Disability World
A bimonthly web-zine of international disability news and views, Issue no. 7 March-April 2001

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"Quotes of the Day" (from Inclusion Daily Express)


"We are taking this very seriously."
--Virginia official Arne Owens, on claims that an institution staff member shot two residents with pellet guns (Jan 8)

"It doesn't mean it's not an important issue even if it's only a hundred unlawfully sterilized - they are still unlawful."
--Susan Brady, on a revised report showing that less than 200 -- not 1045 -- women and girls were sterilized illegally during the 1990's in Australia (Jan 11)


"We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred is a wedge designed to attack our civilization."
--Quote from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, appearing on a wall at the FDR Memorial, where a statue showing him in his wheelchair will be unveiled on Wednesday (Jan 9)

"'Normal' is a useful word for medicine and psychology, but otherwise it is too abstract. When we decide what's 'normal' and what's 'not normal', it could be very dangerous."
--Award winning author and philosopher Alexandre Jollien, who has cerebral palsy and spent much of his life in an institution in Switzerland (Jan 10)

"What may look like compassion to some people looks more like contempt to many of us with disabilities who have too often heard that someone else thinks we would be better off dead."
--Diane Coleman, president of Not Dead Yet, writing about Tina Cartrette, whose mother wants a North Carolina court to remove a feeding tube so Tina will die (Jan 11)

"It means people on crutches and in a wheelchair can do anything."
--Hannah McFadden, 4, at the dedication of a stature showing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the wheelchair he used during his entire term in the White House (Jan 12)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
--Martin Luther King, Jr. (Jan 15)

"As a person with a pretty severe disability myself, I don't want someone else to make a decision of when I am going to die. That is something that is not for somebody else to decide."
--Dave Martin, of the Manitoba League of People with Disabilities, commenting on the Canadian Supreme Court decision that will send Robert Latimer to prison for killing his daughter (Jan 18)

"We didn't necessarily want to give a heads-up to (the feds)."
--Linda Rolfe, director of the State of Washington's Division of Developmental Disabilities, commenting on why a study condemning the division's treatment of the people it serves was kept secret for seven months (Jan 18)

"This would be sending our next generations the message that if you cannot cope with a different or difficult situation, terminate the problem soon as possible."
--Elizabeth Derouin, of Ontario, commenting on requests by some Canadians that confessed killer Robert Latimer be set free (Jan 26)

Community Living/Self-Determination:

"I get to spend a lot more time with her. I'm very happy with my situation."
--Melanie Burgin, on life with her daughter Chelsea, 13, since she moved out of a Texas institution (Jan 9)

"My children can't eat 'intrinsic' sandwiches."
--A prospective agency employee in New Jersey, commenting that the "good feelings" associated with human services were not enough to support a family (Jan 16)

"Anyone in a nursing home who prefers to live with a family can now do that because of him."
--Lester Johnson, friend of Waddie Welcome who spent the last years of his life in a real home with a real family instead of a nursing home. Waddie died on Sunday (Jan 17)

"I love living this way. . . It's totally different."
--James Templeton, who now shares a own house with a friend, after spending 30 years in the Austin State School (Jan 17)

"This has been going on for a year."
--Sandra Vardakis, whose 33-year-old daughter Penelope has been kept out of her New Jersey group home because the agency can find no support staff (Jan 19)

"What about people with mental disabilities who can benefit from the same thing?"
--Mary Evilsizer, executive director of the Southern Nevada Center For Independent Living, commenting on Gov. Guinn's announced plan to increase funding to keep people with physical disabilities out of institutions (Jan 25)

"My little boy is not a number."
--Connie Coy, whose son Joseph is the 1,076th person on a waiting list to be assessed for Medicaid eligibility in Indiana (Jan 29)


"People get so caught up in trying to fix the person that they don't see the great diversity and benefits that the person has to bring to the rest of the world."
--Alison Seylor, who decided to have her son Alex, 11, who has autism, included in a classroom with other children his age rather than a segregated specialized therapy program (Jan 3)

"It's working fine for everyone else - why would they want to change the system?"
--Brett Eastburn, explaining to a student in a "special" school in Japan that the students need to take more control over their own lives, then act to change the system (Jan 10)

"Senior high school should be open not just to students chosen on the basis of qualifications, but to everyone who wants to go."
--Kumiko Yamada, on the fact that most students with disabilities in Osaka, Japan go from "mainstream" elementary and junior high schools to segregated senior high schools (Jan 16)

"Disability is natural. We must stop believing that disabilities keep a person from doing something. Because that's not true . . . Having a disability doesn't stop me from doing anything."
--Benjamin Snow, Grade 8, Woodland Park, Colorado, in an essay entitled "Attitudes About People with Disabilities" (Jan 19)

"We learn from modeling as much as we do from books."
--Linda Maki, director of special education for the Brown Deer School District, Wisconsin, on why her district will probably not send any more students with disabilities to a segregated school (Jan 23)

"I want to prove that handicapped people are not dumb or stupid, like some people think we are."
--Willis Radabaugh, 48, of Ohio who received his GED, the equivalent of a high school diploma, decades after he was banned from regular high school because he has cerebral palsy (Jan 25)

"I couldn't sleep at night."
--Alabama teaching assistant Pat Ragsdale, who was fired after calling parents of some special education students that, she says, were abused by their teacher (Jan 26)

"Tell 'em to just cool it. How do they think they're going to learn anything if they're all off by themselves all the time?"
--Lawrence, Kansas first grade student Ryan Bodensteiner, when asked what advice he would give to teachers who continue to send students with disabilities to segregated, special education classrooms (Jan 29)

"The state of knowledge exists. The will, the capacity and the methods are usually the problem."
--Rud Turnbull, professor of special education at Kansas University, on why inclusive education is so rare (Jan 30)

"We see a lot of openness and willingness to accept kids of all abilities. At this age, they don't know to be prejudiced."
--Sandy Davalos, a special education teacher working in an inclusive Early Childhood program in Kansas (Jan 30)

"To pull her out will be destructive to her because she knows the reason she can't go is because she's in a wheelchair."
--Kim Turner, claiming the Pennsylvania school her 8-year-old daughter Samantha attends refuses to do what it takes to be accessible (Jan 31)


"I like doing it. I do everything. I like earning my own money."
--David Daniels, who recently won an award as an outstanding Kentuckian, about his job with a building maintenance company (Jan 5)

"I'm never going to retire."
--Norman Anspach, 60, about the job he has had for the past six years in Jackson, Mississippi (Jan 8)


"More than anything else, it's about money."
--Andrew Hardin, the chair of the Texas Board of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, on the high rate of turnover experienced in the state's institutions (Jan 2)


"I can hardly believe it."
--Former Louisiana death row inmate Albert Burrell, who has mental retardation and was released from prison yesterday after DNA tests cleared him of the 1987 murders he had been convicted of committing (Jan 3)

"It bothers me on general principles that the state of Oklahoma is not doing a better job of keeping track of where the evidence is."
--Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson on "missing" evidence that turned up hours before a death row inmate with mental retardation was scheduled for execution (Jan 4)

"Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."
--The last words of Wanda Jean Allen, who reportedly had mental retardation, before she was executed by lethal injection Thursday evening in Oklahoma (Jan 12)


"We go to the top. I like the hills. And the jumps."
--Jerry Crosby, 31, who has Down syndrome and loves to snow ski (Jan 2)

"A lot of people with a disability say, 'This is who I am. I don't come here hoping my disability will go away, but because I want to participate.'"
--Carolyn R. Thompson, who has written a document encouraging churches to include more people with disabilities in their congregations (Jan 23)

"To sit there and tell anybody they can't do something because of a disability, I think that's ridiculous."
--Pat McDonald, who uses a wheelchair and who has his sights set on playing the PGA Tour (Jan 24)


"They did warn me what she was going to say, and I am glad they did, or I would have burst into tears."
--Bev Knowles, of Portsmouth, England, whose 10-year-old daughter Hannah recently said "I love you, Mummy" through her new computerized communication device (Jan 22)

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