Decisions are made by others about what we need as people with disabilities all the time contrary to the concept of self-determination. This is especially true of people with intellectual disabilities. Too often they are not encouraged to understand the voting process and to vote, to be a part of their own IEPs (Individualized Education Plan), and to routinely get guardians when not really required. Person-Center-Planning (PCP) is beginning to change that for people who receive services, but the there are still too many times PCPs are check-off forms and don’t truly reflect a person’s real desires. Nothing about us insists we have a voice that must be heard.
A review of James Charlton’s Book, Nothing about Us Without us, recalls it as an early documentation of the disability rights movement and it similarities and differences to other civil rights movements. “James Charlton has produced a ringing indictment of disability oppression, which, he says, is rooted in degradation, dependency, and powerlessness and is experienced in some form by five hundred million persons throughout the world who have physical, sensory, cognitive, or developmental disabilities. …Charlton’s analysis is illuminated by interviews he conducted over a ten-year period with disability rights activists throughout the Third World, Europe, and the United States. Charlton finds an antidote for dependency and powerlessness in the resistance to disability oppression that is emerging worldwide.” Highly recommended reading, get the book from amazon