Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kids notice things

Kids notice things.

I was trying to figure out how to write this, and it really starts with that. Kids notice what's going on. Kids notice how you treat them. Kids notice how you treat us, and you can't claim that somehow you're making a good environment for them, when you're not providing a good environment for us.

Because they notice. And that matters.

Do you really think that disabled students don't notice that disabled adults aren't hired in their schools?

Do you really think that disabled students don't notice that the few times that we are hired our accommodations are a fight? Or that we aren't treated the same way as our peers?

Do you really think that you can claim that anywhere is inclusive, or accepting of your students, when not being inclusive or accepting of who they would be when they grow up?

Are we not good enough? While you keep telling them how can do anything! How they will be able to get any job they want! How their disability won't hold them back! But, you're telling them this when you wouldn't be willing to hire them. You're not willing to hire those of us like them. You're not willing to make it accessible for the few you might hire.

Do you think they don't notice? That you won't let someone like them nearby? Only allowing the "normal" the "good" the "acceptable" people. The people who are how you wish they would be, not how they are.

What's it like to spend so long not seeing anyone like you?
(How many groups have to ask that question, and yet, still people don't seem to be willing to learn.)

What's it like to be isolated, learning you're wrong, even if it's not explicitly taught, because you know you're different, you see you're different. And difference is repeated to be wrong.

Do you really think that kids don't notice, because they're kids?

Or is it just that you don't care.

1 comment:

  1. When I was in the sixth grade, I found out that my sign language interpreter--a woman on whom I was absolutely dependent for understanding anything said in the classroom--had not been paid for a recent snow day. Apparently you only got paid for snow days in the public school system in my home town if you were designated as an "essential" employee. Otherwise, snow days were unpaid days off. And I remember feeling betrayed by this discovery. Didn't the administrators understand that I could not possibly pursue an education with meaningful success without a sign language interpreter? Didn't they value me, or my academic success, enough to deem my interpreter as an "essential employee"?

    I don't know what was behind the decision to decline to designate sign language interpreters as "essential employees" in that school system, other than the desire to cut costs. But I wish I could have found a way to tell them that their decision sent a very loud message to this deaf student that they did not really care about me or my education.

    (If I do a BADD2016 post later today, it will go up at