Designer Carrie Hammer uses “role models” instead of “runway models,” including a woman in a wheelchair and a woman with four prosthetic limbs.
At breakfast this morning, one of the Counsellors at camp asked two brothers what kind of jobs they have. The elder able-bodied brother provided this explanation before telling the Counsellor what kind of job his brother had: He has Autism so he works at la di da place.
Why the label? Why do you need to highlight a person’s disability prior to providing further details/listing their achievements? Is the explanation REALLY necessary? His disability is not an invisible disability and even if it was, I don’t think an explanation is necessary nor appropriate. I recognize that his job is not a “regular job” that a mainstream able-bodied person of his age/maturity would participate in. What do you accomplish by pointing out his lack of ability in such a situation?
What really hit a nerve was that he did so nonchalantly while his brother was sitting right next to him. Not only are you identifying that he is “special” and does not fit in within society’s construction of the ”norm”, you are also doing it WHILE HE IS THERE. Where is the inclusivity? Why are you justifying why what he does is different, and perhaps unusual? If somebody did that to you, how would you feel?
I’m at a camp for the blind and at the dinner table, the Counsellors always identify themselves prior to serving us or clearing up the table. I’ve made it a habit to identify myself to individuals who have vision loss, but I feel the need to do so even with those who have perfect or almost perfect vision. In fact, I think it would be awesome if everyone did this with everyone, regardless of disABILITY. I’m going to try this and see what kind of reaction I receive from those who are able-bodied. YAY experiment!
You can try it out at your end. Simply start with, “Hi/Hello/Hey it’s <insert your name>.” Try it out.
In the home, I had one nurse at a time, and she’d do everything I needed. Simple. I got used to that.
Here, even charge nurse RNs aren’t allowed to change the humidifier water bag, even though it’s essentially identical to the IV bags they could hang in their sleep, except easier. They can’t swap a water bag, because that is Sterile Water for Inhalation®, and though exactly identical to the sterile water nurses use for other things—wound care and so on—anything involving ventilation is the purview of Respiratory.
And since there are only two respiratory therapists for the North Campus, your lungs may dry out and form tumbleweeds before they get to it. It’s all fun and games until a tumbleweed blocks someone’s airway.
Nick Dupree, “That’s Not My Job” (Angry Rant)”
If you have not been in institutionalized and want to know more about what it’s like and what kind of policy changes could help, read Nick Dupree’s blog.