While literally hundreds of thousands of people are signing the r-word: spread the word to end the word pledge, I thought readers of Mama Lewis might be interested in a few things they could do that would really help disabled people.
Despite the campaign’s good intentions, I found it objectionable. But then, I find anything objectionable that is purported to help disabled people and doesn’t.
By all means, readers, don’t use the word “retard” – but then, I’m betting you don’t use derogatory terms about disabled people anyway simply because you read this blog. Likewise, I doubt any of the thousands who signed the petition do.
In the meantime, while we all wait for the removal of the word “retard” to improve the lives of disabled people everywhere, here are a few real things you can do to help them now:
1. Want to sign a petition? It’s just as easy as signing a pledge except it may actually make a difference to the lives of disabled people. Sign this one to stop the British government removing legal aid funding from the needy.
2. Want to donate to a good cause? May’s old school Small Steps is a very small charity that relies entirely on donations. They provide guidance families like ours, along with physio, sensory activities, songs and fun. Even a small donation would go a long way
to help them, help more cuties like May.
3. Want to change people’s perceptions? Why not start with your own children? Take them to activities, nursery or schools that include disabled children in their normal sessions. The children in May’s nursery love her and don’t think she is strange in the least because she does every activity right alongside them.
4. Want to be attend an event? Nordoff-Robbins has music therapy centers all over the country. May’s once a week sessions have been key to her communication and reaching – not to mention she LOVES it. Attend one of their glamorous fundraising events or concerts where you can meet sporting and music legends.
5. Want to hire someone? Consider a disabled person for the role. I don’t know how you could help a person more than giving them employment, purpose and pride in a job well done. Finally, it’s a long shot – but today the British government announced closures of many of the Remploy factories around Britain that specifically employ disabled people. Almost 2,000 people will lose their livelihoods. If you are filthy rich – now is the time to snatch one of those factories up and make a difference to an entire community of people who will be left most certainly without work. That would prove that the Torie’s Big Society exists and I’m willing to eat my words gratefully if it happens.