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Date Posted: Sat, Mar 30 2002, 12:39:08
Author: Andy
Subject: Re: society and "being part of society"
In reply to: Adelaide 's message, "Because it's there" on Sat, Mar 30 2002, 6:02:10

hi Adelaide

One of the doctor's suggestions made after diagnosis of autism on Tuesday, he said "you are doing the right things and it's society that needs to make changes like Chris's education services"

I have voiced often throughout this site that society has taken on issues to enable wheelchair users to participate with society. However this is very difficult for people with hidden impairments where society hasn't made appropriate alterations to ensure all members of society are "part of society" if that makes sense.

I believe we are all valuable people and have something to contribute to society providing we are given the opportunities to do so and doors are not closed in our face!

The local supermarket is well adapted for wheelchair use however it's certainly not adapted for my dyslexia. Perhaps dyslexia is an easier issued for society to understand what simple adaptations could be made to create equal opportunities for people with dyslexia difficulties.

As for social difficulties for society to take on board this can be more complex! What adaptations are needed and who should be designing these! I have always felt that people with first hand experience should be designing services or policy changes they need to ensure they have facilities to participate with society on equal terms.

In a UK the main disability led movements only started around 15 or so years ago. Before then generally services people with physical impairments needed were designed by social services, non disabled people in voluntary sector and non disabled politicians. Now with movements like BCODP (British Council of disabled people) changes have made to provide people with first hand experience playing a key role in designing that what's needed.

However does this include people with hidden impairments and is this does! Is it manipulated by others. When sitting on a local authority planning team I was voicing the importance of first hand input and was told "people with learning difficulties need able bodied people voicing for them because other members of the disability community would not allow their voices to be heard" so there is a big power struggle within our society to solve before people with hidden impairments have had opportunity to voice not as a token, there needs.

I will continue with this on a new thread is people are interested in exploring this further please let me know!

Take care, Andy

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