Saturday, August 29, 2009
From Blogging against Disablism: those lazy, deceiving disabled..why won't they die?
A group that are lazy, deceivers, liars, take the easy way, always have their hand out, always feel the rules don’t apply to them, unwilling to take responsibility, unwilling to try. No, not just a historic view of the Welsh (“Welshed on a deal”), or Gypsies (“Got gypped”) or Jews, I am talking about the Western attitude toward people with disabilities; in particularly those with sudden or emerging disabilities....
I know two of the people whose government job it is in BC to find the “slackers” and cut them from disability (regardless that the only way to qualify for disability payments is to have less that $3000 in assets to begin with). I have not applied as since my partner makes money, so I do not qualify. However earlier in life, during a period of temporary disability in the UK, even though I was designated as “disabled” I was awarded a monthly supplement assessed income of $0 (but I was exempt from my share of paying garbage tax). After three months I was ordered by letter to come “with two forms of picture ID” to prove to an independent doctor that I was disabled. The entire experience was one in which they dictated that some/many designated disabled people are cheats and liars and that I needed to prove I wasn’t one of them (and prove that I hadn’t sent in a different disabled person to trick them into thinking it was me). The doctor told me, “You have 10 minutes.” I asked if he had my medical records. He opened the folder. It was empty. “You asked my GP for them didn’t you?” I asked.
“You have nine minutes.” He responded.
“I have nine minutes to “prove” I am disabled because you don’t believe I am?”
“Well,” I said, “First I would like you to prove that you are a licensed GP who is qualified to evaluate me. I brought two pieces of Picture ID to verify my identity, all I ask is your Medical Certificate.”
He recoiled as if I had struck him. And was speechless for another minute (now down to 8 minutes). “I don’t have to prove anything to you.”
“Unless you can verify that you actually are a doctor, I will not disclose confidential medical information with you simply for you to decide if I am a liar.” I responded.
“I will be writing the report on you regardless” he threatened, “If you do not give me the information then I will be forced to report on your attitude and you may find your monthly supplement decreased.”
So, now I was not being evaluated on my physical need, but on my “attitude”? I was being threatened for not having the right attitude? Thankfully, half of $0 is still $0, though I clearly remember the humiliation of attending my award ceremony for a Ph.D. in one month and being summoned to a room to prove to some guy who said he was a doctor that I wasn’t a liar and cheat the next. What if my ability to feed or transport myself was on the line instead, or my ability to breathe, to get medical supplies?
Link to Ann Cooper at TED
Ann Cooper, the “renegade lunch lady,” is the director of nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District in California, and she is trying to change the way we feed kids in school in America. Feeding children nutrient-rich foods is essential for good health and optimal brain function, and good nutrition starts at home.
Cooper has completely overhauled the Berkeley school lunch program to include locally grown, sustainable, organic foods. And she advocates that other school districts can — and need to — make similar changes. How? Follow her to the FarmToSchool program. And Chef Ann Cooper's site is here.
Just for fun... a clip from FAME, the "Hot Lunch Jam".