Further Comments on Disabled Kids

 Posted by on 18 June 2013 at 10:00 am  Children, Disability, Ethics, Family
Jun 182013

On the May 19th episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on whether disabled kids should be kept out of the public eye. (My answer was, in essence, HELL NO.)

Shortly thereafter, I received this message in email:

It has been a while since I’ve checked in with you, but I wanted to reach out to tell you that I greatly appreciate your podcast segment on the visibility of disabled children. I have personal stakes in this — my younger brother has down syndrome, and my daughter was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy — but I’d like to think that even without these intimate experiences, I would never had supported any idea that such people should be kept hidden, or out of the view of others. My brother and daughter have enriched the lives of many, and will continue to do so, for those people around them that are open enough to treat them as individuals. And I am grateful that you have taken the time to speak, in part, on their behalf.

Indeed — and thank you!

On the plane back from ATLOSCon, a young woman with Down’s Syndrome was on the train with me in the airport, then across the aisle from me in the plane. Not only was she not any kind of trouble, but I could tell that her family members enjoyed her company. At one point, I noticed that she seemed to be teaching sign language with the person next to her, and she was quite adept. As I watched her, I was so glad that her family didn’t think themselves obliged to cloister her; given her capacities, that would have been a loss for her and them.

So… if you’ve not yet heard that episode, you can listen to or download the relevant segment of the podcast here:

For more details, check out the question’s archive page. The full episode – where I also answered questions on individualism versus anti-social atomism, poor communication from the boss, arranged marriages, and more – is available as a podcast too.

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