California Behavior Analysis Conference

You wouldn't believe that some of the places, some of the kinds of microphones set ups we've gone through. I've just came from one where they had to crank it, so people can really hear me. I'm really pleased to see the numbers of people that are here today. That shows a tremendous interest. I feel an area that may have a great deal of our lifes to and will continue to commit our time and energy and strength that we have to fill the several issues. I'm here to talk about strength and not about weakness. I'm here today to talk to you about Civil Rights and not about charity. I'm here today to talk to you about organization, about community programing and about where we're going to go togetherin the next 10 years. Those of us who have a vision or a path or a way towards a preferred society for people with disabilities, who have special needs. Each of us has to have a small piece of that plan, each of us has to be involved and looking at a future with optimist we can talk and be seen in the past numerous examples of why people with disabilities that fail to move into the mainstream in our society, it wasn't very many years ago that the real alternative people though was the medical aspects of the disability. If we can provide for those medical aspects, if we could segregate people, if we can move them away and give them some of the best kind of programing that people with disabilities would be better off. I don't see that kind of of dielemma that we're in, as anything but an opportunity one that as we look at and people with disabilities get together and tell terrific war stories and many of you have been involve with the kind of atrosity and problems that we've been through. Well, it's time and really I don't think especially as I look at my own mind and think about the kind of things that help turn me around, the kind of energy, the kind of anger and self destructive feelings I had on myself because all of a sudden I would, I became this, what I call a magificent job, the older I get the more I miss it, I guess. (laugh)

all of a sudden is worse, calling me cripple and of all places in a hospital where it didn't mattered much what I said and constantly around me somehow feelings were reinforced, people telling me about my limits about how I wouldn't be able to do and how I had to accept this and yet there was no part of that process that allowed me to help find my own. Those expectations, those attitudes that I felt very clearly influence closely how I look at myself and it it wasn't for some very strong people, parents who wouldn't except that identy, myself who decided that maybe finding for something else to do and slowly I began to regain my ability not only see myself in a perspective, I remember a time when I would never come out to speak to a group like this because it seem to me that everbody was staring at me because I was a crip, because I was disabled but, than I began to see that there was an alternative ways of looking and as I began to feel what my own fear, my own feelings of being less than whole I found I could take it two ways yet, in fact, when I did go out people stared at me like crazy. In a sense it made you a person that was picked at, that in a sense could of been a very positive thing. For me as I began to change my attitude toward myself, I began to see how and a few people around me began to change attitudes. I began to see very clearly how incredible destructive the kinds of attitudes in our society the kinds of ways people with disabilities are viewed and how self-fulfilling they became, how in fact we can see it day to day with people, if there are no role models there's no one around they can see like them with a disability it's successful if there, they see very few choices or alternatives in their lives but people around them that way it's inevitable whats going to happen and so we move into a very heavily institutionalized period, and I don't know many of hundreds of years you can go back and it doesn't matter really what
really the disabling condition is, it became very clear to me that stigma attach to myself as a physically disabled person was equally strong to a stigma attach to a mentally retarded, severely cerebral palsy person, severely mentally ill person, an alcholic, a drug addict you name it and the stigma is very clear, it was like a broad brush. It's like I began to achieved my own liberation. I felt I did that through finding, now the first herdle was in high school, when they decided they weren't going to let me graduate because I hadn't taken Drivers Education and P.E. (laugh) So I figured that was a battle I could win. Good old elenski style of organizing if you start with success with something you know that you can win at, you find very soon success breeds success and I think that's the kind of theing that's happen in my own life and something we begin to see happening across this country to people with disabilities just like kind of shut-in of an old few. It's taking on a increditable hope for the future and whether we label it organization or whether we call it intergration, the meaning is very clear and the movement, is very clear. The movement is one of millions of people with disabilities, millions of parents, professionals who work in the field and work with people with disabilities who begin become much more aware of the fact that the future could be very bright. But, that we have to together begin to define the future and it has to be one that is one through some struggle and the key to the struggle seems to me is the attitudinal barriers people with disabilities face day to day in their lives and the kinds of things you see not only in state hospitals but in communities the kind of response or lack of response that communities and individuals have. It's very clear that these next few years, fiscal resources are not to explored and no matter who's the president or the Governor, additional resources are going to be developed throught political organization an yet it wasn't to long ago I went to the Governor and I said, you know no one has ever thought about, well, vever thought, but, attempted to make
a real record in the whole area of rehabilitation, really in a civil rights aspects of people disabilities and if we look at size of the population of the disabled people alone and you add than people like yourselves or people who intra involved in this new process and movement you begin to see how powerfully we could be together. I think this conference other group things that are happening in cities across the State of California, Independent Living Movements, movements away from segregated situations are going to help that because the disabled might think that will becomming out towards and joining all of us in this movement. As I look whats happened in that short period of time, year and a half as I began as Director of Rehabilitation and I look at the Department of Health Education, Benefit Payments, Employment Development, you began to see how clear it is. It's not only strong leadership that has to be provided but we have to begin to look harder at early ages, the places where we can come together and work together because of new technology that are out there day to day some of you have them in your own communities, some of you are working on them. You need to better inform each other about the kinds of things that work and we need to begin to be very clear about the kinds of things that don't and I think those are the two places we need to spend the majority of our time. We need to reenforce people strongly and this is beginning to be done in the Department of Rehabilitation and they are approaching that preferred teacher and they are helping to build that system and movement disabled person that at one time declared not feasible for rehab. To a time where receive, each person with a disability is seen as a value and productive member of the community in this society. My feeling is where seeing the first few years of that all, you have to do is begin to look at it very clearly at what's coming down the pipe. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandated priority service disability disabled. The Developmentally Disabilities Act mandated services to all people with developmentally disabilities including some very important Civil Rights aspects they new right to education laws, California alone it's going to mean 300 million new dollars to the right education for young people
with disabilities. Those are only a few examples, I can give you more. We are working very hard on the long term funding, where people are not only workshop work activites centers and I think we ought to come back to the beginning of that funding. We're looking hard at the linkages between programs, like regional centers and the department, like rehabilitation and how do we keep people moving that system, how do we help them have a maximum number of choices no matter what the disability is, that in fact the disability isn't the most revelent factor at all. But, that the ability and the strength of that person, it seem very clearly. You know when I speak to you about strength and about ability I think about the things that I've learned, because I was the person with a disability, because strength comes through first surviving physically and then beginning to cope as a devalue person and beginning to come out on top is not only a person that values himself, but has some values of society. Thats going to happen, it's got to happen for all people with disabilities. That same kind of process as we move closer to that preferred future and as we focus in and as we begin to eliminate the kinds of negative in puts. I'm here talking to a great extent about attitudes about the fact that it's going to be one hell of a struggle to open up certain parts of our industry to help people with disabilities work. We're beginning to do that very strongly in all the state. It seems to me that the state government and the state is commited to reintroduction or integration of people with disabilities they are going to have to show the way, and we do State Personnel Board. It is know setting up quotas setting up times tables and we're even now to a point where we are going to decided what parities and you know they're extremely surprise to find that they had to agree in the beginning 24% parity, they had no idea that the population was large and yet, I think it's a conservative figure so know we are political
negotiating the actual number in terms of but we're talking about thousands of new jobs and we're talking about jobs in ever area in state government and some of you who work in state hospitals to take many people with disabilities and we're looking very closely at that, whether thats a good idea. If you look at the whole theory of normalization you see a place of devalue people together is a better sign that they can't make it it in other areas and so were very clear as we go into these programs, what kind of positive effect are we going to have, is it really continuing the kind of segregation that existed an old alternative or is it looking towards that future and a very bright future. I think as we focus in groups like this as we learn the kinds of things that maybe some of us only learn and we see it happening about but even the most severely retarded people in our society, people who at one time were systematically placed in state hospitals to rot are people who happen to become very productive members of our society and until we help them, all of us free ourselves we're in the same kind of bondage, we have the same kind of attitudes, level balance it's more that we can't do than an assumption that each of has before we were disabled in our lives an assumption about promise of a future and it's this kind of struggle that I feel that I'm committed to and very involved in and it's one and as you see movement on the part of Department of Rehabilitation to intake more people with disabilities to go beyond, I hope I haven't yet but I've been told yearly that I've very much stretch the meaning of 73 Rehabilitation Act and I think each of us has to stretch the feeling and the preminiters and of boundries of our programs and every element we can add to help move people towards taking charge of their own lives towards, seeing themselves as people with power and towards seeing themselves as value people in our society is one of the things we
have to enforce. In each workshop of this kind, begins to help do that. You know it's very easy for a person with disabilities to say, come in and say to someone that would be a bad attitude but you're not helping me at all, but, I think it doesn't do any good, it doesn't help to tell somebody, it's much better to hold out a hand and say hey, how can we do together and can be reach and mutually agree upon as objective and begin to learn how to love together and.................