Among those of us who care deeply for and about people with developmental disabilities, I hope to hear emerge a new voice, ours, rising together for the benefit of all, harmonizing with reason, respect and hope, and transcending divisions, giving birth to a new era of creative cooperation.

Toward this potential, DD EXCHANGE is for conversation, civil sounding off, sharing of stories, experience, information, resources, and inspiration, giving and receiving support, and creative problem solving.

Finding Your Way Around

TO SEE OTHER'S INPUT: below each post on the right, click "links to this post;" or in the left side column, under "Labels," click the discussion link that interests you.

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Become a follower. Public support is a good thing!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Discrimination by Arc Against RHC Residents?

This article was submitted by Pandiecats. In it, she elaborates on comments she made in response to the article entitled RHC &/OR Community" Arc & A Family Who Knows Both. (To read it, click article name in side list: 3/18/2010)

Pandiecats: The Arc of Washington has banned me from their Facebook group. They also won't post anything from me on their blog. I have been banned!

This is the ARC’s mission statement : " The Arc of Washington State has advocated since 1936 for the rights and full participation of all people with developmental disabilities. Along with our network of members and chapters, we support and empower individuals and families; connect and inform individuals and families; improve support and service systems; influence public policy; increase public awareness; and inspire inclusive communities. Our Vision is for a world where people with developmental disabilities are included in their communities and neighborhoods and where quality supports and services respond to their needs and personal choices."

This is the last letter that I posted and I think they just got sick of me talking about things that are not on their agenda - I wish they would stand behind their mission statement!

"I'm very frustrated by the tactics of some advocates for the disabled. I have sent this letter to several Senators regarding my opinion. Hopefully, some will see the discrimination tactics and think of real people and not politics.

I have attached a flyer regarding our son, Thomas. He is a resident at Frances Haddon Morgan Center. I understand there are a lot of issues and politics surrounding the use of RHCs for our disabled. The ARC has done a good job of focusing on our disabled family members that are able to live in a residential setting, but in advocating for those people, they have alienated the segment of the disabled community for which a residential setting is not safe or appropriate. The ARC has employed a divide and conquer strategy to advocacy for the disabled.

I used to be a supporter of the ARC until I realized the discrimination that they promote. Even prior to our son needing to live in a RHC and even before having a disabled child, I could see the benefits of maintaining RHCs, so my opinion is not based on the fact that our son lives there. I do not understand why people who are advocates for our disabled are trying to take away the very supports that are needed to help our family members be successful and part of the community.

Yes, even living in a RHC is part of the community! It actually enables many to be more active than if they lived in a group home."

Well, they have not heard the last of this - I am going to make this discrimination well known. I'm sick of people deciding what is best for others. I had written on the ARC blog and the policy person responded with a short-sighted posting about choices and in an "institution" people couldn't make choices like what they want to eat or what color to paint their room. I'm sorry but WHO CARES about that when safety is at stake. I wrote a response to her defensive posting but when I went to post it, my first one had been removed. I questioned the lady in a private email - this is her response:

"It was brought to my attention that the comments were not related to the blog article, which was focused on revenue options being considered by the legislature. In the future, please make sure your comments are about the blog article. Thanks!"

I then tried to post it to the next Blog article posting (which actually talked about Frances Haddon Morgan Center) and said that my letter did pertain to what the blog article focused on. It has not been posted (I'm not surprised)

So anyhow - on to more letter writing! We need to get the word spread about the discrimination against some of our disabled community members.

"Developmental Possibilities Awareness Month"

Here is some very tastey food-for-thought, from a lengthy report of a workshop presented by the New Mexico Center for Self-Advocacy in Albuquerque. The writer, Jaime Vergara, is the father of 2 children with autism spectrum disorder.

"Based on current wisdom that chaos is at the bottom of our physics, and individual diversity is the universal norm, the view that “disability” is just one's different ability, is ascending. Societal sensibilities looks on individual possibilities rather than on disabilities. "

"The insistence on an Individual Education Plan for every child in Special Education is on target; let us carry it to its logical implication-that every child in the education system requires an IEP of their possibilities!"

"The seed never explains the flower; nor the chrysalis, the butterfly! So it is with people perceived to have been born missing something from the so-called “norm.”

"a disability to be overcome is trumped any day by the affirmation of one's possibility fully embraced."

Quotes & info from SAIPAN TRIBUNE: "Opinion" Saturday, March 20, 2010, by Jaime R. Vergara http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=3&newsID=9808