Monday, June 27, 2011

Difference vs deviance

Ben took this photo when we were walking on Blue Mountain in Collingwood the other weekend.

I thought these notes from a presentation inclusion author Cheryl Jorgensen sent me were food for thought (and I also get how referring to disability as simply a social construct minimizes the experience of parents raising children with significant disability and medical fragility).

Disability is a social construction, not a deficit located "within" a person. The degree to which disability/difference hinders a person's life is directly correlated with the level of accommodation in the environment for that person's differences and needs.

Disability is one kind of human difference: not deviance, not deficiency, not needing a cure, not needing charity or benevolence.


People who claim disability is purely a social construct like to distinguish between "disability" and "deficits". They accept the reality of physical "deficits" and that these must be addressed, but maintain that "disability" is purely a "problem" created by society. I get it...but, usually, this distinction is lost in translation and uber inclusionists push their agenda too far for those of us whose children fall on the severe end of "deficits"!