Hillary has very good disability policies, actual disabled people working on her campaign and huge support in that sector (although not sure whether ratification of the UN CRPD is on her to-do list), whereas Trump has just made ableist jokes..
Great protest yesterday, although wind was a bit chilly. That was my community. Giovanni Tiso was one who gave a passionate speech and later the Berhampore School kapa haka group, of which his daughter is a member, provided an illustration of inclusion and diversity.
To thread link - all the current Paralympians seem to be products of mainstream school and are generally high achievers. Which is a change from a generation ago when many would have been sent to residential special schools.
So could it be that mainstreaming is working better for those with physical impairments rather than learning disability? At school Oscar kept getting turned down for ORRS so they did that terrible thing of piggy backing onto the TA of his friend with a physical impairment who was ORS funded all the way through but actually needed less support (and now has a permanent public service job).
It indicates that learning impairments are more complex and require more resourcing and individual attention than some physical ones. But does the government think all disabled people are the same?
Not wanting to play groups off each other though, and I know some people with physical impairments also have fragile health conditions and do need significant assistance.
Oscar is swimming at the Special Olympics Trans Tasman meeting at the end of November in Hamilton. Only a few people from each region were selected (due to numbers) and so it will be sort of an elite. All run by volunteers and the athletes are all doing extra training in preparation. I wonder if it will get any coverage.
The Special Olympics National Games are being held in Wellington(across various venues) in November next year. There will be over 1000 athletes and probably a similar number of volunteers. There is a new category for SO called Unified whereby anyone can join a team. Hopefully, that will make a splash.
Attitude TV should be congratulated for their excellent coverage of the Paralympics that was shown on TVNZ. The interviewers and front people were former Paralympians. Attitude has supported disability sport for many years, including with several annual Attitude awards.
The Paralympics aren't particularly new. They go back a few decades. There were also Paraplegic games including some in Dunedin in 1974 alongside the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch. They were quite well covered in the local media.
But there are a couple of things that worry me about the Paralympics. A few years ago the Hallberg Trust decided to spot and nurture potential Paralympians. That has been a successful strategy, but it meant the Hallberg Trust no longer funded things like swimming lessons for young autistic or Down Syndrome kids. Many of them can access Special Olympics but not until they are older. SO still has a vision of including everyone and as a consequence the SO barely gets a mention in the media. Not much elite sporting stuff.
The other aspect is disability as 'inspiration porn'. Much media portrayal of Paralympians internationally has been as initially tragic, and then heroic when they win medals. There is a clip going around social media of a Belgian Paralympian supporting their euthanasia legislation which she intends to use later - so the message is tragic, heroic, then better off dead once you have stopped inspiring us - us being the able bodied voyeuristic viewers.
Having said that I think those young NZ team members have refreshingly open and comfortable attitudes to impairment.
I have come across another influential person in the disability world (in the US and internationally) who came to the US as part of the diaspora escaping fascism. Gunnar Dybwad was a German-born US academic and social worker. He seems to have visited New Zealand several times from the late 1960s advocating for deinstitutionalisation, particularly for children, and disability rights.
G Palmer's and Butler book on a constitution launched today. http://constitutionaotearoa.org.nz/chapter-1-full-text/
They give example of family carers as one why we need a constitution. There has been a lot of discussion about that topic on Access.
This is not scaremongering; actions like it have happened. For example, in 2013 Parliament enacted the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Act in a single sitting day. Its principal effects were first to prevent anyone ever making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission or bringing a court proceeding against any Government family carer policy no matter how discriminatory, and second, to exclude retrospectively the provision of remedies for past discrimination. It followed a decision of the Court of Appeal that had upheld the human rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our community—the disabled and family members who cared for them. There was no warning that the Bill was to be introduced; there was no public consultation on it; there was no Select Committee consideration of it. By any measure, it was a shocking piece of legislation that ousted well-known constitutional protections and removed New Zealand citizens’ rights to be free from discrimination in certain cases. Yet it passed in a single sitting day despite almost immediate public outcry. Only another Act of Parliament can alter or remove it. That is how fragile our constitutional system currently is.
Latest post on the very good Autism and Oughtisms blog despairs about the lack of understanding about autism at schools as indicated in comments about children speaking with American accents
Clips from TVNZ news about the petition. DHB continues to nit pick about details rather than address the issue
Seven elected who are supposed to represent the citizens, fewer appointed by the minister. It is a democracy - they could stare down the minister if the majority was brave enough.