Friday, 1 May 2009

against disablism

i put up a post yesterday on the hand mirror, on education for boys, and for girls.

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009

today is blogging against disablism day. for those of us who are able-bodied, it's very easy to dismiss or ignore the concerns of the disabled. this was brought home to me last year (as i mentioned at the time on my blog) when my younger daughter broke a bone in her ankle. it meant an extended period in a cast, and all the attendant hassles of showering her, moving her about and also losing out on the help she used to give me around the house. as i'd sit down exhausted at the end of every day, i'd wonder how caregivers managed who didn't have the comfort of knowing the situation was temporary.

and of course, the greater strain on the disabled person living in a society that is not designed for them or their needs, that mostly views them as a burden or a drain on societal resources and has often treated them with a mixture of pity and contempt.

mental disability is something i've had more experience with. sometimes it's more difficult than a visible disability, because the effects are not always obvious. while the person with a visible disability will yet get sympathy and support, mental illness can be suffered in silence. particularly when there is shame attached to the condition, which is a barrier to seeking help. depression, that most common of illnesses, saps energy and creates an island around the sufferer, who tends to push people away because of the constant negativity.

so today i was asked to join a facebook group called intentional peer support*:

Intentional Peer Support is trauma-informed, and is focused on developing healthy relationships. IPS evolved as a response to needing Mental Health options which were not focused on diagnoses and 'what's wrong', with an emphasis on building relationships and skills to enable people to work through 'crisis' without resorting to hospitals or other institutional options.

The wider objective of IPS is to be a vehicle of social change and community development- as people work at ways of building and sustaining healthy and meaningful relationships with one another.

i don't know anything much about this but hope to learn more over time. the notion of building community and developing positive relationships appeals to me. i'm more than a little tired of the focus on individual achievement and personal responsibility, with little recognition of the power of community and social networks, and how much we need these for our well-being.

to finish off, i'd also like to put in a couple of plugs for the netguide web awards. not for my own blog, which is too small to be in the running, but it would be nice if you would consider voting for the hand mirror as best blog and community radio hamilton for the best entertainment site. i'd also go for scoop as the best media site.

*or try if facebook doesn't work for you.

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