A family of a young nearly 17 year old man with Down Syndrome is approached by neighbours concerned that he has not been getting the education that he needs. Indeed he has virtually been denied education. The family is convinced that one of the neighbours knows of a place where their son will be given education and a chance to learn, in spite of the fact that he has Down Syndrome. They give their child away trusting that he will have new opportunities.
A few days later, election day in Bagdad, the young man wanders alone into a polling booth. Someone outside dials a cell phone number and instantly a 17 year old trusting and innocent man with Down Syndrome hears a small beep from the bomb that had been strapped to his body and then the explosion tears his body apart as he becomes the first human bomb with an intellectual disability.
This story outrages me on so many levels. But the part that bothers me is that I didn't know it. If I hadn't been in a car talking about how the world has changed with Dick Sobsey, who is in Toronto to do a presentation on the abuse of people with disabilities, I would never have heard it.
It reminds me of doing a lecture a year or so ago and hearing of a young man with an intellectual disability being set upon by other teens in a park in Sarnia. They sprayed lighter fluid on him and then set him ablaze. He suffered burns all over his face and scalp. I sat in horror listening to this story. Angry that it happened. Angry that I didn't know about it. Didn't have a chance to respond.
This story was eventually told, with my help, on CBC television here in Canada. But my guess is that most of the readers of this blog knew niether of these stories. Set in different countries and different cultures, they have the common theme of disrespect for people with disabilities. They also have in common the fact that there is virtual silence about these issues.
Is there, out there, any source that my blog readers know, for news and information about people with disabilities. I want to know these things, no matter how much they upset me. I want an end to media silence about violence against people with disabilities. I want there to be organized outrage - but how can there be when we don't know.
So, please, someone tell me a blog or website that collects worldwide news about disability.