A Response To Wolf Wolfensberger

Extended Interview from Wolf Wolfensberger on Disability Studies

I am realizing that I feel Wolf Wolfensberger is partially correct about something important that a lot of disabled people don’t want to acknowledge. I am para-phrasing; People with disabilities for the most part should leave advocacy to non disabled people until disabled people can separate their grievances from their advocacy. 

As a disabled person myself, this has happened to me a lot through the years.  As an advocate, disabled and non disabled people have to be impartial. By being impartial, every advocate needs to be open to both disabled and non-disabled perspectives.

I feel Wolf was right and wrong. As a disabled person, I can become impaired due to my emotions, which can affect my ability to advocate a particular issue. Can anyone relate to this?

I have noticed some ppl who are supposed to be family advocates fail as advocates because they either feel for the family members or the disabled person. This is due to the family advocates’ impairments from their emotions. So Wolf is right in that sense. He is wrong in another sense because disabled people can learn to advocate with experience and learn how to separate their emotions from their job as advocates, just as non-disabled ppl can.

Families and agencies misconsrue the ideas Wolf Wolfensberger said, which is why many in the disability community are so angry with what Wolf said.

I feel this way also because in my observations with agencies who serve the disability community, too often when the disabled person from the agency advocates, the agency only supports them with the agency’s advocacy.

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