Friday, January 29, 2010

Who will reward the far-seeing?

OK, so this post was either not prescient or very prescient. I doubt we're done with cutting.

So, here's a topic for discussion. Immanuel Kant distinguished between phenomena, things that are observed, and noumena, things as they are in themselves. One thing I believe strongly about our system (and most others) is that the phenomena we describe when we talk about support to people with developmental disabilities, are almost entirely process. That makes sense, considering that support is initially a verb. But process is hard to defend and, really, if all we do is do, and nobody gets anything of value in itself, then it may be right that we have trouble defending. My question, regarding what our system produces, is what do you all think the noumenon is? What is the thing in itself that people with disabilities receive from all the work that goes on.

Just to handicap the discussion, "dignity," "sovereignty," "choice" or "safety" sound too abstract to me. Is there something people get from being supported that they would know they lacked if the system went away? What are those things?

So how is everybody?