Why I Think Disabled Charities are 'Total Pants'.
I used to work for a major disability charity because I thought as a disabled adult, I was doing my bit to raise money and awareness for children with disabilities. As the years passed and I faced more and more discrimination because I am a disabled parent, I slowly changed my mind and now I look at volunteers shaking their collection tins with the same contempt that one might reserve for a bank robber. Why? I realised just how hypocritical disability charities are, especially disabled children's charities.
Every year, 'Children in Need' raise money for children with illnesses and disabilities and the public flock to make donations for the children out of pity and wanting to improve their lives. Charities spend money on educating them, giving them medical care and other opportunities so that they can grow up and have similar experiences to their 'abled' peers, something that I used to believe was about equality - because they thought that disabled people were equal.
By Mark Harkin - Pudsey Bear, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31885857
I was wrong. Society's real attitude shines through as soon as that disabled child grows up and expects to get married like everyone else and if that person has a child then the mask really comes off. Society becomes aghast at the 'defective' parent who couldn't possibly parent as good as an 'abled' person can and who must be using junior as a carer. National disability charities do nothing as social workers circle like vultures around the families of 11,000 disabled parents yearly - deciding whether to play the ugenics game and break up those disabled families in favour of 'abled' idealism and what they consider a 'better' alternative.
National Organisations Encourage Biased Stereotypes
Major organizations who have a social responsibility not to encourage hate crime and negative stereotypes against disabled parents only encourage it with their completely biased reports that only come from the 'abled' perspective of not understanding how we do things (and most probably being secretly afraid that THEY couldn't do it).
'However, rather less attention has been paid to children who experience social exclusion as a result of their disabled parent’s restricted access to employment, housing, transport, hospitals, primary health care and their children’s schools.'
'How can we achieve a more constructive perspective on the relationship between the needs of parents, the needs of children and the needs of families? How can we continue to support children in very difficult circumstances while not undermining the status of parents? How can we reduce the frequency with which children have to care for disabled relatives? Can we promote the welfare of children without recourse to images of impairment and disability that are patronising and demeaning to disabled people?'
Let me answer that question for you, Barnardos. You can start by letting go of your prejudiced notion that children are disadvantaged by parental disability and that having a disabled parent must mean a child is looking after them or running the home. In the vast majority of cases this isn't true. Mild or moderately disabled people are more than capable of looking after themselves. In fact, research shows they are more capable and they teach this adaptability to their children.
Modern research that is not based on outdated ugenic ideals says this:
'Recent studies conclude there is average to better-than-average development and functioning among children of disabled parents. Investigators also found positive outcomes for children of disabled parents: enhanced coping and problem-solving skills; greater acceptance of difference; and, more positive attitudes towards disability' - Japan Society for Disability Studies.
My son doesn't care for me or do housework. He isn't 'disadvantaged' by having me as his mother. He can read in two languages, he goes to language classes, theatre school, karate, boxing and swimming, first aid classes, horse riding and piano lessons, which incidently, I pay for with the money I earn from my self-employed job. He has friends and a social life and I make sure he has everything he could want. I'm disabled, I'm single but I work my a**e off to give him the life he deserves. The only time anyone else ever looked after him was when I was in hospital having a hip replacement so it makes me furious when famous organisations like Barnardos ask IGNORANT questions like the one further up this page.
Why Do People Give to Disabled Children's Charities Just to Reject Us When We Grow Up?
I can't help but think, why do people donate to disabled children's charities? What is the point giving money to help save premature babies (like myself) when once they grow up, people don't want them to have a normal life and have a family like everyone else? Being able to procreate and raise a family is one of the most fundamental of human rights and the intolerance for disabled people who wish to be parents or who are parents is the most fundamental rejection of us in society.
A Baby in an Incubator
What do the donation-givers think happens after that disabled child reaches adulthood? It smacks of a hypocrisy that irritates me so much I can't donate, I turn off the TV when Pudsey Bear is on and I'm so disgusted by disability charities ignoring disabled parent discrimination, like Scope here:
'Scope is not campaigning directly on this issue, but it is reflected in our wider work on improving the adult social care system, extending eligibility for support from social care and changing attitudes towards disabled people. An important part of this is making sure disabled people get the support they need to enjoy family life and carry out parenting roles.' - SCOPE, 6th May 2015.
(Again, they assume that disabled parents must need 'care', while not highlighting any of the prejudism we face as parents in any of their equality campaigns).
I get rattled having to walk passed a Scope shop and I've got cerebral palsy. I won't ever donate again because until they realise that disabled children grow up and become disabled parents who just want to lead normal and independent lives without being judged, then they don't deserve my money. I'd rather spend it on my child.