8:45 Steve Perez, President of the Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA) gave a touching welcome as the grandfather of a girl my niece's age with the same diagnosis. A good start.
8:55 My friend, YB just walked in 10 minutes late. Just so y'all know.
9:00 Norman Kunc is giving the opening plenary.
"There is a categorical difference between the way non-disabled people see disability and the way most disabled people experience it."
"The main struggle isn't the struggle with the disability. The main struggle is with being identified as a person who is different."
Analogy: Imagine that you've saved up some money and you finally buy that piece of land where you're going to build your dream house to retire in. You build a beautiful house with four bedrooms and chandeliers and an ergonomic kitchen and the walk-in closets. Then the surveyor comes to examine the house and says it's beautiful and perfectly to code, but the bad news is, it's on your neighbor's land. And you say "No problem, we'll change the wallpaper.
Four ways to percieve disability:
1. Deviance, Marginalize, A threat, segregate!
2. Deficiency Reform, fix the broken person. "I represent a normal part of human diversity"
3. Tragedy Benevolence Good quote- "Inclusion wasn't included in the social justice movement"
4. Diversity Support,innovation, value. Great quote: "Relationship delivers what rehabilitation promises."
"When you have a disability, innovation is a way of life."
>>>Being realistic isn't realistic
What we think is reasonable is often an unnecessary limitation.
Summary: Because the world is set up for non-disabled people, people without disabilities don't look for better ways to do things-"You do it the dumb way because you can." People with disabilities develop problem-solving skills and emphasize efficiency due to the higher cost of doing normal things. As a consequence, people with disabilities develop natural skills for innovation and creative task analysis. Society should take advantage of this.
This is a great start for the conversation we may or may not be about to have.