I wanted to add my post this week, while I had some free time. Unfortunately I am on the road as I am doing this, and I do not have my materials (any of our readings). Anyway, I wanted to paraphrase something I cited in my mid-term, being that I cannot make a direct quote (and I apologize that I cannot remember where this citation is from right now).
To paraphrase, the idea I wanted to mention (which follows are discussion for the past few weeks) is that the law cannot give us what culture will not allow. In this program we are asked to write about what we've learned over the course of our studies, and I think this is the one of the more valuable lessons. In fact, it has been my experience through reading and in practice.
I used to think that the law was very powerful, and quite frankly I'm not sure how I fell about that now. Right now, I'd have to say that I think power is powerful. I wish I could get into the details, but we (representatives for a complainant) have been put in a position where a powerful entity is going to go unscathed for violating what I (and so would all of you) consider to be a basic human right. That same entity honestly believes that it has done absolutely nothing wrong.
Getting back to culture-
I am reminded of a point we discussed in class about remaining confrontational. One of the biggest problems we have generally is that the neighbors (whoever yours may be) are not getting pissed off about disability rights. To make matters worse, in my experience at least, certain parents I know are not getting pissed off about disability rights either. In fact, I've had to correct / confront parents I know for getting pissed off at their kids "inappropriate behavior" on more than one occassion.
As I backtrack and read what I'm writing it seems like I'm lost. But, I think this is happening because when it comes to disability rights, people just don't get it (which is what we've been discussing). This leads us to the questions of how do we get people to "get it" and how do we push people begin to understand why they don't get it? My intention is not to answer that question, because there are many answers.
But we can have all the law in the world and it won't make a difference until the general public gives a sh!t. I guess this is the great problem with all of the "isms" that are in existence. I'd really like to see this addressed in the classroom at an early age (but how, I'm not sure).
My first sense of community came from being in school (guess who wasn't included in that space). So I'm not surprised that my neighbors are basically indifferent when it comes to disability rights (as I was for many years too because it was never even a thought). I think that could have been completely different had my community been different.
I can only imagine what a young people's reactions would be if they were told they could not sit together for a sporting event. That didn't happen in my community because other young people with disabilities were not visible to us at all. We didn't really even have a chance to be pissed off, because we were basically unaware (not meant to be an excuse). I think that is a real issue for the development of culture.