Sunday, February 9, 2014

First Person Narratives: People with Autism and Down Syndrome

One of the most important concepts of the disabilities movement is that people with disabilities should be at the "speaking center" of the conversation. In other words, it is crucial that people with disabilities speak for themselves and take the primary role in defining the conversations and various agendas that will affect them. 

Unfortunately, this can be quite difficult for people with disabilities related to cognition and neurodevelopment. Access to first-person narratives from such people can be harder to come by. Below are two videos. One features Sondra Williams, whom I heard speak at a Joni and Friends event last year. Sondra is autistic. The second features a woman with Down Syndrome named Karen. 

If you want to know more about these and other conditions that can create serious challenges for the people who live with them, the best way to do so is to listen to those people. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved it when Sondra said, ""What happens when you are the person with autism and you are living on the other side of the fence? And you hear people say constantly they want to rid the world of autism or they want to cure it. You're basically telling us we have no worth and no value to those who exist currently with autism now. . . Please don't attach the cure word to autism but attach cure to the biomedical needs and the health issues related to many of us with autism."

    It made my hear skip a little.