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Sally's Journal
January 24th, 2008
04:33 pm


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Really interesting, if slightly depressing, report on perceptions of disability. I got as far as perceptions of disability broken down by degree class of person responding and age of person responding before deciding I really ought to get on with some work.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:January 24th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks for linking to this, it's very interesting.

I always find it very interesting to note how people deal with me wrt my disability (anywhere between actually telling me "You are sickly and should not do anything ever and you are being reckless and immoral to try to do so" to "Huh, you can run further than me, you can't be *that* disabled"). Both valid perspectives, I'm sure :-).
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Date:January 24th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
I skimread it, and the bit that shocked me most is that they didn't ask how people would feel about someone with Down's Syndrome being their boss or marrying a close relative, presumably because the people who wrote the survey can't envisage someone with Down's either getting married or having a job with any management responsibilities.

Perhaps I'm being ridiculous, as I'm sure the latter is rare, and the former complicated by the fact that people with developmental disabilities only tend to marry others with developmental disabilities (and are less likely to get married at all). But neither is an impossibility, and I feel it's important for surveys like that to be as unprejudiced as they can be.

(I'm a bit addicted to this blog by someone who works with people with developmental disabilities, and I think it's made me weirdly extreme on this issue.)
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link, it's very interesting, if only I had the brainpower to read it. Ah well, the summary was interesting, if not very surprising - I was a little skeptical by the question of people feeling comfortable having contact with disabled people, as my experience one-to-one experience in my job is that an awful lot of people don't quite know how to cope adjusting their communication skills for people with communication disabilities. Maybe I just have very skewed contacts.
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Date:January 25th, 2008 10:15 am (UTC)
If you found the report depressing then I fear you'll find my comment depressing too, but the official definition doesn't make much sense to me. I'm sure it was written by clever people after lots of thought, but I find it puzzling.

* Why shouldn't a broken leg count, just because it doesn't last 12 months? If I had a broken leg, I'd really hope to be allowed to use disabled parking spaces, and use disabled toilets as opposed to having to hobble up stairs.

* Why does the definition include things like cancer and HIV/AIDS? What's wrong with the word "illness"?

* Why does poor hearing corrected by a hearing-aid count, but poor sight corrected by glasses not count? Just because the latter is more common?

* The definition is inconsistent with the examples they provide. It says disabilities have to be long-term and impair your ability to do day-to-day tasks. Bit I thought HIV (as opposed to AIDS) didn't impair day-to-day tasks (AFAIK; ICBW). And serious cases of cancer often, for the saddest of reasons, don't go on for 12 months.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
Very good points, some I was wondering myself but hadn't put into words.
Date:January 28th, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
Glasses are much better at correcting poor sight than hearing aids are at correcting poor hearing. A hearing aid just amplifies everything, which doesn't fix it because ears have mechanisms for picking out the things you actually want to hear. It's like...glasses restoring the focus to slightly blurry all over and then removing the edges and colours from everything so that you can't read unless you concentrate very hard and picking out something or somebody in the street is much more difficult than for everybody else.

I suspect also side-effects from HIV drugs are quite impairing.
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