Today I started doing some reading so I can learn more about the Special Olympics before I go to Idaho. Most of what I read was about how people with intellectual disabilities are often treated in our communities. The things that I read were very informational and they really made me think .
I learned that there are different models for thinking about the way we treat people with intellectual disabilities. The Charity Model of Disability takes place when people try to feel sorry for or take extra care of people who have these disabilities. I learned that we shouldn’t feel bad for or try to take care of people with intellectual disabilities because it takes their power away. We should treat everyone equally, even if they’re different from us because people with disibilities are just as powerful as the next person.
Sometimes poeple think that intellectual disabilities are a sickness like the flu or cancer. This is called the Medical Model. When this happens, it leads to people focusing on a way to fix what they see as a health problem, instead of changing attitudes and treating people all as equals.
Both of these reactions isolate people with disabilities in their homes, hospitals, or institutions rather than simply welcoming them into the world. There is a way to do this though–by practicing the Social Model. The Social Model helps people with disabilities be accepted as regular people who make important contributions to their families and communities. It is the respectful way to treat people, and I like that.
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