“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Christian Institute on Disability, Beyond Suffering Curriculum for iBooks

Beyond Suffering iBooks version has just been released.  It was published by the Christian Institute on Disability, an arm of the Joni and Friends organization.  This is an inexpensive option (about $15) for those interested in studying disability and the church.  The iBooks version includes the curriculum, videos, nearly 40 original articles and even powerpoints to use in teaching the course.

Check out the link above.  It is well worth the investment in the download.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The wrong models (commoditization of disability)

Some recent thoughts...

The state is focussed on a medical model which places disability within the individual with impairment, not seeing the social consequences or facilitating the support of the community. This is not to necessarily advocate for a social model, however, efforts at change are almost exclusively aimed at the individual with impairments, rarely at the community, or changes in the community such that integration would have a greater likelihood to occur. We ca easily see this in the activities in which paid service workers engage being so community isolated and individual focused.  Two lives result, disconnected as a result of the power of human service workers. 
Power in their regulation of all aspects of life.
Power in ensuring what is administratively convenient.
Power in their lack of training in community integration development: yet they are undaunted by a lack of knowledge.. 
Power in their refusal to integrate those with disabilities into their own personal lives: partly due to a misunderstanding of what is allowed, partially not caring.
Power in their use of community integration as something unnatural...a reinforcement for good behavior in one's regulated life.  Integrated life is like the ice cream cone you get for being a particularly good child...very foreign and outside of your typical experience, which is what makes it particularly good as a reinforcement.

The flip side is the way the Christian church has developed.  As in previous posting, they have been "fed in a particular way".  The result being that church universal turns care of persons with disabilities over to the state and the church by and large doesn't integrate, evidence of a lack of love toward people with disabilities.

The end result of both of these models is exclusion from the natural and reliance on the expensive: community based natural supports largely unavailable, paid for supports from "experts" pervade.  The natural result of community integration is like a metaphoric seed that never gets the opportunity to sprout and grow. When it does begin to grow, it becomes threatening to those who will lose their power over the person with the disability.  The regulated learn life unregulated and begin to like it.  But the threatening nature of community involvement results in the growing seed being cut back to the roots by those with power over the regulated and unregulated lives of persons with disabilities.