Disability Awareness
By: Digitization Depot
Published: 11/20/2009
Uploaded: 11/20/2009
Uploaded by: Pocket Master
Pockets: Gottesman Libraries Archive, Gottesman Libraries' Education Program, News Displays
Tags: DISABILITY, Disability Awareness Week

Description/Abstract: Disability Awareness, Monday, 10/26-Friday,

"Well, I'm sort of a person on the outside and when I look at this person with a wheelchair experience [there’s] a kind of fear … how do I interact with this person, what do I say to him, if I say do you want to go up the stairs and he might say, what are you an idiot, of course I want to go up the stair, idiot -- look for special people on the top of the stairs that would help, because I could not carry him up, he's a big guy … how do I solve this problem … so I don't know how to socially interact with this person, I'll give you a minor special experience ...there was a person with MS that I was called to wheel around and so, I never pushed a wheelchair before so I felt unskilled. And she had to give me all kinds of directions, how do you get into the elevator without bumping something, and how do you get into the doorway and I think I bumped her at 1 point so it is not easy for 1 person to -- I'd say this there is this fear of inadequacy, and how to relate to people with disabilities."
-- Transcription from "Challenging Abelism: A Socratic Conversation"

These anonymous words show depth of emotion and thought as they speak to the challenges of disability, hidden and not so hidden, from both sides of the spectrum – at a certain level, the one who is physically challenged, and at the next, the one trying to help. The experience calls to greater mind our responsibility as individuals, educators, and citizens in providing and promoting access and service to persons with special needs. In support of Disability Awareness Week, we will examine coverage of the issues in major media, as we continue to ponder how we should think, talk, feel, and act regarding disabilities.

Be sure to check out additional activities, including the slide show on disability awareness; book talk with Christoph Keller; film screening of Moon Sun Flower Game, and next Socratic conversation, What Can People with Disabilities Help Us Learn About How to Live Well?