Friday, May 16, 2008
Maybe Not Disability Discrimination
We ran a post last week about disability discrimination involving a school inclusion choir. It is interesting how people watching the same event can see many different things.
We have heard from some folks this week who don't think that there was any discrimination at this event. They tell us that there were two choirs, one for grades 6 to 9 and one for grades 10-12, and that the vest was the uniform for one age group- not the uniform for nondisbaled peers. They also say that one whole choir sat down for the second song, not just the kids with disabilities. Moreover, they assert that many of the kids in both choirs had disabilities that may not be visible, such as LD or hearing impairment, so that it would be impossible to visually identify them.
I'm not sure I understand why one choir had to sit down during a performance, but this explanation would negate any discrimination. If there was no discrimination, I apologize for calling it such. Obviously, if I didn't miss discrimination, I wouldn't feel so bad.
I'd like to investigate this matter further. I'd like to hear from others who were at this event about what they observed. Was there disability discrimination? Maybe a dialogue about what happened at this event and how it is being perceived would be a the beginning of a larger dialogue about the treatment of people with disabilities in this country. The presidential campaign this year has opened dialogues on the issues of race, gender and religion. Maybe we should also think some about disabilities. What are your thoughts on this topic?