INTRODUCTION We are going to talk about different kinds of stereotypes and myths surrounding people with disabilities and how to disempower these invalid attitudes and beliefs and, get to know an individual for their talents and contributions.
ASSUMPTIONS Everyone makes assumptions to try to deal with the unknown. However, past experience and what we’ve been taught can warp the assumptions we make. It is important to keep assumptions in check, and realize what are the assumptions and what are the facts.
DISABILITY IS DIVERSITY The disability community has a long history as a black sheep in society. The problem is mainstream society viewing disability as abnormal, which is a myth. Disability is on the spectrum of human diversity
Disability is NOT an illness. Disability is the characteristics of a person’s capabilities. There is no need to cure a disability. DISABILITY IS DIVERSITY
STEREOTYPES AND STIGMA Stereotypes are judgments based solely on someone’s background, behavior and appearance, before getting to know the person. Stigma is a feeling centered on the fear of the unknown, based on stereotypes and reinforced by society. People empower stereotypes based on isolated incidents with individuals.
1) Think of a person in your life who has a disability. Now think about when you first met them. What were your assumptions? Did your assumptions help prepare you to interact with the individual or, did they interfere with getting to know them? QUESTIONS
2) What kind of stereotypes and stigma do you face in your life? QUESTIONS
Have a group discussion to talk about a moment in your life when you faced discrimination, stereotyping, or prejudice. 1) How were you feeling, and why were you feeling that way? 2) Did you make any assumption in the situation, if so what were they? 3) What advice can you give about helping people overcome myths? SMALL-GROUP EXERCISE
COMAAT CHANGING ONE MIND AT A TIME Join with me on my journey to paving a new road to inclusion for all…
SMALL-GROUP EXERCISE Consider the scenario from one of the three perspectives: On the street of a big city, people are going back to work after the lunch hour. Outside of the subway station, an army vet is really angry about not receiving services from the government. He walks by a person who has a severe disability, and says, “That Crippled, retarded, woman in the wheelchair gets more respect than I do.” The woman thinks to herself, “Wow, this guy must be on crack. What did I do to him?” A passerby, who has overheard his remark, says to the woman “don’t worry, he’s crazy”.
COMMON ASSUMPTIONS People assume that they can’t understand me, so they don’t try. They assume they can’t talk to me when my attendant is not around, which is really annoying. They assume it takes me too much energy to talk, so if they don’t understand me the first time, they give up and just agree with whatever I am saying.
COMMON ASSUMPTIONS Since my attendant repeats what I say to them, they assume my attendant has to repeat what they are saying, back to me. Also, they assume it’s just too hard to talk because my body is making all these movements. Everybody can communicate with each other, you just have to find a common means to get the message across.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION Interpersonal communication has nothing to do with one’s IQ Have confidence in both yours and Mia’s abilities to communicate with each other. Everybody can communicate with each other, you just have to find a common means to get the message across.