Tag Archives: social model of disability

A Poem Called “I am not retarded”

I am not retarded,

by theamazinJ

I can think for myself,
I have a mind of my own,
I am a Masters student,
I am a filmmaker,
I am an artist,
I am a poet,
I am a person,
I am not less than what you think,
I am an independent citizen,
I need support like everyone else,
I am capable even though I am disabled,
disability does not mean I am hidden from society,
disability does not mean I cannot say “I am disabled and proud”
disability does not mean my voice does not matter,
disability does not mean I can’t do anything,
disability means I need to structure my supports
and build a supported decision making agreement
between my supporters
as myself being the decision maker
like you and you and you in the world.
I disagree with people
as much as I agree,
I do not agree with you on some things,
but I agree on other things,
and that’s okay.
I can speak out on what I believe and feel
an that’s ok because it’s how I feel
and it does not mean
I am too easily influenced or ‘brainwashed’
because being ‘brainwashed’ is not even a thing,
it is a social construction, it is not even real,
and it is figure of speech of
someone’s imagination to make a person seem crazy,
to make a person feel disregarded as a person,
and to not allow a person to take responsibility for their choices
even if the person felt at the time
to choose something for their own self-care,
even if it was for their own way of
making meaning with the world,
my own way of growing and maturing
and doing things on my own,
to get to an understanding of what
I can do without the world telling me otherwise
as if I need to always be told
as if I am child and not the adult that I am.
Presuming competence is so important,
it is so liberating for everyone
because the social model of disability
is not about discrediting medicine,
it is about self-determination
it’s about de-stigmatizing what the medical model did,
so disabled people make their decisions
and using accommodations even it is from medicine
to help a person live their life,
even if they need other accessibilities
to do this as well,
even if many do not understand the
social model of disability,
that’s ok, but please don’t discredit it,
don’t discredit an individual’s right to make decisions
based on how they may feel at the time,
allow leeway in may be taking responsibility
for why the individual chose that decision at the time,
may be it wasn’t all about the individual’s behavior
maybe it could have been the way
the individual felt from the behavior
of the people around them.
Relationships are a two way street.
Everything that happens is never one sided,
it is never the fault of one person,
everyone can always take responsibility for
every decision that is made by an individual.
There is a reason why things happen,
and sometimes that reason needs to be known,
sometimes the reason is projected on the decision maker
because the other people don’t want to
feel bad or don’t want to know they might have done
something wrong.
There is never what someone did was wrong
like there is never what someone did was right.
Every decision we make is something we did
from how we felt at the time.
Everywhere we go, every decision we make,
are decisions that may have been
tough for us to make,
but it was decisions from our path
to help us grow,
to help us mature,
and to help us further our destiny
to live our life.
Every decision an individual makes
is by how we felt
and whoever was around the individual at that time
including the individual
who needs to take responsibility for that decision.
Take responsibility for yourself
and most importantly take responsibility
for every other person as a decision maker
regardless of who the person is or was
even if person is disabled or
even if the person is non-disabled.
It’s not all about you or them,
it’s all about the decision that was made.

A Poem Called “To Please Yourself is to not think of anyone else”

To Please Yourself is to not think of anyone else,

by theamazinJ

It’s my life,
and no one else’s,
it’s my life,
even when people disagree,
it’s my life,
even if anyone disagrees with me
my whole life too,
it’s my life,
I choose things in my life
for a reason,
as an activist,
as a person who is
committed to human rights,
disability justice,
self-determination,
and with the rights
everyone has of supported decision making.
As a person who
does not like
the way the world is today
from the many discriminations
and injustices that are serving
everyone living today.
From the ideas of
the way society uses
the medical model
to hurt so many people,
and the way
everyone hurts,
not everyone understanding each other,
that because of this
there is disability culture
separate from non-disability culture
and because of this
I saddened to know
that from the two different cultures
not understanding each other,
universal design is not realistic,
and too ideal,
because there are
too many non-disabled people
who think of only themselves
and there are
too many disabled people
that are angry about this,
that can this war over words
really end?
can this war over words really end?
The war over words,
eventually leads to violence,
eventually leads to a tougher life,
and eventually leads to
everyone learning the hard way.
Our lives are good,
as human beings
we have the ability to love,
we have the ability to understand each other,
we have what it takes to serve justice for all,
but many do not want justice,
many are too complacent,
too complicit,
and many just want to live in LaLaLand,
while many just want to think about the medical model
without considering life
and what living life really is like,
even when someone gets a diagnosis,
even when someone seeks surgeries
for that diagnosis,
or even alternative treatments.
Some of these treatments
are imperative and can be fatal if not treated,
while other treatments
are a choice from the person, the individual,
to live their life treated to
live under the current social construction
as who they are without seeking to pass,
or live their life different than who they are
choosing to seek treatment to
pass and please people in society.
Everyone has their choices to make,
the ultimate choice is,
please yourself or please others,
and whatever you please,
there are consequences and rewards,
you just have weigh in on
the choice that best fits your life,
but remember this,
even when you are anxious over this decision,
asking too many people what to do,
and not relaxing and letting things happen,
you still must please yourself regardless.

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: A Presentation on Autistic Artifacts from my project partner and I in “Disability and Embodiment” Class

TRIGGER Warning for everyone: We had used artifacts that were a part of the medical and charity models of disability towards the end of the presentation. This was only to show that they are artifacts too even though we all disagree with them.

I hope everyone enjoys the presentation my project partner from class did with me. We worked really hard as capturing the highlights of the many positive aspects of Autistic culture and the social model of disability!!!

Hopefully I can finally start Graduate School for next year 😀 It would only help me even more!!!!

Flapplauding always and Please ENJOY your HOLIDAY Present from me to you!!!!!

OUT, J

Slide01

Slide02 Slide03
Slide04
  Slide05 Slide06 Slide07 Slide08 Slide09





Slide10

Slide11 Slide12 Slide13
Slide14

  Slide15 Slide16 Slide17 Slide18 Slide19 Slide20 Slide21 Slide22 Slide23
Slide24
  Slide25 Slide26 Slide27

My Disability and Music paper from “Disability and Embodiment”

The song that was attached to a YouTube video a few years back was recently deleted, but intrigued me. The song tried to lift the barriers that the medical model of disability conveys. The song used was “Individuality” by the U.K. band, Area 7. Some thought provoking words were “The years go by, you find that nothing comes easily. And the world is full of people tryin’ take you down.” This really spoke to me personally as well as who I have interacted with in the disability community especially in the Autistic community. The song really helps us accept our own self since we need to have less self-doubt, less influence from others, and more of our own identity. This song is more about post-structuralist social model of disability because it does not speak about impairments rather about striving to be the best we can be.
To me, the song tries to convey something Jim Sinclair wrote about in his “Don’t Mourn for Us” speech when he wrote, “We need and deserve families who can see us and value us for ourselves, not families whose vision of us is obscured by the ghosts of children who never lived…But don’t mourn for us.” (Sinclair pg. 9) I feel Jim Sinclair’s quote really compliments this song.
A paper by Steven Van Wolputte, explores several authors in his paper where he reports, “Or, as Mead (1974) notes: We cannot be ourselves unless we are also members…He pointed out that a self is a social structure and process that arises in and from social experience, that it involves the body, and the self – …” (Van Wolputte pg. 261) These words from the article and song reminded me how people like myself in the disability community feel today from non-disabled people in society. I have felt society needs to understand people in the disability community and people who seem different. We are members of society too who need to identify the way we want to be represented. Instead people typically don’t see how disabled people like myself can live full successful lives. We are always made to feel odd and different. These lyrics from the video, immediately made me feel this should be everybody’s anthem while going to school and growing up. In 2nd grade, I met with the school psychologist, who told my mom I would not be able to graduate high school, learn to be my own person, and live a fulfilling successful life.
In an article by Loja, Costa, Hughes, and Menezes, I further determine why the song is so powerful, “[Disabled individuals] confront physical and attitudinal barriers and stereotypes about their capacity for intimacy and configure themselves in ways that challenge centuries of oppression, refusing to internalize ableism, demanding recognition for who they are and what they want to become.” (Loja pg. 198) This empowers me to build my life even through the vast ableism I have faced in my life, and create who I am from all the struggles I have overcome as a part of society.
The song from a post-structuralist social model shows us what being an individual is; “not being so vain, not being so proud, but rising above,” (from Area 7) the intellectual standards society tells us what we can be, to be ourselves. Van Wolputte states, “It is therefore important to distinguish between, on the one hand, the self as an embodied process of self-making, of becoming (the body self), and on the other hand, the socially sanctioned self-image or representational Self.” (Van Wolputte pg. 262) People need to stop and think about the broader scope of humanity and how any one can be an individual.
Even though I didn’t know I was Autistic in 2nd grade, I did know I was disabled, which led me to feel society’s perception of the disabled. We need help and support to fight for our own individuality to build our confidence, and to fight back from society’s perception of disability.

Works Cited

Area 7 – Individuality Lyrics | MetroLyrics http://www.metrolyrics.com/individuality-lyrics-area-7.html

Sinclair, J. (1993). Don’t mourn for us. Our Voice. The newsletter of Autism Network International, 1(3).

Van Wolputte, S. (2004). Hang on to your self: Of bodies, embodiment, and selves. Annual Review of Anthropology, 251-269.

Loja, E., Costa, M. E., Hughes, B., & Menezes, I. (2013). Disability, embodiment and ableism: Stories of resistance. Disability & Society, 28(2), 190-203.

Individuality by Area 7

They always said that you would never be anything.
Everything you tried to do was just a waste of time.
But you believed you could do anything you wanted to.
You made your mind up and you never looked behind.

Don’t let them try to tell you how to live your life.
Don’t let them hold you back, don’t ever change your mind.

Individuality – Be proud of what you are
Individuality – Don’t let them cut you down
You can be whatever you want to be,
But don’t change yourself for society.
Don’t lose your Individuality.

The years go by, you find that nothing comes easily.
And the world is full of people tryin’ take you down.
Don’t ever turn your back on anything you’ve ever been.
You don’t need to prove yourself to anybody else.

There’s no room for second best, no second chance, don’t fail the test,
Gotta rise above the rest, gotta try to make your mark.
You don’t need to be so vain, no need to act so proud,
Follow the trends, don’t ever stand out from the crowd.

Do you really care what other people think about you?
Does it really matter what they do or what they say?
You’ve fought too hard to let them throw it all back in your face.
When their opinion never mattered anyway.

Always Remember It’s Okay to Feel what we Feel as Individuality

Being who I am, I am easily swayed to think one way or the other. Organizations like Autism Speaks and the media know how to easily manipulate people to think their opinion is the right opinion. No opinion is wrong, but we need to be more intuitive as a World Wide theme. Are psychiatrists seeking a cure for autism? Many just say they are seeking to help the individuals live their life better. Helping is good, but no person or group of people can overtly talk against a certain culture to eradicate them. Society needs to give everyone their choice of living their life without suggesting or influencing with the most highly visible mainstream media. I hear people say we should switch to the Social Model of Disability, however I feel that there should be a balance between both models. I do believe some people need medication, but not everyone. There are people who believe in medication because those people feel they need to change behaviors. Many people who have severe anxiety, obsess, have severe depression, hallucinate, think with delusions, thought insertions, and/or feel unbalanced with moods. Reality is what we create for ourselves, so a person needs to create a reality that fits them best as a individual.

A person with unbalanced moods like in people with Manic-Depression can be very creative. However, what is the fine line between creations a person who is Bipolar does and how the person can live a functional life with no severe depressive or manic states? If we didn’t have these types of conditions or even autism, would we be able to be creative or be inventive? Are these emotions really helping us make the world a better place? It’s important to remember to give everyone the attention they deserve, but guiding them to not take it to extremes. Although we need creative and inventive thinking!

Life is a common core of who we are and what we want to be. There are many people these days in my observations who have manipulative, narcissistic egos that do not correlate with being human. ‘Selfies’ have become extremely popular these days sort of the most popular thing where people are simply obsessed with how they look and show there face to the world. Intuition is having the capacity for love, understanding, and compassion for everyone in the way we come in contact with the communities we live in. It seems as if simply ‘being human’ has lost it’s image of intuitive feelings because many people generally are obsessed with themselves.

We are all born as a small baby who constantly learns. Intuition is taught at a very early age. Everyone is intuitive, everyone has empathy, and everyone can learn to be the person they want to become one day. Although in life, there is not always enough support of everyone to be able to become that Adult they want to be. That is when emotions and feelings swirl inside of a person where anger rises, fear scares us, or pain makes us cry depending on the situation. Any one in the disability community has needs and wants like those in the non-disabled community. People need a connection from a person who can teach them to become the person they always wanted to be. Unfortunately, even when becoming that person, we are still a bunch of swirling emotions/feelings because that’s what being human really means.

Once we find ourselves, secure our mission, and balance our emotions is when we can move on to the next level. May be being Autistic or having any disability is a gift where it’s supposed to teach everyone else to be more intuitive. However, may be those like myself who are Autistic or have another disability, don’t need connection so much as to needing to help others have connection. Society needs to give Disabled people more credit and not treat us like we are a tragedy. There are many people on the autistic spectrum who were never given the chance to speak up, be their own person, and learn in school. Some of society gives up on them because they feel some people are not worth it.

There are many others who actually do teach any one. However, it’s not as many as there are. There are many different ways to teach a person and the education system needs to gear more toward every body, not just a standard normal way. Because we all can teach each other.

To those people who suggest recovery or cure of autism, they need to remember what they are going to be eradicating. If we eradicate autistic culture like most of society is suggesting, then we are going to rid the world of disability, things we are enjoying, emotions, feelings, pain, and learning more about humanity. When watching the movie, The Giver, and reading the book too, I am noticing that if we wipe out what we are trying to delete, we no longer feel anything, be creative, and invent.

It’s time for society to remember that it’s okay to feel, to have pain, and to have a disability. Thus, disability is a part of the human experience and so is autism as a disability too! Don’t ever forget any one can easily fall into and out of the disability community at any point in their life. Being Autistic is a culture that needs accepting too as well as all disabilities!

OUT, J