I get where you're coming from Sacha about the confusion resulting from the subversive act of redefining words such that they are turned on their head to have a positive meaning. (Some commentators refer to this as oppressed minorities reclaiming pejorative terms in an act of defiance and liberation.)
You have to remember that this was was being done in the 60s & 70s when those involved in the civil rights movement reclaimed "black" as both a political act of defiance and as an act of celebration as in "black is beautiful". Interestingly, the same people rejected the 'n' word just as disabled people rejected 'the disabled', cripple (but not necessarily 'crip'), spaz, moron etc. More latterly, we have seen "queer" undergo a transformation in use and meaning.
Sure it might require a little thinking before using 'disability' when you mean 'impairment' but language is important and when it comes to struggle and revolution it pays to get it right!
And on another matter, I've always conceived of the 'disability sector' as that great big industrial/service complex which exists on a continuum from those wanting to make money out of disability and disabled people to those altruistic services & people who are there to support us in the decisions we make about how we want to live our lives. In short, the disability sector is a bit like the curates egg insofar as it both exploits disability and supports disabled people.
the subversive act of redefining words such that they are turned on their head to have a positive meaning.
I wouldn't mind at all if that's what it was. Makes it harder to bring along people who are not specialists in the field.
I've always conceived of the 'disability sector' as that great big industrial/service complex which exists on a continuum from those wanting to make money out of disability and disabled people to those altruistic services & people who are there to support us in the decisions we make about how we want to live our lives. In short, the disability sector is a bit like the curates egg insofar as it both exploits disability and supports disabled people.
I've been told the correct current term for the above is PLOD- people living off disability
In the 60s & 70s when those involved in the civil rights movement just rethought the meaning of the word “black” ( “black is beautiful” ) the word black remained the same. Only the minds accepting(not feeling offended) by it changed. In accepting it they changed it.
Interestingly now different "black" people use the ‘n’ word today to each other ( 'n' word use spread from the music industry).
Many disabled people did not reject the word "disabled", and are OK with the word use. Allowing other people to use the word, as they know they are not Self identified with the word or reduced to a mere label ( *knowing these labels are the minds clumsy efforts to see differences not similarities). If we want to learn anything from the love movement of the 60's then we can think and feel differently about the word accept and embrace (our) diversity.
Shouldn't this conversation be in the words & disability thread.
and Martin Sullivan.
Angela...I love "PLOD." Seriously needs to be on the alphabet soup list of other 'sector' acronyms.
Martin....the 'continuum', I believe is wedge shaped, with the" altruistic services & people " and the very thin end.
I'm currently working on an acronym (because we're nothing without them!) to describe those organisations receiving government funding to provide information, support and advocacy for those in the 'sector', both disabled and carers, who end up being merely cheap PR to sell new government initiatves.
I think you missed my point BDB Inc; disabled people did not reject the word 'disabled'; we embraced it' we were not going to be oppressed by it but spoke of disability pride and proudly claimed 'disabled people' as our preferred identity as a political act as well as an 'up you' gesture.
I am well aware that many black people use the 'n' word, but how many white people use it now? Just as I sometimes refer to myself as a crip and friends with CP spaz that is perfectly acceptable among ourselves, but woe betide any nondisabled interloper who has the temerity to use these words in our presence.
I think this thread began with an interesting blog on definitions which is all about disability and words
White "wiggers" all use the "n" word, white people use it now this increased usage of the "n" word came from a jointly from the the rap music & movie industry( Tarantino).
On the closer to home issue (but on the wrong thread).
Why do you get offended if non disabled person uses the very same word a disabled person uses to you and does not offend?
The ego mind tells you the word is your self identity and creates the idea that without disability the non disabled person is different from you, and that separates you from them and the fear of the ego, the fear of inferiority, thought occurs to you and makes you angry.
Same word doesn't offend when you know the disabled person does not trigger these unconscious thoughts, fears and feelings of separation.
People use language all the time to assert superiority, it does not work if you do not have underlying feelings and thoughts of inferiority.
There have always been ignorant people that use words to insult other people feeding their ego's inferiority complex, if its not one word it will be another.
I propose offense from words is a case of mistaken self identity.
underlying feelings and thoughts of inferiority
interesting diagnosis. do you find it makes people receptive to your understanding of the world?
As I said to you on the earlier thread, the only person raising the notion of personal offense has been you. Though Martin has introduced identity politics now, so he may want to address it. Or not.
Then someone else had better explain why people get offended by words and the ego identity. I do hope this explains what I was trying to say.
I take your point about some offense being more about the person perceiving it than the person allegedly causing it. A lot of the time I'm not offended when others think I should be, their problem not mine. What does offend/anger/upset me is when people set out to hurt; if no harm is intended, its easy to put things right with plain speech.
One further comment on this. I had a manager once who made inappropriate remarks but claimed that how people felt about them was their own fault. I don't think that's true, we can't readily control our emotions. We can control our reactions, but not how something triggers our feelings.
I understand all the language re impairment, disability, differently abled ad nauseum. It might be nice if society talked about impairment and understood the difference between that and disability. Fact is most people don't, and to have a conversation you have to begin with words people hold similar meanings for.
I found one person/web site who said:
" What is the difference between Disability and Impairment?
• Disability is a generic term whereas impairment is specific.
• Disability is at a non-medical level whereas impairment is at a medical level.
• Impairment is an abnormality in the structure or function of an organ.
• Impairment takes place at the level of the organ or tissue whereas disability could be the difficulty experienced by the person in performing daily activities to a level that is considered normal for all human beings."
Still to me doesn't seem like a big difference in meaning .
If this word difference between "impairment" and "disability" is really so big a difference that it stops communication =shouldn't it been here?
Some people have self mastery and can control their reactions( inc emotional) ...I think I would like to have that:)
I object to certain disability language not because I am personally 'offended' but because some word choices are not helpful in changing what needs to be changed.
People respond as we do for more than one reason, some of them collective or strategic rather than individual.
Sorry Sacha I didn't and don't understand Martin's speak on disability vs impairment, how individuals people respond to one word vs the other or the difference in the two similar words.
Or how a change in labels will benefit humanity in that it would teach to not see differences.
The labels should go -not be changed.
" Disability is a generic term whereas impairment is specific"?...
still to me doesn’t seem like a big difference in meaning
Please tell me the word choices that you think need to be changed and what would you like to see changed?. Tell me the "disability" language that you object to .
Simply for me -What words are not changing what?
The NZ disability strategy is here:
To quote, it says:
"Disability is not something individuals have. What individuals have are impairments. They may be physical, sensory, neurological, psychiatric, intellectual or other impairments.
Disability is the process which happens when one group of people create barriers by designing a world only for their way of living, taking no account of the impairments other people have. "
Using the words "disability" and"impairment" in the sense defined here would help focus society on the fact that the problem lies not with the individual but with society and its failure to accept and include (in the built environment and more generally in recognising and catering for people's needs).
However, the Strategy was published in 2001 and I haven't seen much progress in general society in the use of these terms. We have little recognition, understanding or respect, evidenced by the fact of Maurice Williamson's bill
which would increase disability around the country without affecting impairment. The thrust of it is that saving building owners a relatively tiny proportion of the cost of their earthquake strengthening upgrade is worth the enormous impact it would have on public access to public buildings. What it says to me is that people with mobility impairments don't matter. Grrrrrr...
Returning to the original post. I've just read an academic study which puts a different cast on DPOs, Service Providers, Agencies and even Disability Change Movements in New Zealand.
The impact of the way our governments deal with these organisations is to hush our voice.
Yes, the way successive governments engage with community organisations has been fraught, to be polite. Another reason we need to nourish genuine community networks that reach beyond such organisations.
However, the Strategy was published in 2001 and I haven't seen much progress in general society in the use of these terms.
Because nobody ever made that their purpose - even though it was a pretty obvious need.
In the news today I heard about the neo-nazis in the Ukraine and then I read the building bill reform (that you had a link to ) which is allowing buildings to have no fire escape or access for disabled people.
Many Bills have been past by the govt in the recent past years that are inconsistent with existing legislation, consistent with neo nazism philosophy .
I do not think they are even aware of the situation or the world they are creating .
Its good to see Mojo at least objected to it...
"We see the removal of the current access provisions as a serious breach of New Zealand’s obligation to eliminate barriers to accessibility under article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."
NO fire escape or access if you are disabled?! Anyone else see the problem when truly insane people are writing these inconsistent bills. If we replace the word 'Disabled' with 'Jew' would that make people notice what is going on here.
What about starting an e -petition in order to ask the govt to reconsider and to stop selecting and excluding a minority group of people in NZ access to and fire escapes ?
As far as the "Earthquake prone buildings" go, the way they classified the buildings has no basis in science or fact. I heard if the select committee does not seriously rethink it upon review of this evidence that there will be a group law suit filed by building owners.