Friday, May 5, 2017

Cheers and Jeers: Teenager with Disability Meets NY Yankees and "X-Files" Mulder Perpetuates Bad Stereotype

By Unknown - created in Adobe Illustrator by user SixFourThree, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7888984

CHEERS!! to the MLB NY Yankees
A North Carolina high school senior traveled to New York yesterday to fulfill a lifelong dream: to see his Major League Baseball idols -- the New York Yankees -- play at Yankee Stadium.  This was made possible by his classmates.  But he got more than he expected, because he got to meet the team members in person.  Watch this video or read the story from ABC Eyewitness News in New York City

Fox Broadcasting Company - US logo for The X-FilesMoviePosterDb.com (December 6, 2009). Retrieved on September 18, 2012.

JEERS!! to Agent Mulder of "The X-Files" [actually, the writers]
Talk about things that make you go "Grrr".  A character on a popular TV show with a cult following like the global favorite "X-Files" perpetuating the stereotype that People with Disabilities [PWDs] can be excused for a substandard work ethic, is deplorable.  What's even worse:  there are still employers who won't hire a PWD because they think a PWD can't do a job as well as an able-bodied hire or won't be reliable and dependable.  We won't even get into the statistics and studies that show that PWDs tend to be more productive and reliable than their able-bodied counterparts.  And, there are still HR people out there who are afraid to hire PWDs because there is a bigger likelihood they will be sued, or because making certain accommodations will be too costly.  Although I am not in the job market like much-younger PWDs, I have suffered enough attitudinal barriers to allow me to appreciate how difficult those barriers must be when they are barriers to earning a living and enjoying independence rather than depending on public assistance!  

Check out this article about "Attitudinal Barriers" we PWDs face and how they can affect every area of our lives, but especially the right to earn a living on the website of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability. If you are a PWD, you will nod at prejudices you recognize; if you are able-bodied, you might see attitudes listed that you never realized existed in yourself -- if you are prepared to admit it.  And, ask yourself, if you were to substitute the words "African-American", "Hispanic", "Gay" or "Woman" in place of PWD, would these attitudes be okay?

No comments: