Disability Is Natural Books and Media

Our Actions . . . Their Futures

New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.

Johann Goethe


The nation’s unemployment rate remains very low. Immigrants (legal or not) who choose to come here can easily find work. The government says our economy is doing great. And the estimated unemployment rate of people with disabilities remains shamelessly high at 75 percent or more!

Adding insult to injury, consider the birth-to-death services for individuals with disabilities: early intervention for babies, special ed for children, vocational services for adults, and therapies and interventions for all ages. Billions of dollars are spent on these services and we end up with what? A 75 percent-plus “failure rate”!

What we’re doing is not working! We focus on helping people acquire “developmentally appropriate functional skills” (the able-bodied standard), based on the mistaken notion that unless and until a person with a disability can “do” this-or-that, he won’t be allowed in regular ed classes, be included in the community, go to college, get a job, and on and on. We focus on what their bodies or minds can/should do, instead of helping a person be and become who she wants to be!

For example, a teacher in a life-skills class is still trying to teach her sixth- and seventh-graders to tie their shoes! Who cares if they can tie their shoes, and how will this help them get jobs in the future?Click here to continue.