop a national center on justice and intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This is the first national effort of its kind to bring together both victim and offender issues involving people with I/DD under one roof.

For more information, please click here.

Living with cerebral palsy empowers Rebecca Beaton

a photo of Rebecca Beaton using the computer with her head stickQuadraplegic Warwick greeting card designer lives independently, holds down a job, and says there’s much more to her than just her disability

Rebecca Beaton has something to say. This surprises people. They see the 40-year-old Warwick woman in her wheelchair, unable to move anything but her head. They see Beaton’s aide standing beside her. And they speak — to the aide, about Beaton.

“I will speak up,” Beaton says. “And they will get surprised.”

People make assumptions about cerebral palsy, Beaton says. They assume she can’t speak; that her limitations aren’t just physical but mental. And they tend to talk loud.

“I am not deaf,” Beaton says.

Beaton listens, laughs, reads and writes, and also inspires. Her preferred mode is “to go out in the community and teach people about people with disabilities.” In grade schools, high schools and colleges, Beaton educates by example.

Click here to read the full story from the Providence Journal

“Respond, Respect and Realize”

reflections by Dennis Harvey on his personal life and how the community should treat people with disabilities

My name is Dennis Harvey I am founder & president of a small business called “Bee in Motion”. It is a Movement and Music therapeutic workshop designed to assist people with disabilities to feel better. If you would like more information about how to host a workshop, give me a call at 401-347-7288 or check out my website at: www.beeinmotionri.com

I want talk to about how the mainstream community treats persons with disabilities. Maybe those with and without disabilities can learn from each other. I also have a disability.

a photo of dennis harvey

When I am out in the world going about my day to day life people react and respond to me in very specific ways. They usually stay out of my way, sometimes avoid me, don’t speak to me and don’t understand me. Sometimes they even giggle.

In high school other students were distant and UN-welcoming to me. Sometimes some people were cruel and nasty. I was spared most of the cruel nastiness because as you can see I’m a big boy. 😀 lol
When you or I meet people we respond to each other… “Hi, how are you?” When you see a person with disability do you take that same time and social engagement? When you meet someone with a disability please stop and take an extra moment and look past the wheel chair or other obvious issue that say “I am disabled”.

Click here to read more of Dennis’ story