George Snedeker snedeker at SPAMconcentric.net
Sun Dec 24 14:05:59 MST 2000

this question of "persons with disability" or "disabled persons" has no
simple answer since both pose problems of identity. in each case,
"disability" becomes an essence which defines the person. we lack a term of
"pride" like Black or Woman. all of this goes to show how         we are
limited by our own language. during the Democratic convention, one of the
speakers referred to  herself as having a "Broken brain.  she was looking
for a way of talking about mental illness through the use of a physical
analogy. theoretically speaking, disability is relative to the way our
social and physical environment is structured. this includes social
responses to each other.
----- Original Message -----
From: Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 24, 2000 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: Disabilities

> Marta Russell wrote:
> >
> > I stopped using the phrase "people with disabilities" because it
> > implies that the impairment defines the identity of the
> > individual, blurs the crucial conceptual distinction between
> > impairment and disability and avoids the question of causality.
> > Disablement is something one experiences on top of impairment.
> > I prefer "disabled persons."
> Hmmm. This runs counter to favored usage in case of
> mental illness. Notice we don't speak of pneumoniacs,
> we speak of people with pneumonia. On that model
> we urge that one does not speak of, for example,
> depressives or schizophrenics but of people who
> suffer from depression or schizophrenia. The reason
> is the same reason Marta gives, to avoid identifying
> the person with the illness.
> Carrol

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