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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Friday, June 06, 2008

MCoDP PressRelease: Charity Fundraiser

The following press release issued by MCoDP is a reaction to recent charity fund raising by an NGO which gives training and therapy services to disabled people.

In their ad, they encourage viewers or listeners to ask themselves whether they would be able to do things if "they couldn't walk, see or hear". Following this, the public is told that instead of feeling sorry for people like ... err ... me, they should donate something to their charity. However, the irony of it all that in the process, our value as disabled people - especially our competence and worth- is put into question. Here's the press release:

Maltese Council of Disabled Persons
Kunsill Malti tal-Persuni b’Dizabilita

“Xejn Dwarna Minghajrna!” - “Nothing about us without us!"

Top: Full title, slogan and logo of MCoDP - Hexagon divided into six triangles filled with the colours (clockwise) yellow, pink, green, light blue, violet and red respectively - each colour representing the six main impairment groups.

The Maltese Council of Disabled Persons (McoDP) objects to the way the Razzett tal-Hbiberija is undertaking its fundraising campaign. In one advert promoting its Charity 12 campaign, we are given the impression that having an impairment is a tragedy and that our life as disabled people is less than that of others in our society. Our members, who have a wide range of impairments, including physical, sensory and intellectual impairments, feel that this is a distortion of our experience and that such advertising may do more harm than good in the long term.

Indeed, Asking the public whether they would be able to do the things they did today if they had a physical, visual or hearing impairment does not help in the cause of disabled people. Admittedly, Razzett offers some disabled people with services and training that may assist in developing their potential, but these services do not replace the real changes that we need to have in society to achieve equality. Moreover, given the proper means and support, disabled people are not ‘limited’ by their impairments as this advert Implies.

In fact, Our experience as disabled people reveals that whether we can do things or not does not depend on whether we have an impairment but is often hampered by the disabling obstacles and attitudes we face on a daily basis. In addition, such advertising has negative effects on our entry into the labor market as many young disabled people are finding themselves being rejected for employment.

We strongly urge all organizations of and for disabled people to avoid portraying us in a negative manner, thereby undermining our legitimate claims to be part of our society and communities and to adopt positive fundraising imagery developed through direct consultation with established disabled activists who are also themselves disabled persons.

Gordon C. Cardona (President)

Maltese Council of Disabled Persons (McoDP)