By Brian Watermeyer, Leslie Swartz, Theresa Lorenzo, Marguerite Schneider, Mark Priestley
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Extra resources for Disability and Social Change: A South African Agenda
Nothing about us without us: Disability oppression and empowerment. Berkeley: University of California Press. , & Marsh, S. (2002). Patriarchy in the UK: The language of disability. pdf Disabled Peoples’ International. (1982). Disabled Peoples’ International: Proceedings of the First World Congress, Singapore. Singapore: DPI. Fanon, F. (1967). Black skin, white masks. New York: Grove. Finkelstein, V. (2001a). A personal journey into disability politics. Retrieved from http://www. pdf Finkelstein, V.
The way we understand disability and the way we learn about it affects the way we respond to disabled people in society. However, the social, economic and political factors affecting disabled people in different countries vary considerably. Effective educational programmes must address this diversity. Therefore, an agenda for social change in South Africa must be based on an understanding of disability from a South African perspective and our Disability Studies programmes must reflect local need, local knowledge and local experience.
If we examine ourselves closely, what do we unthinkingly assume about this individual? What – perhaps beginning with the assumption of their needing assistance – are our associations with this image of disability? These assumptions may be deeply conditioned in us, and might therefore require a degree of reflection in order for us to identify them. Interestingly, it really is quite plausible that we would assume that a perfect stranger needs our assistance. This assumption may be flanked by more subtle and embedded ideas regarding their life-role within the community, possibly a marginal and socially isolated one.