Tomorrow I am taking part ‘Walk In Our Shoes’ to gain an understanding and awareness of disability and its impact on both the individual and the family.
Between the 21-27 June, autism charity TreeHouse is launching its ‘Walk In Our Shoes’ event. It’s an opportunity for parents and carers of children with autism to influence local decision-makers.
They asked for volunteer families to take a ‘decision-maker’ (in this case me) into their day so I will get a unique insight into the challenges and positive aspects of disability that affect the family I am placed with. I am joining a family with three children one of whom is nine years old and is autistic and I will be going with the family on the morning school and nursery run.
Sounds like a good idea. Just don’t let it mislead you – there’s a lot of different sorts of people out there, and the things one family needs won’t necessarily help another.
I agree with you Andrew. Disability awareness is not really seen as being helpful now. It can be viewed as discriminatory and lacking respect for disabled people. Any one who is aware of the social model of disability will be aware of the traps that disability awareness can lead us unwittingly into. Everyone has different needs and although attending and taking part in ‘walking in their shoes’ can help with listening to one families needs it may not be the needs of another.
Disability and equality are a complex issues requiring a mix of perspectives and ideas and understanding of different needs.