Since I’ve been getting some winter sun in Fuerteventura the past fortnight, I’ve chewed my way through 3 books. I can sometimes go months without reading, and then suddenly a thirst for knowledge (alongside the right environment, such as a holiday) kicks in. Then boom, off I go! I’ve read about financial sustainability, technological innovation, and about the psychology of thinking.
There’s no rhyme or reason for these particular choices, apart from having a general interest in the topics. However, there’s been a huge enrichment for my work – changing the world for disabled people.
A common problem in any field, industry or sector is affirmation of opinion. Our individual opinions are self affirmed by us having similar influences and doing repetitive activities. In the disability sector, often a noisy minority enhance the belief that only one solution prevails.
By switching off for a day or two, I observed nature and people, without any agenda. I wasn’t thinking about the social model of disability, or government policy. Just simply enjoying my surroundings.
Having emerged from this reading frenzy, I still have the same beliefs about disability being a social problem. I still believe that the legal, political, economic and social landscape must be shaken up to be more inclusive of disabled people.
Even technology needs vast changes for us. However it may provide a great opportunity too. Instead of pouring all of our energy into waiting for other people to give us “permission’ to join the party, this may be a way we can throw our own party.
Technology and Science both hold empowering answers. With science we have to be more careful of falling into the cure or eradication trap. But, scientific progress for living healthier and happier with a disability is ok by me.
With technology though there’s little intrusion, risk or downside. From internet based websites and apps, to new product designs and engineering; the sky is the limit!
I understand that by creating empowering innovations, we are less the ‘victim’ and more in control of our own futures. I will always continue to educate society, lobby government (for better laws and public spending), advise companies, and basically seek to remove the current social barriers.
With technology, however, we can overcome many of these barriers ourselves. As a consequence be in a better position to request permission for removal of the final obstacles in the way. The result being true access to civil and human rights.
I look forward to hearing from you about this theoretical way forward…
Greetings from the sunshine.