Tuesday, 4 September 2012
UK's cruel and hateful Smoke Screen...
Yet TV news headlines such as 'people with disabilities overcome their disabilities' are unhelpful –disabled people can 'overcome' impairments or disabilities no more than people can overcome their ethnicity. Some things remain fixed.
A wheelchair user without the use of their legs doesn't immediately rise up and walk because they become a Paralympian, someone with a lifelong health condition doesn’t suddenly lose it. The paralympians, like the olympians are a group of people who represent sporting excellence - but we do not see headlines declaring that olympians have transcended their ‘everydayness’. Non-disabled people are not urged to go out and ‘overcome’, to become olympians with a ‘can do’ attitude - so why are disabled people?
The answer is political and attitudinal. Disabled people have been at the heart of the cuts by the Cameron-led government from the moment the coalition came to power.
Speaking to Channel 4, at the opening of the Paralympics, Cameron said: "It’s about the inspiration and it will change people’s minds and that’s what matters. It’ll teach people about what they can do, rather than what they can’t do."
A very similar line is being used to target disabled people as welfare ‘scroungers’ and ‘fraudsters’ by the government and by companies reassessing disability support, such as Atos."