Last May I was accepted into the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University in Toronto!! It was a very exciting and nerve wracking time for me - as it had been over 10 years since I've been in school - EEEK!!!
In July I started my first course, "Re-thinking Disability" and it was intense, they jammed a semester full of work into a two week intensive course. I remember coming home my first day and having a huge headache - traveling to and from Toronto by train and then constantly being "on" all day - was draining. But I survived and learned so much!!! I also met some amazing people along the way.
Interesting things I learned and think others need to know.....
- Naming is a site of struggle - what we call ourselves and other is always personal.
- The Disabled Community has been called many names - very rarely do they get a choice/voice in what they are called
- Next time you label or name someone - think about why and what your implications are in doing so!
- The Medical Model teaches that Disability is a deficit - a dysfunction. It is something tragic, unfortunate and needs to be cured. Everything is a result of your disability - poverty, friends, work, social problems, etc.. One needs to look to medicine to solve the problems of their disability.
- The Social Model teaches that discrimination and lack of accessibility by society is the disabled biggest obstacle. The focus here is on barriers and that most problems in regards to disabilities don't stem from impairment but from lack of accessibility.
- Ableism - discrimination in favour of the able bodied (much like racism, sexism, ageism, etc)
This Fall I am taking 2 courses - Mad People's History and Marketing for the Non-Profit Organization - both great courses so far!!!