New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
“No, not yet—you can’t be in general ed classes, be involved in the community, have a job, live on our own or [fill-in-the-blank]. . . because you can’t walk, talk, read at grade level, wipe your own behind, cook, behave, and/or [fill-in-the-blank]. You’re just not ready, the teacher/employer/community isn’t ready, we don’t do that here, and/or it just won’t work...”
These and a myriad of similar statements create an inviolate wall of separation—an attitudinal barrier—that results in segregation, isolation, and loss of opportunities for children and adults with disabilities. We seem to be stuck in the muck, unable or unwilling to wriggle free and find creative solutions to ensure people with disabilities are included in all aspects of our society and are living real lives.
If we have been unwilling, we should have the integrity to state our position honestly—to admit that we are, indeed, unwilling—rather than spew a variety of excuses, including “blaming” the person with a disability. Honesty is always better than little white lies, half-truths, exaggerations, or deception. And while such honesty may generate frustration, sadness, or anger in the person on the receiving end, it also allows that person to see things as they really are and to then move on, find other options, etc. (And those of us who are on the receiving end of “no” should learn to ask the nay-sayers: “Are you unwilling or unable?” Click here to continue.
"How" Is the Question
Sometimes the situation is only a problem because it is looked at in a certain way. Looked at in another way, the right course of action may be so obvious that the problem no longer exists.