Friday, August 26, 2016

Let's Talk Disability!

Disability Action Week

11th to 17 th September

Inclusion: It's a game changer

Please Include Us In

Inclusion bring a sense of belonging and we I hang out with my mates from Arts Connect I know I one of them.  I am rubbish in jest and I am respected for my knowledge about art and the arts industry. However only a few people with disabilities actually feel included.

As we has seen disability refers to an impairment of normal human function. In the main the impairment is restricted to one of the following: physical, intellectual, learning, neurological, social, behavioural, sensory, or psychological. A small percentage have a Dural diagnoses or a complex disability.

Here are a few disabilities like acquired brain injuries, cerebral palsy and spine bifida that change have but not always result in memory or intellectual disabilities as well as physical.  My own type of CP is a physical disorder, as is my friend Mariela.

Many other factors can impact on a persons ability to function in the community, besides their impairment. Mariela and I both had parents who refused to let of diagnoses define us.  We both graduated from uni and run our own business. Our lives reflect those of our able body peers. 

Many others are disabled by other factors such as social and economic, parentage, access to education and early intervention programs, and environments. Two people can have the same diagnoses but due to these variables the lives look very different. 

People who don't know me tend to treat me as though my impairments has taken over my body and all its human functions and my mind.  So assume I was born without my reproduction organs.  The assumptions others make never seemed to amaze me.

Likewise many people assume people with intellectual disabilities are unable to learn, read and write or make decisions. Impairment involving learning are referred to learning disabilities. I also have a learning disability called dyslexia, which I have learnt to overcome, so not all learning disabilities impair the ability to learn all together.

When we refer to Intellect we are usually referring to IQ levels.  IQ affects areas such as  significant difficulties in adaptive behaviours and daily living skills such as self-care, communication and community participation. A person is diagnosed with a intellectual disability if their IQ is lower than 70.  In has no impact on the learning or memory process at all.

Intelligence refers to the way we perceive information. Many people with intellectual disabilities are slower to process information, however that does not make it impossible to learn. Given the right supports the is not reason they can not graduate for year 12 or beyond. 

In the past people who were illiterate, sensory or had learning disabilities were also thought to be intellectual disabilities.  Intellectual function is very different to learning functioning. However intellectual function can cause other types of impairments leading to social disability, now being referred to as complex behaviours.

As late as the 1950's most people born with any type of disability were institutionalise and very little was understood about disabilities how it impact on a person.  Its was assumed all people with disabilities were mindless and as I have demonstrated we have yet to corrected in the general public.

It wasn't until advances in modern medicine that people were surviving previously disease which are now preventable and more people like myself survive.  We are still learning much about the distinction between disability. Intellectual impairment do not impact the ability to learn. learning disabilities do!

So are you can imagine people with disabilities can achieve on the same level as everyone else unless there has been massive brain injuries resulting in the type of disabilities where people are bed ridden and have not ability to interact.

It is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of disability. Yet human nature still wants to box us in and put us all in the one size fits all box. I talk earlier in the week on how our IQ level does not predict how people will perform at school and the fact that IQ levels can be affected by the administrator of the test.

The is no medical reason why someone with a moderate intellectual disability can not make decisions, other than the fact society has taught them the skills.  We who live with impairments are not disabled by our impairment but the social, economical and physical structures of our society.

Working towards building inclusive communities requires address the current structures the prove an obstacle for some members of our community. The aim of Disability Action Week is to empower people with disabilities; Raise Disability Awareness; and improve access and inclusion in the wider community.  It is not about celebrating what make us different.

If you'd like to meet some very talented artists and have a go at some creative activities yourself. Then you can join the CPL; Ipswich City Council and ArtISabilty to celebrate Disability Action Week on

9th & 10th September

In Darcy Doyle Place

Opening of . . .

Make Your Mark Art Exhibition

11 am 9 th September

Ipswich Community Gallery

Artistic Activities 12 pm to 3 pm


Visit the exhibition between 10 am and 2 pm

on Saturday 10 th and enjoy arts activity,

dance, music, theater and visual arts.

Make you make exhibition continues

Monday and Tuesday

10 am to 4 pm



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