A few weeks ago I was reading the transcripts of the House of Lords debate of the welfare reforms. What first stuck me is that for the guardians of this country, they are quite ill informed as it is simply the over-protected given the luxury to discuss matters they appear to have little understanding about.
What also struck me is that no one was brave issue to talk about the issue of disability in any constructive or meaningful way but simply to claim the charity they represented helped the most vulnerable group like it is a competition. Clearly they were frightened to talk disability and if they are then so many other people must be.
The problem is now two-fold. Firstly people have always been in embarrassed to talk to disabled people and especially those with speech impairments like myself. At an psychological level, disabled people are a walking talking reminder of people’s own vulnerabilities and a portrayal of a living death which is often so unconscious that people they will not realise they think it and I know it is nothing personal.
To add to this many disabled people are now politically scary and I should probably include myself into this. With the fear of hate crime as a weapon of little debate, people are being told what they must think about disability without understanding and not be given the option to discuss, comment or challenge the notion of disability. I do not believe this is healthy for the fabric of society.
We need everyone able to discuss disability in many ways at many levels so we can all work through the current crisis of identity the term and the issue of facing!