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