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Expanding ideas about contribution

In this video, Therese Sands and Gwynnyth Llewellyn share their views on contribution and disability.

Despite the common representation of disabled people in Western societies as people who don’t contribute, people with disabilities do contribute in a multitude of different ways.

The presenters in the above video explain how one’s context — policy context, cultural context, etc. — can influence the way they define and value contribution.

When the course team talked about how we felt we contribute, the discussion went beyond the idea of giving money or goods. We talked about contributing to the care and support of others, about being involved in our local communities and other groups, and about giving love to people we deeply care about.

So why is it that one dominant perception of people with disabilities is an assumed inability to contribute? Why are disabled people often assumed to be just passive receivers of other peoples’ contributions? We will explore this in more detail in the next steps.

Both Therese and Gwynnyth talk about how important it is that disabled people are even understood be present in society, and how this understanding can be promoted by the authentic representation of people with disabilities in the popular media. If you’d like to explore this further, you can jump ahead to Step 5.13 – Extending your knowledge: The importance of representation. If you do jump ahead, make sure you return to complete any steps you have missed.

Talking points

  • What types of contributions do the video presenters describe?
  • How are ideas about contribution affected by the economic, social and political context?
  • What did you find most interesting and/or challenging from this video?

In the next step, Mel discusses her ideas about contribution.

This article is from the free online

Disability and a Good Life: Working with Disability

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