Today was adopted by Jill Smith. In a matter of pure synchronicity, that I’d like to claim as planning but was really fluke, she builds on yesterday’s academic efforts.
I couldn’t be happier to be writing this following yesterday’s adoption and blog post. As a new member of the disability studies crowd working in a university, I am already without doubt that we need that cold hard look in a mirror to ‘keep us right’. It is with that in mind that I offer the post I do which shares my thoughts on how much I/we can/should be doing in our teaching to fight the good fight for causes like #justiceforLB. I start by heralding the wonderful people that are driving #justiceforLB and the #107days campaign. I have been in awe continuously at the spirit, power and sheer grit of the whole thing. Adopting this day to deliver lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate students studying ‘autism’ seemed like a drop in the ocean compared to the amazing things that are happening in and around the whole campaign.
As I signed up for day 50, I wondered how much lectures like this could really do to help. I asked students to share this story, the celebration of a life, and the need to fight for better care with another person….And to draw many buses with the people they love. I hope they did. I also realise more and more that there is an important part for us educators of future carers, social workers, teachers, Early Years practitioners (etc etc etc) to play to make sure our students go in to the world of work to value, respect, and care, I mean, really care for the people they work with. Not just an institutional care, a professional care, a care that ticks the box but doesn’t see the person behind it. Not a care that’s distant, measured and reduced to lists of risks and diagnoses and procedure. I mean the type of care that you give to someone you care about, the type of care that is personal, interpersonal, makes sure you look after that person above all else. That’s the stuff that seems really easily missed from curriculum, from modules, from assessment for new practitioners, if we’re too busy fitting in the other ‘essentials’. I hope I sent my student’s away with their ‘essentials’ at the top of which is that care, the humanity to care properly, competently, and caringly so that we become practitioners, institutions, a system, humans (etc etc etc), who no longer have a need for campaigns like this because we do better for each other.
Not quite at half way we are beginning to believe that we, you, all of us in pursuit of #JusticeforLB are maybe, possibly, beginning to actually make a difference. We thank each and every one of you for that.