People with differencesOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals… More get services in school, their struggles are recognized, but only if they are willing to pathologize themselves, emphasize their problems, downplay their strengths, and claim differences as deficiencies.
Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive, Outside the Lines
Our communityWhat I have always been hoping to accomplish is the creation of community.Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-First-Person-Stories-Twenty-First-ebook/dp/B082ZQBL98/ https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-Adapted-Young-Adults-ebook/dp/B08VFT4R9T/… More lives this system, which is why we really appreciate Albemarle County Public Schools’ Seven Pathways, which states:
No child within the Albemarle County Public Schools should need a label or prescription in order to access the tools of learning or environments they need. Within the constraints of other laws (in particular, copyright) we will offer alternative representations of information, multiple tools, and a variety of instructional strategies to provide access for all learners to acquire lifelong learning competenciesAll healthy and resilient institutions have a well-functioning competency network (Laloux 2014; Wilson 2015). A good way to understand competency networks is via the notion of trustworthiness and the nurturing… More and the knowledge and skills specified in curricular standards. We will create classroom cultures that fully embrace differentiation of instruction, student work, and assessment based upon individual learners’ needs and capabilities. We will apply contemporary learning science to create accessible entry points for all students in our learning environments; and which support students in learning how to make technology choices to overcome disabilities and inabilities, and to leverage preferences and capabilities.Seven Pathways
Yes to all of that.
We like Albemarle’s approach to education technology. We write about them in “Classroom UX: Designing for Pluralism” and “Our Technology: Open Source Collaboration and Indie Ed-tech.“
They recognize the structural, institutional, and framing problems Jonathan Mooney describes in this great talk on reframingWhen we successfully reframe public discourse, we change the way the public sees the world. We change what counts as common sense. Because language activates frames, new language is required… More LD and ADHD (which is the source of the title and opening quote in this page you’re readingThere are three types of reading: eye reading, ear reading, and finger reading.The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning Most schools and… More).
We transcribed our favorite moments from the talk in “The Gift: Learning Disabilities Reframed”. We’ll conclude with selections making the case for two of our rules of thumb for inclusion.
- agent > patient
- identity > diagnosis
“The right to learn differently should be a universal human right that’s not mediated by a diagnosis.” We are agents with identity.
An essential component of my journey was an identity transformation from being a patient to being an agent.
Disability industrial complex is all about what people can’t do. We spend most of our time trying to fix what they can’t do. When all we do is fix people the message we give to them is that they are broken.
We’ve built an entire edifice of intervention that’s about fixing people.
We’ve built this whole infrastructure about fixing folks, about turning people into passive recipients of treatment and service, of turning people into patients. But being a patient is the most disempowered place a human being can be.
You gotta fight against this, you gotta be an advocate, you gotta have a voice in your education.
We need to cultivate a sense of agency in people which is the opposite of patient hood.
The most meaningful interventions, the most meaningful people in my life were people who cultivated a sense of agency.
We have a medical community that’s found a sickness for every single human difference. DSM keeps growing every single year with new ways to be defective, with new ways to be lessened.
When all we do is fix people, the message we give to them is that they are broken. Nobody lives a meaningful life feeling broken.
It’s that narrow definition of intelligence, behavior, and motivation that is really my disability. Not dyslexiaDyslexia is a genetic, brain-based characteristic that results in difficulty connecting the sounds of spoken language to written words. It can result in errors in reading or spelling as well… More, not ADHD.
In many learning environments we think good kids sit still. The good kid is the compliant kid.
Young folks like me are given the identity of being bad.
“What is your problem?” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that word in my life.
I was given this identity that I was a problem because of a normNormal was created, not discovered, by flawed, eccentric, self-interested, racist, ableist, homophobic, sexist humans. Normal is a statistical fiction, nothing less. Knowing this is the first step toward reclaiming your… More in the environment that good kids sit still.
We’ve built learning environments based on the myth that appropriate and valuable human behavior is about complianceNoncompliance is a social skill.Noncompliance is one of the most important social skills. Noncompliance skills make it possible to say no, even when others want your right to say no to… More.
I had overcome not ADHD, but I had overcome the feeling of being the defective person morally because I didn’t comply to the myth that good kids are compliant.
That’s agency. That’s somebody who refuses to negate somebody’s humanity because of a label.
Source: The Gift: Learning Disabilities Reframed
Everybody has that right to an education that’s not about what’s wrong with them but what’s right.
And every single human being has something good that they can build a life around.
Find the good and share it with the children in your life.
And every child deserves that.Every Child Has The Right To THIS Kind Of Education | Jonathan Mooney Inspirational Video | Goalcast – YouTube