Ouch weblog: individual blog entry
12 Nov 07, 11:59 AM - What do young people learn about disability in schools?
I have just had a rather disturbing conversation with a guy in my As environmental science class, it all started as a guy described Goalball as a sport for “handicapped people” my response to that was along the lines of “thanks very much that was a very pc term” we then had a debate about why the term handicapped was not nice.
According to him if his legs didn’t work he would have no problem with someone calling him handicapped.
I then mentioned that it is an insulting term, his response: “generally if I was trying to insult someone I would call them a retard”.
He then posed the question “What do you call a handicapped person then?” My response was: “a disabled person, a person with a disability, a visually impaired person, the list is endless”.
I find it so hard to believe that someone has just finished there secondary school education and is an intelligent person knows so little about how to refer to disability. What are young people being taught about society in secondary school?
I no from my own experience of mainstream secondary school education that disability is rarely touched upon in what we called GEMS (I think it stood for: spiritual, mental, ethical, guidance). So if children and young people are not learning about disability in schools then where are they getting there ideas from? and who is telling them what is right and wrong in terms of disability?
I think one answer is the media young people get there opinions and ideas of disability from what they see in the news, the sob story’s, or the brave person that has just climbed up mount Everest in there wheelchair. The truth of course being that most people with disability’s are just getting on with the day to day stuff, working, looking after the kids , socialising, etc.
My friends all informed me that if I had not met them and taught them about my views on disability they would not have ever known what was acceptable, I’ve even converted a few of them to regularly reading things on the ouch website, keeping them up to date. I’m not normally one for political correctness, but when it comes to terms like handicapped and retard I defiantly disapprove.
This is why I need your help Ouchers!
Your task if you chose to accept it is to bombard me with ammo to show him that the terms he is using are not acceptable, and particularly why they are not right. I was so shocked by his comments that I couldn’t really think of a decent case to debate.
I would like to add that this post and any comments made should not be offensive or harsh to the poor guy. He is a nice guy and I don’t think it is his fault that he does not know appropriate ways of describing disabled people; I have only used his comments as an example.
Your second task if you chose to accept it is to try and educate young people you come into contact with about what disability is and isn’t, I no its not really our job to do this kind of thing but if we don’t step up and educate, who will!
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