Thursday, October 16, 2008

Say what?

From last night's debate (transcripts here):
MCCAIN: She'll be my partner. She understands reform. And, by the way, she also understands special-needs families. She understands that autism is on the rise, that we've got to find out what's causing it, and we've got to reach out to these families, and help them, and give them the help they need as they raise these very special needs children.
So... Sarah Palin understands about autism, because she has a six-month-old with Down syndrome? Walk me through that one, please. (Not surprisingly, Kristina Chew has the same question, with links. Yes, Palin has a nephew with autism. So do a lot of other people. That fact alone is not so impressive a qualification as McCain seems to think.)

And still, again, and again, only families with "very special needs" children are mentioned in the campaign's discussions of disability. What about disabled adults who need healthcare, jobs, access, transportation, etc. etc.? No mention of adults. What do they imagine happens to the "very special needs" children after about twenty years?

A hug and a wink from Sarah Palin won't keep my kid alive and well. Niceties are not a substitute for the programs and regulations that protect his rights--and his life.

Be sure to check out William Peace's commentary on the same passages in the debate transcripts, for further discussion.


william Peace said...

Penny, Another good source of information about disability and the campaign is Special Needs Truth 08. Mark Miller who maintains this blog has many links worth following.

Rob J. Quinn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob J. Quinn said...

Let me try this again…great post. While I wish Palin and her son well, being the mother of an infant with Autism doesn’t suddenly turn you into an advocate for people with disabilities. My understanding is she actually cut funding for special education in Alaska. As a person that will vote for Obama, I was disappointed to see him essentially take a pass on McCain’s assertion. It seems purely based on her son’s birth. That’s simply absurd. She’s just beginning to learn what an infant with Autism deals with. That says nothing about issues people with Autism face as they grow into childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, not to mention the issues people with other disabilities face.

Terri said...

They have had so many opportunities to do more than ooooh and aaaaaah about disability--but they won't. Their vision is not of a life of citizenship accessible for everyone. They see some people as citizens and others as perpetual children--perpetual recipients of charity at the whim of whomever.... UGH!!!!

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