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Month: April 2018

We must be aware of the subtle forms of prejudice and discrimination people with disability experience

 

It is a harsh reality that people with disability experience discrimination and prejudice on a daily basis.

People with disability experience subtle forms of prejudice every day. Although they are subtle, this can cause a great deal of damage to these people.

It was when I was thinking about subtle, unintentional comments towards people with disability, when I came across the term ‘microaggression’

Dr Jessica Kirkpatrick explains that microaggressions are everyday insults which send negative messages to people because they belong to a marginalised group.  People who commit microaggressions, often don’t intend to cause harm. However microaggressions can inflict great harm.

Blogger Wendy Lu, woman with a disability writes microaggressions are often subtle, negative comments about people with disability

An example of this is when people tell a person with a disability is inspiring for doing every day tasks.

 

I was compelled to write about microaggressions experienced by people with disability, due to a recent incident in the media. Radio presenter Jon Faine, made offensive comments to disability advocate, Carly Findlay regarding disability.

Reporter Brodie Carmardy writes that when disability advocate Carly Findlay was being interviewed by Jon Faine, he claimed that she looked like a burns victim and it can’t be good for her on Halloween.

Furthermore Jon degraded Carly by asking her an extremely personal question such has she had sex. Carly states she wondered whether he asks his guest without a disability similar questions.

Dr Jessica Kirkpatrick writes that a macroaggression can occur when people feel entitled to ask people with a disability highly intimate questions.  She writes that when someone asks a person with disability invasive questions, it highlights the fact that they are viewed as different.

Reflecting on Carly’s interview, EPIC Assist CEO Bill Gamic wrote that Carly has found it offensive when being approached by strangers saying that they would pray for her. Bill writes it is not kind for a person to tell a person with a disability that they will pray for them. It implies that there is something about a person with disability that requires “fixing”. This is a form of macroaggression.

I’ve been approached by strangers who want to do a healing prayer over me.

Although they may have good intentions, it made me feel devalued as a human being.

A form of macroaggression is when people with disability are viewed as inspirational for completing ordinary tasks.

Blogger Cara Leibowitz, writes that by people praising someone with disability for doing an ordinary task, they are sending a message to people with disability that they don’t deserve to live a life like everyone else.

I’ve experience people for praising me for doing something viewed as ordinary. When I went to a job interview, the interviewer praised me for my university qualifications. She said I was an inspiration. I am sure she didn’t say that to the other candidates. This reminded me that people have low expectations of people with disability.

Another form of macroaggression is staring at people due to their disability.

A blogger with a disability who goes by the name Affliction Fiction, wrote that sometimes they felt as if they were an exhibit for a freak show. Affliction Fiction wished they could of charged people for staring.

When I go out into the community, I am stared at by many people due to my disability. Most of the time I look away. However it really distresses me. It magnifies my differences.

Professor Lauren Van Sluytman writes people who experience microagression can have ongoing psychological distress.

 

Dr Jessica advises people who want to ensure they are not making an offensive comment to a person with a disability, must ask themselves whether they would say this to a person without a disability. She writes that if the answer is no, then what they are about to say is probably a microaggression

I believe that if people realise that they have been unintentionally discriminating against people with disability, they will stop behaving this way.

If we want a truly inclusive society, people with disability must be treated as any other citizen.

I realize that this may be a learning process for many. However we, people with disability, can assist you in this journey.

To have an inclusive society people with disability must be given the same respect as any other person.

Now that’s a society I want to live in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Webpages viewed

 

 

 

Dr  Jessica Kirkpatrick https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/preventing-microaggressions-jessica-kirkpatrick/

 

Brode Carmody https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/abc-s-jon-faine-criticised-over-deeply-uncomfortale-interview-20180329-p4z6u3.html

Wendy Lu https://www.bustle.com/articles/186060-13-microaggressions-people-with-disabilities-face-on-a-daily-basis

Bill Gamack  https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2018/04/listen-learn-importance-parking-prejudice/

Cara Leibowitz https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/everyday-ableism-and-how-we-can-avoid-it/

 

Affliction Fiction http://www.theafflictionfiction.com/2016/02/ableism-101-general-individual-ableism.html

 

Laurens Van Sluytman https://theconversation.com/many-small-microaggressions-add-up-to-something-big-50694

 

 

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https://raisingselfawareness.com/microaggressions-steer-clear-of/

 

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Can the NDIS transform the housing situation for people with disability?

 

Home is where people find solace. It’s their safe place. It’s a place to recharge their batteries and be with their loved ones. Most people can choose where they wish to live and whom they wish to live with. However many people with disability are denied the opportunity to make choices regarding their living situation due to inaccessible housing and lack of support.

When I was a young adult with a disability I dreamt of living independently.

This dream became a reality. I’m very much aware that if I had high support needs, I may have had to live in a group home or nursing home. The prospect of those living options scare me.

Dr George Taleporos, policy manager at the Summer Foundation, writes that, as a person with disability, he knows that most housing is inaccessible and unaffordable for people with disability with high support needs.  As a result people with disability are forced to reside in nursing homes or group homes.

The NDIS is trying to find solutions to the bleak housing situation many people with disability find themselves in.

The NDIS has introduced funding referred to as Specialist Disability Accommodation [SDA]. This will enable eligible participants to move into accessible and affordable housing. Eligible participants will be able to choose where they live and who they live with. SDA funding is only for the physical dwelling and doesn’t cover support costs.

 

One of the really positive aspects of SDA is that people with disability will have the freedom to live where they desire

Jono Bredin co-wrote an article with researchers, Libby Callaway and Kate Tregloan. Jono has a disability and receives SDA funding. Jono wrote that having SDA has enabled him to move to a unit of his own. He asserts the move has increased his confidence and motivation. Due to moving he participates more in the community.

One positive impact that the NDIS has had on the living situation for people with disability is that housing and support services are now funded separately.

Dr George Taleporos points out that, by funding housing and support separately, people with disability will be able to change who provides support without moving house.

Blogger Eli Gibbs, a woman with a disability, shows that the separation of funding is imperative. She writes that the only way many people with disability can receive support services, such as personal care, is often dependent on where people reside, such as living in a group home or nursing home. She asks us to imagine being forced to live with people you don’t like in order to have a daily shower.  By funding housing and support separately, people with disability will have control over their living situation.

However, one of the limitations of SDA is it only funds participants with the highest functional impairments.

 

Due to this restriction many people with disability won’t receive SDA. Justin Nix from Equitable Access Solutions claims that due to many people with disability not being eligible for SDA, they may be excluded from accessible housing completely. Most housing projects for people with disability are geared towards attracting SDA participants. This leaves many people with disability with limited housing options, because they’re ineligible for SDA.

 

One of the limitations of SDA is the language they use to describe housing for people with disability. The Victorian Council of Social Services believes that the NDIS must stop using terms such as Specialist Disability Accommodation. It is clear that the general population still believe that housing for people with disability is different and separate from other citizens.

The NDIS is enabling many people with disability to finally have choice and control over their living situation.

Through NDIS funding many people with disability will be able to live with dignity and to be included in the community.

This is a basic human right that should be applied to everyone.

However, many people with disability will be ineligible for SDA. These people with disability need urgent assistance to access housing.

Nevertheless, I feel that the NDIS is transforming the housing situation for people with disability.

One day people with disability will be able to search for a home without being encumbered by issues of accessibility.

We may be on the way to turning this dream into a reality.

 

Websites visited

 

Dr George Taleporos  cited in https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/04/evolution-housing-people-disabilities/

NDIS https://www.ndis.gov.au/document/specialist-disability-accommodation-fact

Jono Bredin,Libby Callaway and Kate Tregloan https://ccnb.com.au/ndis-change-housing-rules

 

Dr George Taleporos cited in https://www.summerfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/separating-housing-and-support-toolkit.pdf

Eli Gibbs

Justin Nix Justin Nix http://communitylifestyleaccommodation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Insufficient-Housing-Options-for-People-with-ID-A-Brief-Discussion-Paper.pdf

Victorian Council of Social Services  http://www.amida.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/SUB_160304_HousingforPeoplewithDisability.FINAL_.pdf

 

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