Friday, October 12, 2012

Factoid Friday: "We Want Respect" (31 for 21, Day 12)

I talk to a lot of people, both in real life and online about Down syndrome.  I open the dialogue as much as possible in order to share ideas and to advocate for what we know is a very marginalized population.  Often, I "stick my neck out" and instead of just walking away, confront people on their behaviour when it is disrespectful or harmful to those with a learning disability.

Sadly, one of the (more troll-like) comments I run across quite often is that advocates for the learning disabled are only doing such to make themselves look and/or feel better.  The assumption there of course, is that those with learning disorders, such as Down syndrome, don't have the capacity to know the difference or care.  In other words, they don't know they are being targeted or made fun of, so what's the difference?

Well, that sort of thinking is paternalistic at best and plain wrong at worst.

According to a study released in July in the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities entitled “We Want Respect”: Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Address Respect in Research, those that participated in the study have views regarding respect that;

"...are consistent with disability rights' ideas and indicate that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have much to contribute to the discussion, that they value participating, and that they agree with calls to focus on human rights and dignity. Notably, participants spoke at lengths about the nature of interactions between researchers and participants. Implications are discussed, including how to infuse research standards with community-supported values and preferences."

 ...And that's the facts, Jack.  Happy Friday.

McDonald, K. E. "We Want Respect": Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Address Respect in Research." American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 17.4 (2012): 263-74.


  1. I have seen some great self-advocacy out there, especially at the Buddy Walk that we just attended, and I so look forward to the day when Babe and Wy will put their minds together and orchestrate their next conference or some such grand stuff (while we're at the hotel pool/ bar because we're way too old to be doing anything but squeezing other people's babies' cheeks and offering them suspicious candy covered in pocket lint and hair, or, you know, we're dead, which is probably the better option for the aforementioned babies).

    1. I look forward to it too. We'll need that poolside seat, as I'm sure whatever those two come up with will be spectacular.


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