It is less important, as they say, where we start than that we start. Resistance, like any other complex undertaking, doesn’t happen using some simple procedure. We live in a world of uncertainty and nothing will change that in the short to medium term of our advocacy.
For the disability community, the following values provide a framework for the first steps in the resistance:
- Person Centered Planning (however and wherever it happens)
- Ongoing Real Stakeholder Impact
- Maximizing Resources for Supports (not just money)
- Maximizing the Impact of Peer Supports and Peer-run organizations
- Transparent Comprehensive Rights Protection
Although systems may set the environment of supports for our real lives through their control over money, rules, and marketing, they don’t set the terms for resistance. We do that through our life experience, our relationships to each other, and our creativity.
One of the realities of disability is that it is the common experience of members of every single human community on earth.
I imagine you have heard that before. Although true, the statement glosses over the way that community differences in culture and history and the universal presence of stigma around disability, as well as around cultural, racial, and gender differences, interfere with our ability to work together to maintain the values I listed above.
It is precisely for this effort of building our disability community resistance across cultural, economic, and social communities that I believe the model of implicit engagement that I have described in recent posts has the greatest promise.
There are many potential communities with which we could pursue engagement, but the vehicle for great outcomes needs to be our common values as members of the global disability community.
Because implicit engagement is local and very quiet, its success needs to build from the bottom, whatever we might be doing nationally or publically. Our successes in implicit engagement will feed into our public efforts, locally, regionally, and nationally. We can also use our local successes to reach out to the communities with which we are engaging elsewhere through the successes we have implicitly developed.
We need to start thinking about who in our “neighboring” communities, communities with whom we have significant differences, might share our concerns about resisting the marginalization of people with disabilities in our local area. And we need to approach them quietly.
Next Post: Functional Psychopathy (I’m going to try it again)