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Re: Elderly and self identification as having a disability


From: Tyllick,Cliff S (DADS)
Date: May 26, 2016 9:58AM

Thad, that is wonderfully written.

Even when reading such a compelling piece, sometimes folks never let go of the "us" and "them" mentality--as in "making this easy to use is just another thing I'm having to do for them." (I won't repeat the way one developer phrased that. Let's just say I couldn't believe it didn't get him ordered to repeat civil rights training.)

When I encounter that attitude, I make the point that these issues affect everyone at least some of the time. An article that makes that clear is Angela Colter's The Audience You Didn't Know You Had: http://contentsmagazine.com/articles/the-audience-you-didn%E2%80%99t-know-you-had/

It usually works.

As for when it doesn't work, I'll loosely paraphrase that developer's comment: some people just refuse to be helped.

Cliff Tyllick

EIR Accessibility Coordinator

Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Gillen, Lori
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 9:56 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Elderly and self identification as having a disability

Thank you for writing this article, Thad, and sharing it with us. I always find it brave when people who suffers from some type of mental affliction has the courage to stand up and tell their story. As for me, I have been very open about self-identifying as someone with hearing loss, but not so much about self-identifying as someone with anxiety and depression. It's a real shame, because these illnesses are still stigmatized and people are afraid that self-identifying is going to be used against them.

I applaud your ability to work in an area where you are so passionate. For me, I would love to become an accessibility professional (yes, I am taking that webinar tomorrow), as I am very passionate about it, but when I read posts from people currently working in this area, in this forum (for example), I feel that sense of confusion, uncertainty, and lack of control that you talk about in your article for new users. I wonder if we can apply some of Thad's suggestions here as a start.

Lori Gillen

McKesson Corporation

-----Original Message-----

From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Thad C

Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:39 PM

To: WebAIM Discussion List

Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Elderly and self identification as having a disability

Hi Lori,

It is interesting that you bring up self identification today. I just had the follow piece published. It was one of the most satisfying projects I have worked on.


On May 24, 2016 8:01 AM, "Gillen, Lori" < <EMAIL REMOVED> <mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> >> wrote:

> Hi Jim-


> I'm not sure this is relevant but it is my hope that people in my

> company self-identify as having a disability so that they can reach

> out for the help they need to do their job to their optimum capacity.

> I think that I may be planting some seeds, but for the most part those

> with invisible disabilities, such as depression and other mental

> illnesses still have a stigma. Perhaps that is what is going on with

> the elderly. They came from a time when no one talks about those

> subjects, or maybe they are in denial about getting old and the disabilities that come with it.


> Lori Gillen

> Specialist Technical Writer

> McKesson Corporation

> Newton, MA


> -----Original Message-----

> From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On

> Behalf Of Jim Allan

> Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2016 10:32 AM

> To: WAI-IG; WebAIM Discussion List

> Subject: [WebAIM] Elderly and self identification as having a

> disability


> Hello,

> I have used, written, and repeated what I thought was a truism, but I

> don't recall when I first heard this ...


> Some/many elderly (aged) folks do not self identify as having a

> disability, they respond that they are just old and things don't work

> as well as they used to.


> Based on conversations with elderly relatives and others (aged and

> people in the disability field)...I found this to be true. Perhaps it

> was the way the question was asked.


> Be that as it may, I was trying to verify/research this truism. When I

> searched on "self identification" and other terms -- of course I found

> forms to self-identify, demographics, services, etc. all about folks

> who have self-identified.


> What I could not find is anything that verifies that elderly do not

> self identify because in their view they are not disabled, they are just old.

> There may other subsets of folks who would/could be considered

> disabled but for whatever reason choose not to self-identify.


> Do you have any insight/ideas...anything?


> --

> Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator

> Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

> 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756

> voice 512.206.9315 fax: 512.206.9264

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