[Namron] As a person who happens to have a disability......

Jennene Stanley mooharpist at cox.net
Tue Sep 27 08:10:10 PDT 2005

I guess I have to weigh in on this issue. It ain't gonna be pretty  but 
it has to be said.

Gonna start off with a story:

Once upon a time a sixth grade student was sent on a errand by the  
teacher. After she left the room, the teacher took it upon herself to  
"educate" the class about this student's "disability."  This was done  
without the knowledge or consent of the student or her parents. The  
student came back to a classroom or stares, snickers, and ostracism.

Two years later, the kids did not let this student sit down on the  
school bus. Her parents brought this to the attention of the school.  
Before the student's stop, the kids on the bus were "educated". The  
kids made sure that there was a completely empty seat for that  student 
to sit... alone.

That student was me.

I usually don't get involved in the posts involving disability  issues, 
but this really has touched some old scars. I won' get into  all the 
crap I have gone through. It's old, it's boring, and no  longer worth 
the stomach acid except at times when there arises a  need to point out 
some stuff.

Not all of us with disabilities wish for "that" to be the center of  
attention. One of the things that attracted me to the SCA was the  
*escape* from the real world scrutiny that I have endured *all* my  
life, even before the ADA existed.  When people see me they think:  
"There's the lady who plays the harp" or  "or that's the lady  who  does 
the over the top Elizabethan" (or if you are Bubba "There's % &*#@ Anya- 
Kissy, kissy).  I did not come here to moan and groan  about my disease 
(which I don't have time for and it really bores  people).  I did not 
join the SCA to "educate people" about my  "affliction" (been there, 
done that, in the REAL world with REAL  players, and I have the awards 
sitting in the china hutch to prove  it). I do not expect preferential 
treatment nor anything above  "reasonable accommodation"  People keep 
forgetting that *Reasonable  Accommodation* is the cornerstone of the 
ADA.  For goodness sake,  I've just been authorized in siege 
fighting/non contact (Yes, Anya  with a fighter card... 
bwahahahahahah).  I know if I go out on the  field in armor with our 
siege engine I can get a stray whack on the  noggin.  I am not expecting 
any sort of special treatment because I  have "a disability".  That 
would be like me telling the LA Marathon  people "Gee, I really want to 
run your marathon but since I have a  disability could I just do a 
couple of miles and still get the medal?"

The stark fact is that most functional people with disabilities have  
figure out way to have their own support.  Like it or not, "dems da  
breaks." That is part of the process of coming to terms with a  
disability.  In my own case I have a wonderful husband, and my Moo  Boys 
(who I support by dressing, feeding  and general harassing, and  in 
return, they help take care of me).  I feel that the major burden  of 
*my* care is on myself and those of my friends who help because of  the 
bonds of friendship not because they have been "educated".

I don't like the idea of  this guild.  Had they stuck with the "support 
system' idea,  I would have probably taken no issue. It's that "educate" 
thing that sticks in my craw. Their hearts are in the right  place but 
this whole thing smacks of that well meaning teacher. It  didn't 
accomplish anything except to make my life harder and make  others aware 
of my disability in a very *negative* way, causing many  to stay away 
from me because they were uncomfortable.  I would  support an 
accessibility office type thing (whatever is called)  to create 
(reasonable)  guidelines for sites, be a clearing house for information 
(not pity parties), and a official recourse that those with a disability 
could  go to if *that person* chooses.  I do not care for this passive/ 
aggressive technique of emotional blackmail to further an agenda.  I  do 
not like the idea of a group of people (however well meaning)  coming in 
and deciding, as you put it:

"....., the idea is to create the environment in which your lovely  lady 
plays in. For that to happen, there are people who need to be  educated."

I've been thriving and playing in the *existing* environment quite  
nicely, thank you. Anybody who needs to be educated, I'll do it  myself. 
I am perfectly capable of fighting my own battles as I have  been doing 
this for a lot longer then some. I am sorry of this upsets or offends, 
but  this the *opinion*of a person who has had a disability for 38 + 
years, "been in the trenches"  and been playing in the SCA for 20+ 
years. This game is  a wonderfully diverse bunch of folk who all have 
opinions and life  experiences to back them up. That's the FUN! There 
are plenty of mundane organizations and professionals out there for 
those who feel they need help or want to help.

Anya, the Anya

Jennene Stanley
  "There is nothing like an appeal to honor. It is a virtue that all
   crave, even those who lack it. Fundamentally, honor is itself a
   debt, a code of behavior, a promise, something inside yourself
   that you owe to the others who see it in you."
			      -Tom Clancy, "Debt of Honor"
Email: Mooharpist at cox.net 	website: www.mooharpist.net

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