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Talking futher about a new vision of disability / 15 August 2012

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Photo from Media Project and Training Workshop

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On Thursday 9/08/12 I travelled to Leicester as guest speaker for the AGM of RECOVERY which you can watch on youtube. This is an outline of my talk.

I’d like to start by quoting three quotations: ‘Our Deepest Fear’ by Marianne Williamson from ‘A Return To Love,’ ‘Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles’

This quotation was used by Nelson Mandela at his inauguration as President of South Africa: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

For me this crystallises the possibilities of human development and potential: ‘Where there is no vision the people perish’ [Book of Proverbs 29-18]. Which emphasises the pressing need for vision in our movement. Let's get rid of this horrible ‘medical model’ in mental health care and replace it with humane treatments. Anonymous and everyone I know

The Main points I raised were.
1. Intro about me and my CV- service user survivor, expert by experience, worked in films, horticulture and nature conservation, community artist, poet in residence, founder of an arts charity called Footsteps Arts currently disability campaigner to get justice for our people. Campaigning on Social networks including DAO Disability Arts Online and Facebook and Sometimes Linkedin. Fellow of the RSA

2. Proposing a new vision of disability-all the disabilities physical, mental and learning difficulties. Unity and common purpose, social justice and quality of life. More of a movement and less of a collection of groups and charities.

3. We should be setting the agenda-being pro active, taking the initiative. Using our knowledge and skill often much better than the so-called normals or able/bodied who are often ignorant and patronising.

4. Challenge the cuts, assets stripping apathy, poor performance and downsizinling the public sector.

5. We are part of the freedom movement, following a distinguished lineage- mahatma Ghandi, martin Luther king jnr and nelson Mandela to mention but a few. We need to be DISABILITY PROUD.

6. Need to master the media both old and new to win the hearts and minds of ordinary people. Currently we have Ruby Wax and Stephen Fry raising the banner for mental health and disability. Some projects like RECOVERY from Leicester are investing in the new media. And Footsteps Arts in London.

7. Work and work capability. If people are on long-term disability they should be helped to work by kindness and support not bullying. Statistically most disabled would prefer to work. Not to be put down scapegoat as work shy. Long term disabled should have proper OT.
Need invest in disabled social entrepreneurs.

8. Stigma or discrimination. I think it’s at it’s worse in the health industry. Institutional Discrimination.

9. Creativity: probably one of our best cards. Why don’t we try to capitalise on this skill.

10. Improve user involvement. Originally a tool to give voice to the unheard. Perhaps now it should be reviewed and evaluated to see if it is delivering. Measuring quality. Is it independent does it have a free voice?

11. PR: design a flag or emblems for our movement-should we not make some and could we change the language. Should words like ‘service user’ and ‘schizophrenia’, ’paranoia’ go in the rubbish bin? Can we make a new lexicon of names and terms more complimentary and less contentious?

12. Claim our full human rights: CRPD Convention on the rights of persons with disability. There are 50 articles not fully integrated into our legal system.

13. To develop organically making the most of our knowledge and talent.

14. Follow the lead of inspiring speaker on ted.com people like Aimee Mullins disabled athlete from the USA talking about the challenge of adversity

Sir Ken Robinson talking about creativity and personal development 

Srdja popovic talking about people power on the university curriculum in Serbia

15. With money, we need to get beyond our usual thinking. Ideas like ethical branding, joint finance deals and marketing our skills more.

16. Goals: develop a online community ‘think tank ‘using skype telecom-work towards a summit conference on 2013- work towards a cabinet of disability groups-with a spokesperson for better representation.

17. I’m making a personal commitment to peruse these ideals to create a new vision of disability to pursue social justice and improve the quality of disabled people lives. PJK 14/08/12