Monday, January 08, 2007

One Hand Washes the Other

This is about how sometimes industry (and society in general)is less accomidating for difference.

For the purpose of this post, the way Im refering to left-handedness as being like autism, is that it is a difference in how the brain is equiped to do certain tasks.

The picture here is from a book of my wifes called "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. The picture shows how the right hemisphere of the brain controls the left hand and the left hemisphere controls the right hand. The book has lots of illustrations of how the brains work.

http://www.baylorhealth.edu/proceedings/12_4/12_4_flatt.html This is an article that tells some about some people who have been left-handed and some about how this has effected history.(I just learned how to make links like that.Cool or what? : ) Ill be explaining what I find out as I learn such things on my new Learning Blog.)

The point is that left-handers have always had alot to contribute to society and sometimes industry has found it inconveinient to accomidate their differences to (for instance) put left-handed machines in factories. The people deciding these things have said that it cost too much to do that. Im saying that *not* accomidating peoples differences, is very expensive. Especially in the long run.

Now, I have some difficulties that are different than autism(although Im autistic also) and its taken me a long time to understand what the difference is and how these things *are* different than autism. However, Im convinced that autism (apart from other things) *is* just a difference.

Actually, it is expensive for society to look at things about people as being broken. It is cost effective as well as compassionate and practical to look at people in the ways they are different and find ways to adapt to these differences.

I have worked for many years to get vocational programs to adapt to peoples differences and I continue to do so. I believe that ultimatly companies themselves (aside and without aid from vocational programs) need to do the adapting but one step at a time.

Now, Ive always known that people are uncomfortable with people who are different. When I walk into a store, everyone turns around to look at me. (I hate that) Some of it is my appearance thats different and some of it may also have to do with my energy level or whatever.... The thing is that I dont hide very well. I mean I REALLY stand out in a crowd. Ive always wondered why people are so uncomfortable with difference.

What I didnt know (that Im now learning) is that in addition, there is a serious campaign to get rid of the difference of autism (and autistics). This makes me angry and actually more than a little bit afraid of what may happen if some things dont change. Ill help more with this as I learn more. Im very grateful to the people who are addressing this issue and teaching myself and others.

I could write a great deal more about how society has accomidated left-handed people and the benefits that have occured. The point is that difference is not something to be afraid of. It is something that must be embraced. People who are different have so much to contribute to our society and its very important that we all find more ways to include and be more accepting of peoples differences.

3 Comments:

At 11:11 AM , Blogger mcewen said...

Wow! the man links - you're doing better than I am Gungadin. I read that book when I was a teenager [try doing the bit where you have to draw something upside down!]
As for people staring / looking perhaps your wife can give you some feedback on that as I don't believe you can look that weird. I hardly ever notice anyone as I'm in too much of a rush and my bifocals are usually gunked up.
Cheers dears

 
At 11:46 AM , Blogger Ed said...

Mcewen,
My wife is completly aware of how people respond to my appearance.It happens!I dont blame anyone. Its just something that makes me uncomfortable.Im as used to it as anyone could be by now.
Im not describing how people are overly concerned with how I look or me being overly concerned with what they think.
What I was describing was how people respond to difference and why they sometimes feel something is more conveinient when it really isnt.The post was more about how society and work situations are thinking that not being accomidating is more conveinient when its really not that way at all.It works to everyones disadvantage.

 
At 3:07 AM , Blogger Sharon said...

Hi Ed,
It's nice to see you!
And you have a great selection of links there. (Thanks for including me among your illustrious list!)

I concur with your point, when people are accommodated, everyone benefits.

 

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