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firemonkey
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17 Jul 2021, 3:49 pm

More and more I'm coming to the conclusion that whether it be a neurodevelopmental /physical/mental health disability etc there's a relatively small core of articulate, media friendly, very high functioning people with disability that dominate the discussion as to what disability is and the approach that should be taken. They are,for want of a better term, the 'disabled elite'

Many of them either don't want to or can't see that the vast majority of us who are in the 'middle' or who are severely impaired are not helped by their stance on things.


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Mona Pereth
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17 Jul 2021, 4:42 pm

firemonkey wrote:
More and more I'm coming to the conclusion that whether it be a neurodevelopmental /physical/mental health disability etc there's a relatively small core of articulate, media friendly, very high functioning people with disability that dominate the discussion as to what disability is and the approach that should be taken. They are,for want of a better term, the 'disabled elite'

Many of them either don't want to or can't see that the vast majority of us who are in the 'middle' or who are severely impaired are not helped by their stance on things.

Could you give some specific examples of positions taken by a disability rights organization, or by an established leader within the disability rights movement, that you think are against the interests of most people with the disability in question?


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firemonkey
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17 Jul 2021, 5:54 pm

I'm basing it on my experiences on Twitter and to a lesser extent Facebook. The self proclaimed advocates/experts who, for example, are dictatorial over things like language usage, and intolerant re anyone brave enough and intelligent to challenge their autocratic behaviour.
The inability or unwillingness to see that for many of us it's more a case of struggling than of being the next Einstein or Tesla. Of lives that are impoverished and not improved by being an autistic person.


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Mona Pereth
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17 Jul 2021, 7:21 pm

Hardly anyone claims that the average autistic person is potentially the next Einstein or Tesla. It seems to be true that geniuses are disproportionately likely to be autistic, but that doesn't mean every genius is autistic or that every autistic person is a genius. And I haven't run into very many people -- even on Twitter -- who claimed the latter. So I'm a bit puzzled as to what your issue is in this regard.

On the other hand, even on Twitter, I've seen plenty of talk about the struggles of autistic people. For example, just yesterday I participated in this Twitter thread about autism and insomnia.

I do agree with you that large-scale social media, such as Twitter, have a problem with "autocratic behavior." Mainly that's because both the size and the structure of today's popular social media platforms makes them intrinsically conducive to mob mentality, in a way that small message boards like Wrong Planet are not.


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ezbzbfcg2
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17 Jul 2021, 7:47 pm

I agree with the OP. Society looks at the disabled achiever as some sort of feel-good excuse not to have to think about all of the others who achieve nothing and suffer in silence.

Or to use that person as a benchmark, "See, this person has the same disability but accomplished X. The sky is the limit for you." Most of the disabled elite are the outliers.



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17 Jul 2021, 8:05 pm

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
I agree with the OP. Society looks at the disabled achiever as some sort of feel-good excuse not to have to think about all of the others who achieve nothing and suffer in silence.

You said "society" here. Firemonkey wasn't talking about "society" in general, but about what he called "self-proclaimed advocates/experts" more specifically.

I agree with you that there is a problem with society at large looking at disabled achievers as an excuse not to care about the well-being of disabled people in general.

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
Or to use that person as a benchmark, "See, this person has the same disability but accomplished X. The sky is the limit for you." Most of the disabled elite are the outliers.

I agree with you that this is a big problem also.

However, the OP was blaming "advocates" for this state of affairs. And that is the point on which I am inclined to disagree with the OP. But I would need to know which "advocates" he is talking about, specifically.


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firemonkey
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17 Jul 2021, 8:26 pm

Of course it's not just some advocates who are the problem. Society as a whole needs to improve its attitude towards the disabled. However high profile advocates can be very influential, and not always in a constructive or good way, when it comes to shaping society's attitude re disability.


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Mona Pereth
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17 Jul 2021, 8:45 pm

firemonkey wrote:
Of course it's not just some advocates who are the problem. Society as a whole needs to improve its attitude towards the disabled. However high profile advocates can be very influential, and not always in a constructive or good way, when it comes to shaping society's attitude re disability.

It would be helpful if you could point to specific things said by specific "high profile advocates." Otherwise your first few posts in this thread come across (to me, at least) as dissing "advocates" in general, although perhaps that wasn't your intent.


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firemonkey
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17 Jul 2021, 8:59 pm

^ If that's what you choose to believe, then fair enough.


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HeroOfHyrule
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17 Jul 2021, 9:06 pm

It's not really "choosing to believe" anything if there are no actual examples given of what you're talking about. It's hard to not make assumptions with no examples, and a general comment about people on Twitter and Facebook doesn't tell anyone who exactly you are talking about or what the exact behaviours are that you don't think are beneficial. If you could point us towards some specific users on Twitter or pages on Facebook that are partaking in this it'd help people understand a bit better what you're getting at.


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Mona Pereth
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17 Jul 2021, 9:16 pm

firemonkey wrote:
^ If that's what you choose to believe, then fair enough.

It's not a question of "choosing to believe." I'm just telling you what my initial impression was, right or wrong.

Also, I really dislike hearing people put down "advocates" in a vague general sort of way. After all, without the disability rights movement, most of us would be a lot worse off than we are now. And I think we should acknowledge this and be grateful to the movement as a whole, at least for the most part.

This certainly doesn't mean the disability rights movement is perfect or shouldn't be criticized. But I feel that criticism of disability rights advocates should, if possible, be constructive. This means, among other things, that any complaints should be as specific as possible.


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firemonkey
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18 Jul 2021, 3:26 am

At the end of the day I want society to have a better attitude to those of us that aren't all or some of the following: articulate,charismatic,photogenic, very intelligent,very high functioning ,very successful.


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Mona Pereth
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18 Jul 2021, 6:17 am

firemonkey wrote:
At the end of the day I want society to have a better attitude to those of us that aren't all or some of the following: articulate,charismatic,photogenic, very intelligent,very high functioning ,very successful.

With this, I certainly agree.


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18 Jul 2021, 12:16 pm

I would caution against using social media or even wrong planet to make conclusions about what disabled people think. Problem is these platforms are often the only evidence we have to go by. People who post are able to and want to be heard which does make them not fully representative of the disabled population. Social media has in particular gained a reputation of being an unrepresentative bubble we cede outsized influence to.


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18 Jul 2021, 12:50 pm

^You make very good points. I have very little F2F contact with others beyond my stepdaughter and granddaughters. There is no F2F contact with other autistic people.Between the severely disabled and those who are doing great things, despite the dx, I often feel alienated as an autistic person . Then there is the decades long severe mental illness.


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18 Jul 2021, 12:54 pm

What would be considered as a disabled elite? Like a typical example? Would it be a brilliant world renowned scientist or something more humble like an aspie who owns and runs a modestly successful business that puts him into the top 10% of the population socioeconomics?