Re: Suggested issues that may be addressed in next version of guidelines

JW:: "I will be persuaded not only by the most compelling arguments but
also by those which are best supported within the research community."

WL: As long as you don't become a "slave to fashion" this might be a
sound approach. The history of "scientific" research, particularly in
the fields under discussion, is replete with a long series of successful
efforts to debunk earlier "best supported within the research community"
positions. Just as there was little sympathy within the blind community
for "rehab agency" approaches to counter-productive measures seeking
inclusion, the current attempts to determine who "knows what's best" for
people with cognitive/learning anomalies are characterized by attitudes
typified by pejorative usages: "retard", "stupid", and even

JW:: "Since people with cognitive disabilities may be less well placed
to represent their own needs and advocate their own preferred approaches
within the context of guideline development, than are other relevant
parties, the opinions of specialists are likely to assume greater

WL: Of course this signifies much of the previous attitudes as well as
the present one. The deaf community has a little different perspective
on Alexander Graham Bell than those of us with cell phones growing out
of our ears and the widely held theory among the "research community"
was that deafness was inextricably intertwined with reduced mental
capacity, hence "deaf and dumb" - wherein dumb came to mean more than
just "mute". Although this is a very difficult matter for those of us
who are addicted to text, we must attend to the preferences of the
affected population - and be very selective about "authority". It's not
that we must proceed without attending to theoretical matters, just that
we must keep our eye on the doughnut rather than the hole.

Received on Sunday, 1 August 1999 09:37:05 UTC