Monday, October 20, 2014

Question: Does Anyone Have Links to Explain Why "Disabled for a Day" Campaigns are Really Problematic?

Does anyone...have any links to some of the writing that explains why “disabled for a day” campaigns (like, the ones that blindfold sighted people, or put mobility-abled people in wheelchairs, to “see what it’s like”) are really problematic? They’re doing one of these “days” at my school, and I could write something myself but, 1) I feel like their hearts are in the right place and what I need is a way to diplomatically explain the issues, and I am by nature more polemic than diplomatic and 2) I have a lot of work right now, and a polite email with links/quotes to the student disability awareness committee that is putting this together (which I do not believe contains any wheelchair users) is the level of extra work I can really take on.
I’d like something that emphasizes the issues with using a pity model, and why putting an abled person in a wheelchair validates the “wheelchair-bound,” “there but for the grace of God” mindset that doesn’t really tell anything about the lived experience of people who actually achieve mobility and independence through the use of wheelchairs, but in fact assigns negative connotations to both the abled person and the person who would probably benefit from using a chair but sees it as the dire end-fate worst-case scenario.

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