Excusing or Accepting

Many of the people who commented on my previous post, most of them likely unfamiliar with disability rights, commented on a particular part of it: that in which I talked about disabled people being carelessly excused from meeting normal expectations. While it is true that a disabiity in itself should not be a reason to excuse people, in the sense that people think of the disabled as pitifu and therefre to be excused, disability equality goes far beyond equal expectations. Actually, unless a disabled person commits a crime, they are entitled to the same civil rights and inclusion that abled people are. “Normal”, that is, non-disabled standards of performance should not be relevant here.

People have a right to acceptance, and, while this means they should be expected to behave in an acceptable manner, what this means is really up for debate. Is an autistic not acceptable because they scream? An effort should of course be made to help the autistic unlearn this behavior, but if they can’t, that doesn’t make them less acceptable as a person.

We need to make the distinction here between the behavior and the person. All people have some annoying behaviors that are unacceptable to at least a number of others. We can disapprove of this behavior, but we shouldn’t be excluding the person for this. Note, please, that my comment about annoying behavior goes for disabled as well as non-disabled people. Once a person has a disability, however, accepting them in spite of inappropriate behavior is often seen as excusing.

2 thoughts on “Excusing or Accepting

  1. I try to treat everyone equally. If there is an inappropriate behavior, well then, so be it. Of course it is dependent upon the extremity of the behavior on whether or not I feel comfortable around that person, disabled or no. I will no exclude someone based upon something they have no control over. That doesn't mean I will be completely comfortable around that person though. I hope this made sense. I just think that people should be treated the same, only sometimes you have to overlook certain things. I knew a person with severe tourettes (no idea how to spell that) he yelled and swung his arms violently. We learned to overlook (and make room for) his behaviorisms. They aren't what define him as a person.


  2. Amanda, I tend to agree, however, if there is something that is disrupting an activity to a point where people are getting angry at the person with the disability and even swearing or threatening physical duress, is it fair to that person to stay? There are times when I decide for myself that I am not an appropriate fit in a certain group setting. We all have to make wise decisions.


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