a case of tortoise and the hare.

I have just been thinking. There is a difference between politicisation and empowerment. I am against the former, but for the latter. The disabled community has become too politicised, I think; that is to say that it has become too dogmatic – increasingly we are adopting a politics of ‘us and them’ and talking about the need to fight. There are those who use the term ‘normals’ to refer to people who aren’t classed as having a disability. To me,, this is childish. For heaven’s sake, there’s no such thing as a standard human, so I have just as much right to call myself normal as anyone. This ‘radicalism’ which seems to have infested itself in certain people will do us no good in the long term. We need to include people, to show them how our bodies move, but other than that we are just as normal as they are. We need to celebrate our normality, not push people away by shouting political slogans. It’s a case of tortoise and the hare.

Of course, we must first be able to compete. Disabled kids should not be told how different they are by being pushed into special schools. They need to feel just as able as anyone else. That’s what Onevoice does; it enables kids to become empowered by interacting with adults with the same disability, thereby showing that they too are ‘normal’. I fear that some people in the disabled ‘sphere’ would have Onevoice act as an overt tool for the politicisation of the young people involved; it isn’t.

those young people don’t need telling what to think, that they are hated by certain members of society; or that they need to fight. I doubt that this was Tamsin or Katie’s intention. They need to be inspired and empowered, not politicised. I would strongly oppose anyone who tried to turn Onevoice into such an organ.

Doubtless disabled people face certain challenges. To overcome them, we need to hold our heads up high, be proud of ourselves, sure of our abilities. We do not need to ostracise people with combative politics which underlines our differences, not our similarities.

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