“The Disabled” Problem


I was doing my usual skim & sip of one of my Social Work textbooks, a game where I sip coffee much more than skim any words–until I came across my favourite topic: disabled people. Every time I read about people with disabilities in any of my schoolbooks, a little voice in me shrieks, “Oh no, please do this right,” as if the authors of Policy and Legislation for Social Workers are somehow listening. This particular section of the chapter was on social assistance, specifically the people who are most likely to access it. My heart fell as a whole chunk of the paragraph was about “the disabled,”not because many people with disabilities would take a job over tax dollars any day, but because of the terminologyused. “The Disabled,” is a phrase I thought went out with the whole let’s-put-wheelies-in-asylums thing, but I guess not. What follows…

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