I want Dysability Action, not Disability Rights

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.

11 thoughts on “I want Dysability Action, not Disability Rights

  1. Simon, you make me laugh. Of all the disabled people I have ever known, none of them have the same size personal agenda as you do; your whole worldview starts and ends with your self-obsession. Now and again, you make a sound observation, but then bury it beneath a warped view of other people with impairments. Sadly, there are others who question what does this ‘rights approach’ mean, but you’re so self-reliant and bigoted, you dismiss views that don’t stem directly from the mug that stares at you each morning. Now, that’s why I call, disabling.


  2. Oh Simon. No amount of confidence or skills can remove barriers outside of our influence. To paraphrase the wonderful late Stella Young, you can look at a staircase as confidently and skilfully as you like, it won’t turn into a ramp.

    I find it quite offensive that you put the blame on disabled people – completely ignoring the physical, political and societal context we live in.


    • simonstevens74 says:

      I am not ignoring social context but removing social barriers can only take you so far, and now used to oppressed people since it is now a hate crime to see disabled people as equal members of society by those who accuse those who support inclusion of labeling dysabled people ‘benefit scrongers’. Why is it a crime for dysabled people to feel good about themselves or are you frightened you will lose your income disempowering people if dysabled people are not brianwashed they are inferior beings who must believe the artifical barriers fat cat charities has created so they are keep being paid as abusers? What has any employment and dysabled organisation achieved in the last 50 years other than ensuring dysabled people are never for work to keep their industry alive? Why do you hate the fact myself and many dysabled people can solve our own problems, especially now many barriers are removed which you demand I deny, as I should not work unless some charity got paid to get me a job, which must ofcourse be a pretend one? Real inclusion is offensive to those who profits from politically correct exclusion.


      • simonstevens74 says:

        So your solution is lock away all dysabled people until every barrier to removed as we can’t cope in the real world as we should not be regarded as capable of solving problems!


    • I am disabled myself and I work with thousands of disabled candidates looking for work. That doesn’t qualify me to speak on behalf of disabled people, any more than you can. However, my observation is that most disabled people don’t lack skills, or motivation, or the desire to live their lives as they choose. They do come up against additional barriers which may be the built environment, attitudes and prejudices or just ignorance of some people who design products and services, or arrange access to products, services and jobs.

      I see you as a barrier, as you seem to be saying (I hope I’m wrong) that the main thing that stops disabled people from “succeeding” (however we might define that) is disabled people themselves. It’s never completely black and white of course, but blaming disabled people for their own oppression is like blaming Black people for racism or gay people for homophobia.


  3. simonstevens74 says:

    Where I am blaming people? Do you oppose people being supported to overcome barriers? You think dysabled people who lack skills must be deemed ‘unfit for society’ and better off dead, AND ANYONE who helps people who regard unworthly is a BIGOT as we must think the worst of dysablled people.

    So thank you for confirming that anyone who believing in the real inclusion of ALL dysabled people, including those you regard too severe, is a BIGOT, as you must teach everything who is a big stress where are incapable of work, and entitled so benefits, so charities can teach them to frame everything they do not want to do, but pretend not to, as a barrier to blame the Torys rather than ovdrcoming, because helping them is BIGOTY according to you.

    Should my mum have just given up when I was worn, too many barriers? Was she a bigot will leting me live and solve my own probnlems/?

    The main people anything has, dysabled or not is their own attitude but people like you feed on their misery and doubt to justify your work, you don’t help people overcxome barriers, thats BIGOTRY to you, you suck it dry to blame the Torys for inclusiion as you defy your prejudices we are inferior beings which a magic line of those the left wing will allow to work, and those like me who are better off dead, but I must not defend dysabled people right to exist r be equal members of society taking responsibility (not spoon fed as you demand) because thats BIGOTRY!


  4. You seem to have read a different comment Simon. Where did you read me saying “dysabled people who lack skills must be deemed ‘unfit for society’ and better off dead, AND ANYONE who helps people who regard unworthly is a BIGOT as we must think the worst of dysablled people.”? I don’t think anyone is better off dead, and I do believe that disabled people should have the same rights to inclusion, independence, autonomy, work, access to health care, education and housing as non-disabled people.

    We are clearly speaking two different languages here. I find your article extremely disempowering for disabled people. You telling us that in your opinion all disabled people have the wrong attitude is really not helping anyone, unless it gives you some warped feeling of superiority. I’m pleased you have achieved what you have, but I will look elsewhere for role models. I will not be responding any further.


  5. simonstevens74 says:

    Good luck, you will find plenty of people willing to fulfil your prejudiced view of dysabled people as inferior beings who must blame others for everything while never taking responsibility themselves.


  6. simonstevens74 says:

    Access to services is never a guarntee of good living but why would the out of date disability industry care about that? Who cares if they are actually institutionised, they got money!


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