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Spread the Word to End the Word: The Movement for Social Equality for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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Westin Miller

on 28 April 2011

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Transcript of Spread the Word to End the Word: The Movement for Social Equality for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Spread the Word to End the Word: background Stages of a
Social Movement Genesis Enthusiastic
Mobilization Social Unrest Maintenance Termination History of the movement Ancient Stigma/Supernaturalism The Catholic Church often assumed that individuals with disabilities were guilty of sin and were being punished from the greater power.

This resulted in the first widespread institutionalization of individuals with disabilities.
U.S. Policy Settlers originally refused to bring individuals with disabilities

Institutionalization was widespread until the 1960s Beginnings of an Organized Movement Organization inspired by success of African-American Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Liberation Movement The movement began to see instant legal success:
President's Panel on Mental Retardation (1961)
Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 The Movement for SocIal EqualIty for IndIvIduals wIth Intellectual and Developmental DIsabIlItIes

By Rachel gulden, WestIn MIller, and NIcole Savary Social Movement Characteristics Organizations, campaigns, and communicative strategies Movement Leadership Theories Group Involvement Organized Collectivity Uninstitutionalized Collectivity Large in Scope Promote or Oppose Change in Societal Norms and Values Encounters Opposition in a Moral Struggle Persuasion is Pervasive Minimal organizational flow must be present

Leaders, spokespersons, members, campaigns, etc. must be identifyiable to the outside eye. Symbolic leaders noticeable on local, national, and international levels.

Campaigns like "Spread the Word to End the Word" garner international attention and are easily visible to the outside eye. Social movements cannot be "part of an established order that governs, maintains, or changes social, political, religious, or economic norms and values (SS&D, 2007, p. 7).
Although the movement has achieved many legislative victories, it is in no way institutionalized. National or international
Sustain efforts for decades
Create many organizations
Constantly seeking membership
Conduct many campaigns
Employ a wide variety of strategies The movement is visible across the globe, especially in the Western world.

Organized efforts have been clearly visible since the 1960s.

Many organizations like Civitans International, American Association of People with Disabilities, National Disability Rights Network, etc. are very active

All SMOs within the movement are actively recruiting.

A combination of legal and social campaigns.

Multiple strategies employed, from law suits to interpersonal conversations. Historically, the movement fought to change the attitudinal norm that individuals with disabilities were evil or dangerous.

The movement has specified with time (i.e. "Spread the Word") "Each social movement believes that it alone constitutes an ethical, virtuous, principled, and righteous force with a moral obligation it cannot ignore," (Stewart, Smith, and Denton 2007 p. 17). The movement feels it has a moral obligation to change attitudes and language
Moral opposition usually takes the form of apathy, but sometimes action. The movement focuses on education through campaigns, presentations, websites, social networking, and raising awareness. The variety of techniques allows for persuasion of all types of people, and allows the movement to easily adapt (aka allows it to be pervasive). Civitan International Fought the stigma against individuals with disabilities that was so prevalent in the early 20th century

In 1952, adopted their official international platform: "To buIld good cItIzenshIp by provIdIng a volunteer organIzatIon of clubs dedIcated to servIng IndIvIdual and communIty needs wIth an emphasIs on helpIng people wIth developmental dIsabIlItIes." Wolf Wolfensberger In 1969, published "The Origin and Nature of our Institutional Models," which questioned how we thought of individuals with disabilities.

The first author to argue that individuals with disabilities deserved and needed the same rights as all people. Legislative Campaigns/Victories The momentum from Wolfensberger's work resulted in successful lawsuits/pressure that resulted in several key victories:

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The Education for All Handicapped Children of 1975

The Civil rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980 The ADA of 1990 Provides basic protection for inviduals with disabilities in the areas of:
Public Entities But...
Public Accomodations
Commercial Facilities
Telecommunications Encountered major opposition from some Christian and Business interests Why? $ $ $ Then... U.S. Supreme Court severely restricted who could be protected under the ADA. ADAAA (2008) After 6 years of intense negotiation, Congress passes the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).

The bill explicitly clarifies that the ADA is meant to be BROAD in scope--it is meant to help as many people as possible. Social Campaigns Spread the Word to End the Word Launched in 2008 on www.r-word.org

Incredible support, many symbolic leaders

The movement has used it's widespread support to spread its simple message: "Rosa's Law," Signed on October 5, 2010,
Removes "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" from federal health, education and labor policy. Omaha! On April 13, 2011, Omaha celebrated "Mental Health Awareness Day"

Representatives from Spread the Word, Best Buddies, and the Special Olympics What makes a successful leader? "The leader gains legitimacy to exercise specific skills within a specific social movement organization or coalition through leadership traits, insights into a problem, bravery, and communication skills. (Stewart, Smith, and Denton, 2007 p. 115)."

Leaders must act as organizers, decision-makers, and symbols. Anthony Shriver Founder of Best Buddies International
Co-Founder of "Spread the Word to End the Word" Joseph McGinley One of the most easily-recognized symbolic leaders
Now runs "Spread the Word to End the Word"
Has done an excellent job utilizing new social media to spread his message.
NatIonally Locally Nicole Eggers College Buddy Director for Best Buddies
Co-President of the Student Empowerment Network
Leads Creighton's chapter of Best Buddies Dena Launderville Program director at the Ollie Web Center in Omaha
Responsible for Hand-in-Hand Interpretive Systems Dramatist Theory Narrative Theory Resource Mobilization Asks 5 questions:
What individuals? Conceiving themselves to be "what people?" In what environment? What adaptive strategies? With what evolutionary results? Analyzes all human interaction from the perspective of a narrative (story). Key components: Reliability and Fidelity

Use of logic and value-based claims Assumes that struggle arises from the conflict over existing resources and the creation of new ones.

Organizational Dynamics Key components: The Pentad: Act
Purpose Absolution of Guilt Hand-in-Hand Disability Rights Awareness Day Mental Health America Social Media Outreach Spreading the Word to End the Word T-shirt/Paraphernalia Distribution Recommendation #1: Expand Presence WIthIn popular media The movement has incredible celebrity support, but the support is not advertised. Problem: Frequently advertise these accomplishments in appropriate media outlets. Solution: RecommendatIon #2: Amend
State hate crIme laws Problem: 20 states do not protect individuals with disabilities under hate crime law. Use the movement's tremendous resources (political capital, financial resources, celebrity endorsement, etc.) to demand protection from states. Solution: RECOMMENDATION #3: IMPROVED FUNDING MECHANISMS FOR EXPANSION Problem: While resources are plentiful for current operations, the movement lacks a mechanism for efficient expansion. Solution: Jumpstart a program dedicated solely to the mobilization of resources to fund and implement new programs (i.e. Autism Action Partnership)
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