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The event that I attended was “Different Not Less” by Temple Grandin at Glenbard East High School on September 21st. As I entered Glenbard East, the first thing I started to observe was if there were any accommodations and access for people with disability. When I opened the doors to get in the school, I noticed there was an automatic door activation control. I kept walking to the auditorium where the event occurred; there was not an automatic activation control for the auditorium door. Additionally, there was not braille sign for the blind. I was alarmed to notice that, especially because it was a high school’s auditorium.
As I entered the hall, I found a seat in the front row. While I was sitting, I distinguished there wasn’t space for a wheelchair user. Also, as I was looking around, I noticed there were two ways to get up on the stage of the auditorium. However, both of the ways to get up where stairs. I was very stunned at the fact that a high school was lacking so many necessary accommodations and access for individuals with disabilities. It made me think about the rest of the school and how much lack of accommodations and access it has. If they cannot have accommodations and access in an auditorium what about the gym, classrooms, and cafeteria.
Furthermore, most of the audience that came to hear Temple Grandin speak came to be more knowledgeable and educated about autism. The audience either had a family member or a child with autism. Temple Grandin’s goal, is for society to recognize that people with autism can do so much. She wants society to stop restricting autistic children from experiencing life. Temple wants the community to know they are different, but they are not any less. Temple Grandin talked about her life and what she had experienced being a person with autism herself.
For me, hearing Temple speak was more of an eye-opener. She opened my eyes of how society treats a person with autism and disability in general. It opened my eyes objectively to how society is uneducated when it comes to disability. The event made me especially think about the social model. When Temple was speaking about her experience, and when the audience, later on, asked questions. It shows how society is the problem when it comes to disability.
Society cannot accept disability as something normal and natural. Temple shared her experience about when doctors had first diagnosed her with autism.Temple doctors told her parents to put her in a special instituted for kids with autism. The doctors instinctively limited her with every life experience she could encounter. They labeled her and did not want her to be a part of the world. They could not see her as a human. That relates to every movie we saw in this course the past couple of weeks and ties to every lecture that Dr. Sandahl has discussed so far. Society is restricting a person with a disability, due to their disability. For example, as Temple had mentioned in her speech school is the number one thing that is limiting kids with autism to learn and establish more knowledge. I believe that goes to a lot of different children with disability. Children with a disability automatically are placed in a “special class.” Society is not giving them a variety of options to experience. Not every kid, for example, a child with autism, should be placed in a “special class.” However, schools are not the only problem in society. A person with a disability has a very hard time finding a job. Population in the workforce do not give an individual with a disability a chance with a job. I never actually looked into that until this event. As I heard some of the members of the audience that had autism, asking Temple question and asking her for the advice on what they could do to stand out and having someone hire them. The member of the audience did not know if they should mention they have a disability or if they should just not mention it at all. As Temple had answered them and told them not to “label themselves.” She said, “that is what society does, they label.” That is why society is the problem most of the time; if not 100 percent of the time in my opinion.
This event relates to what we have been talking about in class because Temple Grandin focused on a lot, of how people with disability face many complex forms of judgment and injustice with education, employment, and stigmatizing attituded. The event was about autism and what parents can do to help their kids. Temple wants society to be aware and be educated that a person with autsim or a disability is not less of a human. She does not want individuals with disability to go through judgement and inequality with schooling and the workforce. She wants the audience to push their kids and their family members with autism to do more. Temple Grandin wants society to realize that everyone is different. Everyone learns differently. She wants schools to give kids more options of different course material. Schools are preventing the ability for children to learn more. It focuses on science and math and its not letting children expand their knowledge. Which I believe is very true. Schools do not give kids the capacity to acquire more about diverse workforces and different course material.
Attending this event, I learned so much. It opened my eyes to many things in my life that I could improve on. I have a 5-year-old brother that doctors diagnosed with autism at the age of four. Temple speech give me the ability to learn more about autism. Temple Grandin also pointed out what not to do for the benefit of the child with autism. My family and I have been over proactive with my 5-year-old brother. That is not a bad thing, but too much love can hurt. We are not giving him the ability to grow. We are so afraid of how society is going to treat him that we are limiting him from so much he can do. Temple educated my family and me of the matters we are doing wrong and what we can do to fix our mistakes. Her event was an eye-opener for me in many ways other than being educated about autism. She made me realize how uneducated society is and how we need to change and realize our mistake and that it is never too late to fix it.
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