One thing some people have been asking us when we tell them about BB Squared is whether we are creating a movement. This a valid question, especially if this is one’s first exposure to the world of differences, and one hears the passion in our voices when we talk about our ideas or the type of world we want to be a part wherein people with and without differences are enjoying and contributing to life together. But as a person who studied Rehabilitation in university, I am glad to tell you that the movement began long before any of us were born.
One of the first times I really understood this was in my second year of university when I had to read the book No Pity by Joseph Shapiro for a Special Education class. Each chapter of this book discusses a person involved in, or aspect of the disability rights movement in the United States. Other people perhaps thought this book was interesting, I cried through half of it. I loved knowing that people before me – and people currently – were doing and thinking courageous and exciting things in the name of making people with differences more equal and free. This was reinforced for me again and again in my years at the University of Illinois. Even at a school that has the best post-secondary services out there for persons with physical and perhaps people with learning differences, people were constantly coming up with ideas of how to make the experience better. Today, I continue to be surrounded by the movement each time I go to a meeting or a conference wherein the goal is to make services better for people with differences in Ontario. Not only that, but as I have alluded to in previous blog posts, there are other amazing organizations that are pulling the movement along. This means that right now we are joining in on a beautiful, challenging adventure, and I am confident that we – and anyone who participates with or alongside us – can only make better.
I thought I would end this blog post by sharing a couple of links that relate to the “differences rights movement.” I plan to add to this in the future, so please check back periodically to see if I have added anything. Like other great movements throughout history, I think it is important to remember how far we have come and the people who have contributed to our getting to this place.
Here is a disability rights timeline that covers disability rights in the United States up until 2001. Click on DISABILITY RIGHTS TIME.doc to go to the Word Document containing the timeline.
Here you can find information about the independent living movement (a movement where the focus is to give persons with differences control over their lives) in the U.S. It’s a bit outdated, but still informative:
This is the website for the independent living movement in Canada:
This is a PDF put together by the Canadian Council of Disabilities to discuss and commemorate the strides made for person’s with differences in Canada in the last 30 years:
Once again, if you know of links that could be added to this list, do not hesitate to let us know.