New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

“For your own good” is a persuasive argument that will eventually make man agree to his own destruction.
Janet Frame

Quality of life—it’s discussed in medical settings, debated by scientists and non-scientists, and litigated in courtrooms. And for many children and adults with disabilities, a lifetime of treatments, interventions, and services are devoted to improving a person’s quality of life. But who defines quality of life, and is there a definition embraced by all?

The dominant power of the medical community has, it seems, determined a “good” quality of life is related to functional skills: breathing, walking, talking, hearing, seeing, behaving, eating, eliminating waste, and so forth, in the “normal” fashion. (And the dictates of the medical community heavily influence human services, education, and the general public, and then become conventional wisdom.) So if one doesn’t have “normal” functional skills, a “poor” quality of life is assumed. Thankfully, people with disabilities routinely demonstrate that the absence of functional skills has little or nothing to do with quality of life!

For decades before his untimely death in 1995, Ed Roberts, the father of the Independent Living Movement, taught thousands the real meaning of quality of life. Click here to continue.​

Quality of Life

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