“Beyond proclamations of pride, deaf and disabled people have been uncovering or formulating sets of alternative values derived from within the deaf and disabled experience. . . . They declare that they prize not self-sufficiency but self-determination, not independence but
…interdependence, not functional separateness but personal connection, not physical autonomy but human community.” Paul Longmore.
I’m really sad that Paul has gone… when I first saw news of his passing on facebook, I thought it was a statement of some sort, to do with the budget cuts. Or something like that. He just seems too large – and powerful – of a spirit to have left us.
I really liked Paul.
It’s weird writing about him in past tense.
Beyond like, I respected and admired him. I was also grateful. He may have been very famous in the disability community, accomplished and a leader in disability activism, but he was down-to-earth. He always remembered my name, when I never expected him to. He had time for students. He always came to Mentoring Night.
He was really funny… I remember the first thing he said that endeared me – he was talking about ‘people first’ language and to illustrate his point, he said that he was a chair user, not wheelchair bound. And wheelchair bound sounded kind of kinky.
Every time I hear someone say ‘wheelchair bound’ I think of him.. and kinkiness. *smile*
Paul, we’re going to miss you.
May you rest in peace and your legacy live on.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.