ARE WE MAGNIFYING DISABILITY?
I have now taken all my submissions for my comparative Research study.
I was investigating the outcomes for Independent Living versus Service provision for two severely disabled people over a period of sixteen years. I asked professionals and acquaintances/ colleagues to write down their impressions or anecdotes to discover how Quality of Life differed in such contrasting scenarios from an onlookers viewpoint,
The findings were quite amazing.
With Direct Payments, as they used to be called, the degree of empowerment that occurred generated the perception of the individual as "able". This was repeated frequently through 25 submissions. Although the individual was unable to feed himself,many said that they did not consider him disabled.
With the Services model, conversely, there was a general lack of willingness to tell the story. There were far fewer outside contacts, because Social Life had been restricted. Many submissions were short, and the negative aspects and curtailment of the small enjoyments of her life were raised more than once.
Disability was highlighted in the Services model. Disability was repeatedly given as a reason for exclusion when the level of disability was less than the individual on Direct payments.
This makes me consider: if we treat someone only as a disabled person, do we create a self-fulfilling prophecy? Should our efforts not be towards identifying the ability?
And what role does the carer play? Have we not given this sufficient thought?
I ask you to listen carefully to Dr. Kleinman: he has some very interesting insights into how we fail.
Linda Jane McLean
Add a Comment