Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop - October 19, 2015
This is clearly a good thing, but in what sense? More jobs for disabled people is more jobs for disabled people. How many of the people who got these jobs would have gotten private sector or local government jobs if the federal jobs hadn’t been made available? I’m guessing quite a few, since the job market for disabled people is pretty thin. Plus, federal jobs have some of the features that disabled people value most, like job security and excellent benefits. And then there’s the commitment by the government to employ disabled people as a good in itself, a commitment that’s very rare in other workplaces. What I’d really like to know is how much of a dent does 100,000 newly employed disabled people make in the overall unemployment rate for disabled people?
Cheryl Green, Who Am I To Stop It - October 14, 2015
Thank God for Cheryl Green for stating the obvious, because for some reason it rarely gets said. Those two main models of how to understand disability are useful, but not doctrines. Mixing them is just fine, as long as you are thinking about what you are doing and what you’re trying to say. Disability activists need to say so more often, because people can get awfully uptight about the Medical Model / Social Model dualism.
The article is fine, nothing radical, and the goal is worthy, but you can tell from the comments that it's out of place in a Fox publication. This man is encouraging arts organizations to include more disabled artists at all levels, but commenters hear this as a mandate forcing disabled people to participate in the arts. How they get that from the article is beyond me.
I get impatient and judgmental of fellow disabled people's outrage at these predictable instances of ableism. Then I remember that if stuff like this happened to me half as often as it does for others, I would be in a constant state of fury. What people who complain about disabled people being cranky fail to grasp is that in most cases, the ill-temper they actually see in us is us being hugely restrained. And as I say, I forget this, too.