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What Was I Thinking? Thoughts and Reactions to Disability Theory. The course Theorizing Disability sounds quite easy. This was what I thought when I registered for this course. Little did I know what I was in for.

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Introduction

What Was I Thinking? Thoughts and Reactions to Disability Theory Written by: Candace Baker Theorizing Disability SOC - 2100 Prof. Michelle Owen Oct. 27, 2011 1471 Words The course Theorizing Disability sounds quite easy. This was what I thought when I registered for this course. Little did I know what I was in for. The course is far from easy. Having an established background in disabled peoples lives helps to understand some course materials. I thought that I knew a lot about disabled people and theorizing disability. I have found that I have learnt far more than I expected in the first half of this course and look forward to learning even more in the last half. Working as a respite worker I have been able to apply the knowledge learnt in class to my job and everyday life. This has made my job even more rewarding because I feel like I can help and understand disabled people better than I could before. The very first lecture was very interesting. Guest speaker Jim Derksen made a lot of very positive statements about disabled people. People often assume that disabled people are unhappy. For example Derksen talks about people being in wheel chairs. Many people see someone in a wheelchair and right away they feel the need to help them. ...read more.

Middle

In Lecture 3 Prof. Owen talks about disability and sexism. This was a key lecture to elaborate more on the introduction of her book. It was interesting to learn that sometimes disabled people do want to be treated differently, but that they want the same access to everything in society as everyone else. Most likely this is different for all disabled people. For example, everyone wants to take the bus. One disabled person may want access to a seat at the front, while another may not care or ask someone to move. The point is that they both get to take the bus; they have access to the same things as "normal" people. There is a major difference between a disability and an illness. Doctors become doctors because they are the type of people who like to help other people. "The problem arises when doctors try to use their knowledge and skills to treat disability rather than illness. Disability as a long-term social state is not treatable medically and is certainly not curable." (Oliver 22) Originally I thought that it was very kind of doctors to try to cure a disability. Doctors are so loving, and if they cannot cure a patient then they feel they have failed. That is why they need to realize the difference between their disability and their illness when a patient comes in. ...read more.

Conclusion

I realize now that it is society as a whole that creates distress for disabled people. If everyone would accept them and treat them "normal", then they would fit into society much better. One of the young adults that I do respite work for, just graduated high school and is now entering the workforce. In the discussion board for Oct. 4 Randi makes some good points about the workforce. This helped me learn what this man is going to be dealing with in the near future. I feel that he should be able to take the bus to work, do his job, go out to a movie and then go home just like anyone else. His mother thinks that he is not able to do this. This is a perfect example of why disabled people should not be treated differently. This man has taken the bus before on his own for a half hour ride. Now that his mother says she does not think he can do it, he believes her and wants to take a taxi to work instead. I hope that I can use what I have learned so far in class to help this situation. I am making it my goal to show this family how this problem arose, and how it can be fixed. I really enjoy the guest speakers in class and hope to see and learn a lot more in the last half of the course: theorizing disability. ...read more.

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