Critics Question Obama Choice For Disability Committee - Disability Scoop

I've come to realize that many readers of my last post weren't aware of what started the latest round of debates within the "Autism Community." Actually, this is merely a continuation of an on-going series of disagreements between two communities. If interested, here is the link:

Critics Question Obama Choice For Disability Committee - Disability Scoop

The basic background, as best I can tell, is that two groups don't like each other and don't want to listen to each other. On one side, we have some parent advocates and on the other we have self-advocates. That's a simplification, but it offers a basic overview.

I'm not a supporter of either of the two groups at the center of this current debate. They have far more passion and conviction on issues that I don't consider my highest priorities.

So, there's a debate about an Obama appointment to the Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. I don't even like the name of the committee, but that's not a debate that would engage me.

For me, the biggest issue of late is access to buildings on the campus where I teach. They don't have enough ramps and my classroom can only be accessed via four steep stairs. That's important to me. (The campus is building a great new building that will be much, much better for access.)

The debates about things like "with autism" vs. "autistic" simply don't raise my passions. And yes, I should care more about the DSM-V and things like "What happens to Asperger's Syndrome in 2013?" That's a debate in the area of scientific rhetoric, and it is interesting, but I'm not going to like or dislike someone simply because he or she disagrees with my view of the DSM revision process.

The "community" will debate this appointment, as they debated the appointment of a self-advocate. Insults will be exchanged, both subtle and direct, and nothing much will be accomplished other than reinforcing some bitterness.

And the new year begins without much change.


  1. I'm a bit surprised at ASAN's response. Peter Bell is far more acquainted with those with intellectual disabilities than ASAN is. I was shunned while a "member" of ASAN for suggesting that they/we find someone to represent the AD population as a board member of ASAN. I was told that ASAN will not give someone with AD a board member seat because that would be affirmative action (like that was a bad thing).


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