UK Disability Movement
THE UK DISABILITY MOVEMENT IS DEAD
THE UK DISABILITY MOVEMENT IS DEAD
LONG LIVE THE UK DISABILITY MOVEMENT
Following the success and large response I had from my email on Normalisation vs Pride, I want to further develop the debate by announcing a further and more radical revelation. After talking to a colleague and seeing the fact that BCODP at cancelled their annual conference, I now truly feel the disability movements as it was is dying.
Lets look at the facts. BCODP does not really have a good public image and has not made a input into any of the public discussions over the lat year such as the Isle of Wight case. At the disabled people’s representative body, I do not feel at represents anyone accept a few group of people. Direct Action Network also is not organised enough to strategically campaign on behalf of all disabled people and seems to be stuck in politics not action. Many of the ‘of disabled people’ organisations seem to be filled by people who do not understand oppression or the issues, and can even be extremely patronalising to some disabled people including me.
To further this line of thought, we have disability academics. While they is interesting research going on, I has not been other new theorical basis for many years and my dealings with trying to get an PhD suggest that original thought is banned and the many fat cats of disability academia proclaim the social model to be god and serve to protect it.
OK, I have DDA, DRC and we soon can join the army, but the momentium of the organisational and structural disability movement is dying. BCODP and its bible bashing political correctness has no power and gives disabled people neither hope or understanding. The ‘old’ disability movement is dead.
But rather than spending a year of moaning, lets looks in the ashes, because there is a new disability movement, our second age and my previous email proves it. The first movement will built on a desire to free our people and normalisation, civil rights. It was only built by a few disabled people without any strong beliefs, just goals.
The goals of the first movement are still needed and are yet to happen but there are just the beginning. The second movement as I see it is built of wider goals and also strong beliefs of true equality, true inclusion, true understand and true difference. This movement is stronger since it involves and will involve more disabled people than over before, thru email and communication. In this movement, when Kent Police sues the BBC, they receive 100s of emails complaining. When the BBC show a poor programme, many disabled people are seen to make a fuss. It is no longer just rights not charity, no longer them against us but rather disabled people, as individuals, interacting with society everyday to make positive change. If a Bungee Jump company refuses to let a wheelchair user jump because of perceived risks, lets not lecture but lets teach, to ensure the world becomes more accessible and we are not just seen as pains.
Lets fight the bioethics movement and ensure our Human Rights are kept and that people understand the realities of the promises people like Christopher Reeves make. The new stronger movement can change things in a way of old movement should not, be involving grass routs disabled people in real issues and be respecting our differences as disabled people…, a bit more understanding of each others impairments may be helpful.
So lets celebrate the birth of a new movement, a movement we can all be a
part of in this century of real communication, where we are all equal.
2nd age disability activist
PO Box 1974, COVENTRY, CV3 1YF
Tel: 070 209 21158
Fax: 0870 133 2447
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