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You've got to be kidding me!

I thought we were past the pitying language of disability "confined to" "limited by" "visionless" "crippled" etc. Well, What do I end up running across? An announcement about a rehabilitation institute which now has a wheelchaire capable of climing stairs. What bothered me was the little snippit I saw:

Institute for Rehabilitation Offers 'Stair-Climbing' Wheelchair

For most people confined to wheelchairs, elevators and ramps are essential to daily travel. Everyday tasks such as reaching a high shelf, grocery shopping,
or even talking to people face to face is sometimes impossible or requires assistance. But with the new INDEPENDENCE(r) iBOT(r) 4000 Mobility System, now
offered to patients with mobility impairments at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR), life in a wheelchair may become a little easier.

This is probably a wonderful piece of technology. I don't doubt that it could make things easier. But it bothers me that a rehab institute would still use the term confined. I understand that thit can feel this way at times. But it makes me wonder, how do they feel about their clients? Are they really helping their customers have a positive self image if they use this language.

I wish that more places that help people with disabilities would start trying to project the positive images of disability to the media. How can we ever get the media to tackle the prejudices toward our disabilities if the institutes and centers that supposedly work for us don't project that positive image? I didn't know one word could tick me off so much, but it does. I don't think I know anyone who is confined by their wheelchair. They do everything I do, just differently. And using an elevator or ramp isn't all bad. What about making places more accessible to people with or without disabilities? Why should a person have to look forever to find the elevator?

Okay, I'm done. I just had to vent.



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Jun. 8th, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
Arg! Wow! Believe me, that makes me sick. What gets me is the part about talking to people face to face being impossible. Um, excuse me? So because someone is in a wheelchair, they cannot talk to someone face to face? Ugh.
I hear you completely. And I dont' lke the word confined either. We use words that describe the people rather than describing the person who happens to have whatever disability or limitations. Come on people. Get a clue.
And do I see LJ entry material? Hmm...
Jun. 8th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
There's a much cheaper solution to the problem they're talking about with not being able to talk to someone face to face. It's called having the other person sitting in a chair. Yeah, I'm definitely opinionated about this one.
Jun. 8th, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
calming the storm
I apolagize if this sounds rude, but calling the person in a wheel chair confined is probably done to install a feeling of insecurity, and actually boost their sales. It is an uncaring and rather annoying buisiness ploy, but that is the way capitalism works. Were it up to me, they would be met in a dark alley by several angry people full of adrenaline. Hope that didn't sound too harsh
Jun. 8th, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: calming the storm
I'm not sure if it's a business ploy so much as a problem with language. But that's just me. It's sad, but there is still a lot of fear around disability, instilled by business or not. Just my thoughts.
Jun. 10th, 2006 09:24 am (UTC)
What are your thoughts on the NFB's protest of alledged avertisements from DVS that portray a blind person's life being empty and languid without the presence of DVS? It sounds very similar to me as the copy in this advertisement. There's an article in the Monitor that talks about the DVS advertisements.
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