Dancing On Wheels  permalink

Brian Says...

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Messages: 1 - 21 of 21
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by DavidG (U2600889) on Saturday, 6th March 2010

    "I'm really thrilled with the positive reception Dancing on Wheels has received. As you can tell, this program is very close to my heart and wheelchair dance is something I am very passionate about. I hope that you will continue to watch every Thursday at 9:00 p.m. on BBC3. The show is motivational, inspirational, and emotional. I hope it continues to shatter perceptions of what people who live their lives in wheelchairs can do."

    'Motivational' and 'inspirational' in the same sentence and people wonder why we have a problem with the show!?!

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by myrtlemaid (U7171398) on Saturday, 6th March 2010

    Hmmm seems hes not visited this board to get an alternative point of view. But then why'd he want to come to a site where disabled people have been writing for years ????

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Glistener (U5249510) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    Hi David

    It may not be motivational and inspirational to you but it is to me and others And that is nothing to do with the fact that the dancers are in wheelchairs. I was motivated to learn to dance after seeing Strictly. I was inspired by the progress that non musical and gawky people like me could be transformed into dancers. OK. i'm never going to win any prizes but i have amazed myself at what i'm achieving.
    So why can't this programme be motivational and inspiring to both abled bodied and disabled people alike if it gives them the impetus to learn something new or take them out of their comfort zone?. And yes I admit to being moved by some of the disability stories. But not in a pitying way. Seeing how people adapt their lives is humbling as i'm not sure how i would cope. And seeing the challenges that everyday tasks present for some people has inspired me and made me resolve to be more active and vocal in bringing disability issues to the fore where i can.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by hossylass (U3749845) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    ... i'm not sure how i would cope  

    Oh you would cope with being in a wheelchair. It would piss you off that you couldn't play with your children in the same way, run around with them etc.

    But you would cope with being in a wheelchair. Definately.

    What is harder to cope with is society. I dont cope with society because society doesn't 'cope' or want to 'cope' with me.

    Society's disabling attitude is probably the worst bit about having an impairment. smiley - sadface

    It is a long an rocky road for those who want to affect change, but it is great to find someone (you, that is) who wants to make change happen.

    Regarding 'motivating' and 'inspiring', in the main people say these words but it is not real. They may be motivated, but they rarely say what the outcome of their motivation will be.
    Same with inspiring. Inspired to do what?
    They misuse the words, and have no idea why they say it.

    For you it is different. You feel motivated and inspired to bring about change.
    I reckon that makes you an Oucher, whether you want to be or not smiley - ok

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by RoboMam (U12300384) on Sunday, 7th March 2010


    For you it is different. You feel motivated and inspired to bring about change.
    I reckon that makes you an Oucher, whether you want to be or not smiley - ok 


    What Hoss said !

    Welcome to Ouch ! smiley - smiley smiley - smiley smiley - smiley

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by DavidG (U2600889) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    >> It may not be motivational and inspirational to you but it is to me and others <<

    And that's the problem. It trivialises our lives, reducing anything we do to 'motivational' and 'inspirational', it denies our normality. It is, in blunt, abusive.

    >> So why can't this programme be motivational and inspiring to both abled bodied and disabled people alike if it gives them the impetus to learn something new or take them out of their comfort zone <<

    Because far more than any potential good effects it perpetuates the impression that any achievement by us is somehow 'special', and that is extraordinarily damaging.

    >> I admit to being moved by some of the disability stories <<
    >> Seeing how people adapt their lives is humbling <<

    Why? Life happens, you get on with it. Everyone does the same, disability is no different.

    You may not find these things offensive, but many of us do and surely it is our opinion that matters here, not yours? These attitudes actively work against our efforts to be seen as equal, no different to anyone else and perpetuate the pitying personal tragedy model of disability that should have been left in the 19th Century where it belongs.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Glistener (U5249510) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    Hi David

    I hear what you say but isn't everyone entitled to n opinion. And I think you misunderstand me on the motivational and inspirational issue. It is nothing to do with disability; it is to do with people doing something new and inspiring others. I feel exactly the same when i hear about people cycling round the world, running the London Marathon or even losing weight. I admire them. Sometimes their actions have prompted or motivated me to do the same.

    And i'm sorry if i offend you by being humbled but i am. But again it's not meant to be patronising. I'm also humbled by the strength people show in all sorts of adversity; on the early death of a much loved partner, or on the death of a child. Or, when people who have lost their jobs take a much lower paid post as they just want to be in work. I know some people who have crumpled and fallen apart for far less.
    The husband of a woman I know lost all their money in a business deal. She didn't collapse in a heap but worked with her husband to regain some control. They took tough decisions. They sold their lovely detached rural house and from living a luxury life style now live in a 2 bedroom terrace. She got a job. And she stood by her husband. I admire them both and am humbled by how she stood up to what life threw at her. Why is it wrong to admire tenacity or people working to achieving a goal? I admire the wheelchair dancers because life threw disability at them and they dealt with it

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by DavidG (U2600889) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    >> isn't everyone entitled to n opinion <<

    And don't I have the right to campaign against an opinion I believe to be abusive? Apartheid was just an opinion, racism is just an opinion, just being an opinion doesn't make something acceptable. Consider the statement: "The show is motivational, inspirational, and emotional. I hope it continues to shatter perceptions of what black people can do." If you can't swap 'black' for 'disabled' without a statement becoming racist, then it is disablist and unacceptable.

    >> I'm also humbled [snip] when people who have lost their jobs take a much lower paid post as they just want to be in work <<

    Let's look at this one. I've actually been pressurized to take lower paid work, my Disability Employment Adviser couldn't understand why I refused to consider low-paid work and insisted on looking for work at the level I'm trained to perform at (which is very specialised), despite the widespread refusal of employers to make the necessary accommodations to my disability. What you would feel 'humbled' by would actually be me kowtowing to the rampant discrimination in the job market, something I refuse to do. Discrimination is very complex and you need to understand the viewpoint of the people faced by it rather than making assumptions on their behalf.

    >> Why is it wrong to admire tenacity or people working to achieving a goal? I admire the wheelchair dancers because life threw disability at them and they dealt with it <<

    Because it perpetuates the view that disability is not normal and that we are somehow 'special', which is the root from which springs much of the disability we face.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by myrtlemaid (U7171398) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    I think its a bity unfair to suggest Glistner doesnt have a right to an opinion here.. I see her as an OUCHER now.. we may not agree with some of what she says but she does have a right to say it.

    we too have a right to express our disagreement.. One thing the DOW threads have done for me is to help me begin to clarify more explicitly where I want to stand on things that effect disabled people.. Ive been suprised sometimes by the passionate feelings it aroused , particularly at the moment when im depressed and most things are lost in a grey fog.

    I think it can be a good thing that from time to time we have people on here who are willing to discuss and learn but also say what they really believe at the time.. because it makes us more fully realise what we believe.

    Its a hard tough learning curve when you come to a site like this with no real knowledge of the way people who use it think and feel and like to see things expressed.. Im stil llearning and adapting to a change of mindset and sometimes I catch myself automatically thinking in ways I know are misguided.

    .Its hard to take on board a very different mind set and allow yourself to think about it fairly and decide whether to accept or reject it it can take a long time... so I still think a little patience and moderation in replying would be more helpful thatn ahard line reply.

    Ive learnedso much from people like you David and people like Baggies Robert too..but I can still remember some of the struggles Ive had beginning to see a different point of view and consider my previous thinking may have had flaws.

    Ill hush now before i sound like im doing a Mea culpa sketch.

    jox

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by DavidG (U2600889) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    >> I think its a bity unfair to suggest Glistner doesnt have a right to an opinion here <<

    I'm not saying that Glistener has no right to an opinion, but rather that I (and/or we) have a right to say what I think is problematic with her opinion. This whole thread after all is talking about the problems with Bryan Fortuna's expressed opinions. He seems genuine in wanting to help, but he's stuck in that paternalistic perception that sees disabled people as 'special' and 'inspirational', if not 'brave', and that's damaging to us, no matter how helpful he may think it is. Part of the problem we face is that some of most disablist of attitudes are entrenched in a perception that they are actually helpful and caring.

    >> I see her as an OUCHER now <<

    And when has that ever stopped me from taking issue with someone smiley - winkeye

    >> I can still remember some of the struggles Ive had beginning to see a different point of view and consider my previous thinking may have had flaws. <<

    Been there, done that, still learning!

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by myrtlemaid (U7171398) on Sunday, 7th March 2010

    I cant disagree with anything in this post.. maybe i misinterpreted what you said .. if I did I apologise.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by DavidG (U2600889) on Monday, 8th March 2010

    >> maybe i misinterpreted what you said .. if I did I apologise. <<

    No apology needed.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Julian Hall (U2873105) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    I personally don't have an issue with what Brian has said. Whether I feel that my life - being born disabled, but going to mainstream school, learning to drive, holding down a job, going alone to America, getting a degree.. yadda yadda yadda - is motivational or inspirational isn't the issue here. In the same vein that Simone has no choice about whether other people see her as an ambassador for disabled people, I don't have a choice if a third party chooses to see me as a source of inspiration.

    I could be a round the world yachtsman, world-class cricketer, or a successful entrepreneur. Those things might *inspire* others and *motivate* them to try and emulate the acheivements. Do those people get offended by being inspirational? No, so why should we as disabled people?

    I could be an able-bodied guy who lazes around doing nothing all day, who then sees a disabled person with a job and making something of their life who thinks 'If they can do that despite their disability what am I doing?' This is not just about disabled people showing what we can do and encouraging others to follow suit.

    As a disabled person if someone looks at what I have done in my life and thinks 'Wow, maybe I can make something of my life too' then that is not something a) I have any control over, or b) something to get offended about. Why they would think that is beyond me, but then isn't that the whole point?

    In a nutshell, 'inspirational' and 'motivational' are not synonyms for 'aww isn't he/she clever?' but it's just dawned on me that could be the root of this issue. There is a world of difference between being patronised and being admired.

    I think as disabled people we have to get rid of the dislike of being admired for things we don't see as achievements. It's going to happen whether we like it or not, and life is too short to stress over things that we can't control.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by hossylass (U3749845) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    But its ok to be inspirational if you are no threat.

    There are many times that I could have been described as inspirational if it were not for the fact I was challenging others from a position of disadvantage and still being better than them.

    I was universally disliked for being faster, fitter or more intelligent when I worked in male dominated environments.

    Are disabled people who work hard and buy nice houses and drive expensive cars seen as inspirational? Maybe by a few, but in the main people will say "Why have they got that car, I bet it was free off the government cos they are disabled, and they only have a good job cos of disability descrimination." etc, etc.

    Wheelchair dancing? Hardly challenging the Nation's concious, is it. smiley - sadface

    The program is bringing disability, especially mobility problems into a more public arena, but it causes the word "inspiring" to be used totally out of context.

    I bet for every person that has posted that they are "inspired" that visited this message board over the years, less than 1% will have actually done something real as a result.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by Glistener (U5249510) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    Well I am that 1% . And I don't expect you to think that is necessarily a good thing or be "grateful". And my actions are not motivated by "making things easier for poor, pitiful disabled people". It's about equality; plain and simple.

    I just think that from little acorns , large oaks grow. There is never going to be a rapid mass change in perception to discriminated minorities; wrongly and sadly, these things take time. But change can and does happen.
    My grandmother was a suffragette; all women got the vote during my mother's lifetime.
    Individuals can effect change in many ways and it isn't worth wasting effort on those with entrenched views. It is the ambivalent people who can be influenced successfully. DoW is a different way of drawing attention to disability and I believe it is having positive benefits to the unaware or ignorant. It's a start

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by SashaQ (U9936370) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    I could be an able-bodied guy who lazes around doing nothing all day, who then sees a disabled person with a job and making something of their life who thinks 'If they can do that despite their disability what am I doing?'  
    It's true that a disabled person with a job may well have had to work harder to get to that point than a non-disabled person (I certainly had to work hard - I received quite a few rejections because of being a wheelchair user), but I'm not convinced that people who see me necessarily think that... Now I have a job, just like my colleagues (we all sit down to work), I'm as 'inspirational' as them, surely...?

    There is a world of difference between being patronised and being admired.  
    Indeed...

    I watch DOW because I do enjoy seeing the dancing (what little they show...). I suppose it is just the way with these 'reality'-type shows, but the general tone of the programme is a bit much for me at times...

    By the way, the opposite of 'disabled' is 'non-disabled' - there are disabled people who are 'able-bodied'...

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Julian Hall (U2873105) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    I think also that people who are not disabled themselves look at someone with a disability leading a normal life and think that because they don't believe they would cope in the same situation they find it admirable that another person can.

    Apologies for the 'able-bodied' gaffe - it's the term I've used all my life and nobody (until now) has pointed out that it's inaccurate smiley - smiley

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by DavidG (U2600889) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    >> I don't have a choice if a third party chooses to see me as a source of inspiration. <<

    Not on the individual level, but that doesn't mean that we should approve of it, nor that shouldn't campaign to make people as a whole take a more realistic viewpoint.

    'Inspirational' and 'Motivational' are products of the Personal Tragedy Model of Disability. People who subscribe to the personal tragedy model believe that they have disabled people's best interests at heart, but ultimately their message is one of disempowerment and denial of our normality.

    >> Do those people get offended by being inspirational? No, so why should we as disabled people? <<

    Because ultimately these are part of the forces that leave us as second class citizens.

    >> In a nutshell, 'inspirational' and 'motivational' are not synonyms for 'aww isn't he/she clever?' <<

    Aren't they? I believe that's precisely what they are.

    >> There is a world of difference between being patronised and being admired. <<

    And if you are being 'admired' in a situation where a non-disabled person would not be, then isn't that really patronisation, not admiration?

    >> I think as disabled people we have to get rid of the dislike of being admired for things we don't see as achievements. It's going to happen whether we like it or not, and life is too short to stress over things that we can't control. <<

    So you don't think we should campaign to be seen as equal and normal?

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by DavidG (U2600889) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    >> I just think that from little acorns , large oaks grow. <<

    But if you are planting an acorn, when behind you is a lorryload of saplings, then is your plan sensible?

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by hossylass (U3749845) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    Glistener, you are the 1% I was thinking of smiley - winkeye

    I think also that people who are not disabled themselves look at someone with a disability leading a normal life and think that because they don't believe they would cope in the same situation they find it admirable that another person can.
     


    Yes, people dont believe they would cope. They dont believe they would cope mentally or physically.
    They also dont like the idea of being restricted.

    Strangely neither do we. The restrictions placed on us by society are real, and are part of what those who are not yet impaired fear, yet, whilst they remain unipaired, in the main they dont see the need to do anything about it.

    The fact that they find it admirable that people with impairments cope is two-fold.
    One, they usually only see the people who are coping, and two, deep down in their psyche they know the system is wrong (probably not to the extent of how wrong) and admiring someone who copes assuages the guilt they feel.

    Only my musings, obviously.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Glistener (U5249510) on Thursday, 11th March 2010

    Thank you Hossy ( and others)

    The debate is well and truly alive!

    Report message21

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