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BUILDING A PHILOSOPHY OF DISABILITY


What can we learn from Vanier?
I cor. 12: 21-26
21The eye cannot say to the hand, I dont need you! And the head cannot say to the feet, I dont need you!
22On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and the parts that we
think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special
modesty, 24while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving
greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts
should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suers, every part suers with it; if one part is honored,
every part rejoices with it.
Vanier
Love is to enter into covenant-to know that you accept me as I am, that you see my gift, but also that you see
my wound. That you wont abandon me when you see my wound, that you wont just flatter me when you see
my gift. But you accept me as I am with all that is fragile, all that is broken, all that is beautiful, too.
LArche portland: a place where people with and without disabilities share life together

Marilyn and Amy-Guest speakers


Larche Portland
WE have much to learn from our weaknesses
Somewhere we are hiding our weaknesses...
And yet weakness is an important part of our reality. We were born weak. We needed unconditional love. We
needed our mums to say, You are more beautiful than I expected, or its good that you exist; you are unique.
We all have a deep fear of our own weaknesses because my weakness is what makes it possible for someone
else to crush me. So I create mechanisms of defense and compulsion to protect myself. We all have protective
systems designed to prevent people from seeing who we are (67-68 Vanier).
What is your weakness or disability?
Think about something you have struggled with throughout your life that keeps you from meeting your goals or
frustrates you?
Person-first!

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Person-first!
View people with disabilities as people first
Demonstrate this by using person-first language
Not PC, but respectfully correct
Language is a powerful tool
Society abounds with destructive labeling
In writing and speaking, avoid words that denote weakness or powerlessness
The Power of Words
Ethan Jones suers from cerebral palsy in Santa Barbara, but still works.
Bed-ridden Tom Burns carries on his work as a journalist from home.

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Rebecca Smith, a long time teacher in our district, is crippled by polio.


Additional guidelines for writing and speaking about disabilities
Do not focus on the disability unless it is crucial to a story.
Do not portray successful people with disabilities as super human
Do not sensationalize a disability by saying aicted with, crippled with, etc.
From Guidelines for Reporting and Writing About People with Disabilities (www.reachcils.org)
The influence of the media
Ads create an artificial norm
Responsibility to portray representatives of all aspects of society
How are the 30% of people with disabilities represented? Children?
Power of media to change
Positive examples
What if we changed our symbols?
Tropic Thunder Debate
Sermon from Christopher Lazo
Every person is made in the image of God. There is nothing we can do to attain an identify that satisfies us, but
that Christ through the cross has given us a new identity; restored and beloved (quoted from Roxanne Loves

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Sermon from Christopher Lazo


Every person is made in the image of God. There is nothing we can do to attain an identify that satisfies us, but
that Christ through the cross has given us a new identity; restored and beloved (quoted from Roxanne Loves
senior paper, April 2011) using a quote from a sermon from Christopher Lazo.
Nick Vujicic
Images
http://www.specialkidsfund.org/images/mainpic.jpg
http://pilgrimpace.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/jean-vanier.jpg
http://b.vimeocdn.com/ps/687/687913_300.jpg
http://mommylife.net/archives/2009/07/born_without_ar.html
http://www.gordon.edu/article.cfm?iArticleID=1360&iReferrerPageID=5&iPrevCatID=30&bLive=1