Monday, 15 June 2015

Tara Kimberley Torme - reflections on the battle for inclusion

Grind Writer, Tara Kimberley Torme, has published a review of the 2015 Inclusion BC Conference  she attended recently – on Self Advocate Net (“Changing attitudes one person at a time”).

This year’s theme was, ‘’Keep Moving Don’t Stop,” and focused on artists and people with disabilities. “People do not usually see people with disabilities as people with talents and abilities – they see them as people with disabilities first and foremost,” Tara wrote. 

The conference, and Tara in her article, talked about the situation for people with disabilities (PWD) 60 years ago, how “those with disabilities were put into institutions and locked away from society – not even given the right to an education – or even to be part of the community." In the '60s and ‘70s what was essentially a liberation movement began. “The disability movement literally began at a kitchen table nearly sixty years ago – parents and individuals with disabilities – seeking for equality and inclusion in the community – access to schools – and out of the institutions. [….] With the movement parents fought hard to end institutionalization of people with disabilities and to include them in the education system."

Inclusion has been quite a struggle ever since and every inch of the way.

One of Tara’s many reflections from this conference is an important one for all of us to remember: “Each person with a disability has hidden talents that nobody knows about because they are too busy focused on the disability – instead of the ability – they don’t see past the barrier of what’s there – so they miss the opportunity to see the real person underneath.”

You can read Tara’s full article here. It’s a very interesting article and gives one insight into a fraction of the issues PWD face and struggle with on a daily basis in our society.

--Margo Lamont

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