Everyone seems to talk about ‘Disability Rights’ these days but what does this mean? Have the notion of rights for dysabled people been corrupted to mean whatever people want at that time, and even an excuse for inaction? Has ‘Its my right’ become a political weapon for those who feel life owes them because they have one or more impairments? I want more, I want Dysability Action, I want people to play their part in making a real difference to their lives and the lives of others.
I am not against rights, they are the skeleton of a civilised society, but they do not help you on a Sunday morning where everything is going wrong, and all the ‘rights-based’ services paid to help you are closed until Monday morning at the earliest! We need rights in place to stop us going backwards to a time where many dysabled people had no place in society, but they are not about delivering real advancements in the life opportunities and experiences of individuals.
The state can only ever support people to a point and often the quality of our opportunities and experiences do not relate to money once the basics are in place. You can provide any individual with all the resources available to them, as a right or as a norm, but the state can not directly control how they will use those resources.
The same resources, provided to individuals on the same terms, as political correct as you would like, can be used to keep someone institutionalised by their own beliefs or liberated to make a meaningful contribution to society. The inner thing that makes the difference between these different scenarios is something I been trying to understand all my life.
I know I have the thing that provides me with the determination to use the resources around me to ensure my liberation and participation in society, although I can not explain what it is and why I have it. I know when it is missing in others, many others, and I want to be able to give them this thing so they can liberate themselves.
I can not do this alone and I need others in society to recognise it is now time for action. Rights have got us to this point in time, but the next stage in the liberation of all dysabled people requires a focus on action. Individuals have to know themselves, like themselves, love themselves, believe in themselves and trust themselves, but how many individuals can say they have really achieved this, dysabled or not?
Dysability Action will require a completely new form of activism focused on the greater good of everyone, and not the political dog-fighting of recent years. The negetive ‘dog-whistle’ implications that dysabled people lack the deep rooted ability to be equal members of society, which has peppered all sections of media for decades, has to be recognised, challenged and slowly reformed.
The biggest threat to many disabled people is not austerity or cuts, or violations of their huma rights, but their own lack of confidence or skills to move themselves forward in their own personal journey and contribution to society. All these charities, organisations, public services and individual activists who claim they ‘care’ about dysabled people should be focusing their effiorts, and their often huge funding, om supporting dysabled people in gaining skills and confidence, as oppose to endless research on what the government is doing wrong, which helps nobody but themselves.
Dysability Action has to be the way forward and it needs to start now in 2016. Sadly, I fear too few people will be able to put away the rights agenda, which often suits their own agenda, and commit to really helping dysabled people to become liberated as contributing members of society.