Division: Sabotage or Reality?

March 7, 2007 at 7:58 PM (disabled vets, Iraq War) ()

Because there are extended wars being conducted and triage technology has improved a great deal ….many more soldiers, men and women alike are coming home with impairments.

There’s been the Walter Reed debacle and widening criticism that the VA network, already overextended, will simply be unable to address the needs of the returning veterans….

I’m watching this from a different angle.

There are divisions on top of divisions in the disability community that, in my judgement are one of the factors in the slow nature of positive change for the community as a whole.

When one of the “Murderball” subjects stated fairly clearly that one of the factors in his disabling accident was “male pattern foolishness,” I thought: Is it just me or are those types of accidents/injuries more understood by men, because they [anecdotally speaking] happen to men more often? And does that mean that when our government plans for “disability,” it has the single template of the “accidental spinal cord injury victim” as the pattern around which any aid or rehab gets designed?

If that’s so, the war veterans will bring yet another pattern that has to be adjusted to and adapted to and *served* as soon as possible.

And that will be another division. I’ve no doubt that those whose impairments result from military service are given more respect, more acceptance of their newfound limitations than civilians with impairments. I’m not arguing that they should not, I’m stating that difference as problematic for the rest of us.

Will this mean a widening of the different views of impaired women versus impaired men? I believe that for the most part it will. (except for military women, who I believe will recieve the same amount of respect and support that their male counterparts do, if they come home to the States with impairments due to the war.)

If women with impairments, the rest of the civilian disabled, and the military disabled could instead find common ground and mutual benefit…that would be another example of why we *all* need homes of Universal design, access to housing, education and (where possible) employment. The support our disabled soldiers recieve should be a teaching tool of what’s needed for the disability community as a whole, not something that is never considered for civilians with impairments.

…Just wondering how this will be handled over time…

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