Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Race vs. Disability

I am teaching a multicultural counseling class the next six weeks, so brace yourself for multiple postings about my deep thoughts on this subject. Hopefully they are not quite like Jack Handy's deep thoughts - although I do like those, but not for my own postings - ha ha :>). Anyway, Sue & Sue (2008) in Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice talk about how when the topic of race comes up there can be a tendency to shift the topic away into another diversity area such as age, gender, sexual orientation, etc. They purported that this happens given the difficult emotions that come with the topic of race (based on our history) over all other areas of diversity (which would include disability). Some of my students did share that they noticed this for themselves in their lives, that when they bring up racial differences they notice others from a different race do shift the topic away from that into another diversity area. It demonstrates one's comfort, or rather discomfort, with the topic. I shared that it may just be my bias, but I do notice that same trend with disabilities. Most of the time, people just don't want to hear about it. Even then, they certainly don't want you to go on and on about it. I think it is built on a difficult history of eugenics, unethical experimentation, victimization, institutionalization, and now termination that most people don't want to consider the topic or get too deep into discussing it. Plus it could happen to anyone - anyone could have a child with a disability - we all our vulnerable. And we certainly don't like to be reminded about our vulnerabilities. Just my thoughts on the matter - AKA Jack Handy-ish they may be. LOL. Seriously, it just goes to show how important it is to have adequate support from other parents who have a child with a disability. They may be the ones who will truly listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment