(from 4wheelchairusers.com)A friend writes:
I'm the parent of a 26-year-old young woman with cognitive and physical disabilities. (She had a stroke at birth, and later had the left hemisphere of her brain removed to control intractable seizures.) I'm privately offended by the widespread casual use of the word "retarded" as a synonym for "stupid." I hear this from people with physical disabilities as well as the able-bodied. I also wince a little whenever I hear a person with physical disabilities ranting about how people are confusing him/her with a person with cognitive disabilities just because he/she is in a wheelchair. I completely understand where this frustration comes from. But I don't think the "ranter" understands that he/she is spreading prejudice against people with cognitive disabilities by conveying such a vehement "I'm not one of THEM" kind of attitude.
Going even further, it's my observation that some people with physical disabilities are prejudiced against OTHER people with physical disabilities. For example, some of my friends in wheelchairs won't consider romantic involvement with another person in a wheelchair. They see the other person's disability as an impediment, because they want their partner to be able-bodied. Or, they feel insulted by the suggestion of dating within the disabled community, as if they're being asked to stay among "their own kind." That's not the point at all. See the person, not the disability. I thought that was the point.
***An update to yesterday's quandary:
I've decided. I've decided to turn down the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Quest Magazine. Decided I'd feel too onerous a conflict of interest, especially when writing future pieces that criticize the charity and its odious Labor Day telethons.
Anybody looked at Quest Magazine lately? (It is online, but I'm not posting a link here. Search for it yourself.) It does seem much improved, to me, compared to what it used to be, but unfortunately it's still part of an organization I can't stomach.
Feel free to educate me if I'm wrong. Go ahead--just try.