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“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.

Here’s his NPR obituary… and a video on one of his pet subjects, Telethons.

May you rest in peace and your legacy live on.

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