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Posts Tagged ‘access’

Christian Rossiter is dead. RIP.

I stayed out of the debate about Rossiter’s win in the Supreme Court at the time, partly because I didn’t have the time to get involved in the discussion in the depth it deserves, but also because it is quite a painful issue for me.

My grandmother chose to die by rejecting all food, water and medical treatment except morphine.

It only took her two days to die because she was so frail by that stage, and that was bad enough.

Her decision was a completely conscious choice to die, and something that I supported at the time (and still support) in the context, because she clearly did not want to live the only way she had the choice to live. But that needs to be contextualised, and I think it highlights some of the issues that Lauredhel outlined in the post I’ve linked above. I think they’re worth talking about again.

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Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009

This is my post for Blogging Against Disablism Day, 1 May 2009. Go check out Diary of a Goldfish to see who else has posted.

Before I start, I’d like to apologise if I unintentionally plagiarise anyone. This is an issue I’ve been thinking about for some time, and it’s highly likely that I’ve drawn subconsciously on the work of others. If you notice some specific influence that I should be linking or citing, please let me know.

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I don’t think that making accommodations is, necessarily, enough to reach equality.

The concept of “accommodations” is most relevant to discussions of disability and accessibility. For that reason, and because this is Blogging Against Disablism Day, I’m focusing on accommodations for disabilities to provide equal access, even though there are other situations where the issue of accommodations may be relevant.

And, as I said, I don’t think that simply making accommodations is enough – not if you want to have an equal society, anyway.

Or, let’s say “more equal”, since it’s just about impossible to define what “equal” means. And also because I’m going to focus on the concept of choice.

I think that one of the things that makes people feel that they are being treated unequally or unfairly is when they don’t have an equivalent range of choices compared to other people.

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Hmm. The SMH has reported that members of Lake Macquarie Council will do a workshop tomorrow in order to “experience” disability.

The way they’re selling it, it has the potential to be a good thing. They don’t seem to be describing it as a way for councillors to really, completely experience what it’s like to be a person with (a) disability/ies – instead, they seem to be trying to look at specific obstacles that may be faced by people with specific disabilities, with the aim of taking this into account in designing city space.

If that results in the design of city space taking accessibility into account as a matter of course, well, that’ll be good. (That sort of thing is what I’m posting about for Blogging Against Disablism Day– I’ve just scheduled my post for that, and on 1 May, you’ll be able to find it here).

The language that’s used in the article leaves … something to be desired. For example, the headline: “Councillors step into shoes of the disabled” (my emphasis). The first couple of sentences emphasise that language and attitude – the journo refers to the councillors as “taking on” disabilities. Um, no. Just no.

But the last two paragraphs, where they refer to and quote the “community planner for ageing and disability, Jill Bogaerts”, is much more respectful. I suspect they are reflecting Ms Bogaerts’ language, even where they are not directly quoting her. Pity they couldn’t manage that for the whole article!

ETA: I just realised I may need to clarify something in my second paragraph. I’m giving the council the benefit of the doubt in assuming they’re not really trying experience “what it’s like to be a person with (a) disability/ies” – because that’s impossible, and I hope they’re not trying. So I hope what they’re aiming to do is to try to experience some of the obstacles that may be experienced by some people with some disabilities, because that is possible (to some extent), and it can be beneficial (eg: “Wow, it’s impossible to get a scooter or a wheelchair around this bench. Maybe we shouldn’t put benches in places like this!”).

PLUS because I should have emphasised it more: see Chally’s comment re people-first language, and the resource she links to.

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