Monday, May 19, 2008

The Paper Factory

Sometimes agencies are developed and maintained for no other reason than to allow a certain part of the population or advocacy groups that represent that population to feel secure that what they are seeking help with is being worked on.

I have heard these agencies referred to as paper factories. The idea is that as long as they produce enough paper that contains the right words they can postpone (too often what seems like forever) doing anything about what they were assigned to do.

In order for a paper factory to really work some people's needs must be met. Politicians and political groups that create these paper factories try to appease a part of the population that will provide them with support and they in turn will assure them that some parts of their population that the agency is supposed to serve (and by that I mean the most visible and loudest part of that population) are given all they need and sometimes all they want as well.

This creates security for not only the politicians who create these agencies, but also for the agencies themselves to survive as an agency. Then the "one hand washing the other" and "political backscratching" creates a situation where the majority of unwashed hands and unscratched backs are ignored, blamed, and sometimes descibed as the casuties of a necessary evil.

I remember hearing Bill Clinton speak extensively about how many student loans go unclaimed every year. By saying that, the point that he was trying to get across was that the government was doing their part but that people were not making the effort to get these loans. What he failed to explain was how many other reasons there were for these loans and even similar grants not being applied for. The reasons are many and there are many barriers that the US government knowingly creates to prevent these kinds of programs from being accessed by the majority of the population. As is the case with agencies, the way to secure the false claims of unlimited access to these programs is by parading the few who have been successful at using these programs in front of everyone else and have those people tell everyone else how great these programs are and how anyone can access them the way they did.

The way such things work (or rather don't work) for those claiming to be promoting education are very similar to the ways things are tried with in these agencies or paper factories that I'm describing. Unfortunately they have been successful at preventing real progress by promoting the illusion of success for too long.

This illusion is also very prevalent in how many public agencies are claiming to attempt to serve the disabled. Acknowleging neurological difference is one of the biggest threats to hiding the failures of agencies claiming to serve the disability community in the United States and hiding how the old system that has not worked for so many for so long.

If the US government truly accepted that disability was, in most (if not all) cases, an issue based on a lack of an appropriate job being offered to a person who is capable in ways that were not being acknowledged by the government and the public at large, they would need to change the core of their belief system and how they do things.

I don't believe that the US government is organized enough to create the massive conspiracies that many people claim. I do however think that it is safe to say that somebody somewhere who is making major decisions about government policy knows that such things such as glamorizing mood disorders and blaming hyperactive kids while feeding them amphetamines will reduce the population of those they see as unwanted without being blamed for it.

But how can autistics who are known to have a neurological difference be contained and maintained by the old-fashioned governmental paper shuffling rules and rulers? There will need to be a strategy to train the next generation of autistics to accept what the rulers (so to speak) describe as being their defects before the older autistics get the word out and spread their ideals that describe an "autistic culture".

Of course behaviors have to be given pathological reasons and treated with behavioral therapies. Some of those therapies will be brutal but can be justified by claiming that they prevent self injury if enough influencial people describe them that way.

The claims of outside sources such as vaccinations and inapppropriate foods causing autism will allow for the growth of the industry described as "therapies" along with marketing more of the lethargy and confussion causing toxic drugs that promote the pharmaceutical industry.

The one thing that will make traditional methods of isolation and exclusion look bad and ultimately less effective is allowing people to believe that differences can actually be accommodated. Tradition is protected by describing things as dis ease so that ease can be marketed based on the claim that this ease (or answer to the dis ease) will come in the form of fixing, curing, and possibly eliminating differences that we find it to be uncomfortable and/or inconvenient to support or encourage.

The accommodations that have been provided for people with all types of disabilities within the United States to be more productive has increased in an alarming slow rate in comparison to the rate of expansion and development of the products and services that we as a nation offers. Our traditional paper shuffling and ignoring people who are seen as inconvenient has created nothing but an enormous debt and a larger part of the population than ever who is seen as unproductive. While it may be difficult for some people to recognize, these kinds of inappropriate and irresponsible management practices have a way of catching up with everyone.

4 Comments:

At 3:34 PM , Anonymous CS said...

Holy Cow! This is really a great post and got me to thinking. I liked all of it but one way I hadn't thought about was what you wrote here:

"This illusion is also very prevalent in how many public agencies are claiming to attempt to serve the disabled. Acknowleging neurological difference is one of the biggest threats to hiding the failures of agencies claiming to serve the disability community in the United States and hiding how the old system that has not worked for so many for so long."

Thanks for adding my widget. I'm making you one and I'm going to follow up with you tonight on our recent conversation.

 
At 3:50 PM , Blogger Ed said...

Hey CS,
Thanks,I'm trying to make a comment on your most recent post as soon as I figure out that sophisticated blog format of yours.

 
At 5:24 AM , Blogger Jade said...

Well stated. I'm a recently diagnosed autistic adult who job hopped for years. I was either fired for being a difficult employee, or quit out of sheer frustration.

Once I was diagnosed, I sought accommodations at my job and was fired shortly afterward ("It's just not working out.")

I turn to agencies to help me find a job and they turned up nothing for five months. Six different agencies!

I finally found one on my own. I work as a janitor, alone, at night. Thankfully, I can do this without accommodations. Nice to see my IQ of 180 being put to good use...

 
At 8:02 AM , Blogger Ed said...

Hi Jade,
Lots of autistics seem to have difficulties finding employment that works for them and meets their qualifications.

I'm glad you found something on your own. I hope you find someone who can recognize your strengths and offer you a more appropriate job. I'm not sure many public agencies have that as their goal.

 

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