Thursday, January 17, 2008

Show some respect

Here is an extremely moving and eloquent speech by a young woman
who I've posted about before - Eleanor Bailey. She wrote this speech
and delivered it at the launch of a photographic exhibition related
to Down syndrome at Oregan Health Sciences University.
I wish I could have been there. Thanks Eleanor, for letting me share
your words.

"My name is Eleanor Bailey. I am very happy to be here today.
People with disabilities like to be treated just like anyone else.
All people should be treated nicely.
Sometimes people with disabilities are not treated very nicely.

Sometimes people just hover over us and say "just sit over there.
You can't be part of the group." They think they're too good for us.
They don't have time to sit down and talk to us.
They don't have time to help us.

I call people like that air heads.

Don't be an air head.

When you talk to me make eye contact.
Pay attention to what I say.
Listen to my words. Show some respect.

If I say I'm sick I am sick. Listen to me.
If I say my tooth hurts, listen to me.
When I speak I demand to be heard. I'm nice to you.
Be nice to me.

I am more than a person with a disability. I am a human being.
And I have feelings just like everyone else.
Speak to my just like you would like to be spoken to.

That's all there is to it.

Free Our People!"

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