Profile

Cover photo
Girl With The Cane
70 followers|11,185 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
Great resource!
 
Just out: This month's newsletter features NICHCY's "Dirty Dozen" most popular resources. Please share them with early intervention providers, families, educators, and administrators!
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
Great resource!
 
Just out: This month's newsletter features NICHCY's "Dirty Dozen" most popular resources. Please share them with early intervention providers, families, educators, and administrators!
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
100 Day Kit designed specifically for families to make best use of the days following an #autism diagnosis http://ow.ly/kFSD9
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
Disability advocate Dave Hingsburger wrote a great post the other day on the assumptions that people make when you're disabled (which I've blogged about before). He talked about how, when he was watching a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Toronto, sitting on the sidewalk in his wheelchair, the people on the floats singled him out to waved at the same way they did the kids on the sidewalk.  Now, of course, correlation does not imply causality, but Dave Hingsburger has worked with disabled people in communities a long time (as have I) and I agree with his assessment of what went on: the people on his floats made an assumption that his physical disability also meant the presence of an intellectual disability, and started treating him like a child based on that assumption. I've seen it happen it before.

Hell, I've had it happen to me. At a conference of service providers for intellectually disabled people, actually.

I attended the conference just a couple of years after my stroke. It was an honour to be asked to go. After a busy day of workshops, I was very tired and looking forward to relaxing in my room in sweat pants and a tee shirt for the evening.

Before I got settled in, I went to the vending machines to get a Diet Coke, and then I realized something frightening: while I had a room key, I couldn't remember my room number (my short-term memory was never great to begin with, and the stroke really did a number on it for the first couple of years). I knew approximately what area of the floor I was on. Feeling very foolish, I started knocking on doors, looking for the woman with whom I was rooming to answer the door.

I only had to knock on two doors before I found my room. But the combination of the cane, the sweat pants, and the story about not remembering where my room was definitely (I believe) had one woman making the assumption that I was a "client", perhaps one of the self-advocates there for the conference, as opposed to staff, because her tone changed dramatically after I explained why I was knocking on her door. She started to talk to me like I was a child.

Not that there's anything wrong with being mistaken for a person that I support. But I found myself thinking, once I realized what was (likely) going on, "Do we really talk to them like that? Do I talk to them like that? How insulting."

I think that there are two issues that need awareness here:

1. There is a tendency (and I've observed this happening to other physically disabled people as well) to assume that if a person is physically disabled, they're also intellectually disabled. While there's nothing implicitly wrong with being mistaken for an intellectually disabled person, this tends to get annoying because....

2. People tend to treat intellectually people like they're children. They speak to them like they're toddlers, they talk "around" them instead of to them, and tend to ask to ask others questions about them ("What would he like to eat?")

The second tendency is dangerous because it reflects a belief about intellectually disabled people that's potentially very dangerous. If someone talks about an adult like they're a child, it's because there's something in them that believes that the adult in question is a child - and, depending on the relationship between the two people and what sorts of life circumstances are at play, that creates a power differential in which all sorts of abuse can thrive, even if it's unintentional.

But, even more fundamentally,we shouldn't be treating adults - any adults - like they're children.

Disabled adults have adult rights and adult responsibilities - they deserve the courtesy of being spoken to and treated like adults - whether they're physically disabled, intellectually disabled, or both, or whether you're just not sure.

There's no need to make any assumptions, really. The truth that all people deserve respect isn't an assumption.

Dave's post: http://www.davehingsburger.blogspot.co.uk/
1
Add a comment...
Have them in circles
70 people
Gail Harrison (GHarris)'s profile photo
Narumi Fujikawa's profile photo
MK VAGHELA's profile photo
Amputee Blade Runners's profile photo
FruitFast's profile photo
Cerebral Palsy Family Network's profile photo
Sophie Ouellet's profile photo
Firefly's profile photo
Jonathan Stevens's profile photo

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
Great resource!
 
Just out: This month's newsletter features NICHCY's "Dirty Dozen" most popular resources. Please share them with early intervention providers, families, educators, and administrators!
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
Great resource!
 
Just out: This month's newsletter features NICHCY's "Dirty Dozen" most popular resources. Please share them with early intervention providers, families, educators, and administrators!
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
My latest blog post!  Why I Joined the Boycott Autism Speaks Movement, Part One http://www.girlwiththecane.com/autism-speaks/
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Just out: This month's newsletter features NICHCY's "Dirty Dozen" most popular resources. Please share them with early intervention providers, families, educators, and administrators!
1
1
Girl With The Cane's profile photo
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
Awesome.
 
Wonderful new video from the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center on "Exploring Self Advocacy" - Students with disabilities and their parents speak about the importance of self-advocacy.
1
Add a comment...

Girl With The Cane

Shared publicly  - 
 
I'm back! :)
1
Ronald Redmond's profile photo
 
Hah. Good to see you back!
-Ron-
Add a comment...
People
Have them in circles
70 people
Gail Harrison (GHarris)'s profile photo
Narumi Fujikawa's profile photo
MK VAGHELA's profile photo
Amputee Blade Runners's profile photo
FruitFast's profile photo
Cerebral Palsy Family Network's profile photo
Sophie Ouellet's profile photo
Firefly's profile photo
Jonathan Stevens's profile photo
Contact Information
Contact info
Email
Story
Tagline
Blog for "Running Steps"
Introduction
"Girl With The Cane" is a blog about disability and disability-related issues, written by freelance writer 
and owner/operator of "Running Steps" Sarah Levis. The promotional cornerstone for "Running Steps" and a place for Sarah to showcase her both her writing skills and her understanding of the issues facing the disability community, in its first year "Girl With The Cane" was nominated for four prestigious blogging awards and "took home" one: a third place award for Best Personal Blog from the Canadian Blogging Awards. Check out "Girl With The Cane" to get more information on Sarah's work as a disability blogger, disability advocate, and consultant. She also assists individuals and organizations to develop and implement social media plans, and runs a web directory for disability-related websites.