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Watering Plants

 

Another year has gone. It was a good year for many people and a bad one for others. For me, it was a year full of good experiences. From bad moments I have learnt to take deep thoughts and comments.

This year I have seen many and repeated attitudes of "watering plants". I am not crazy! What's the relation between "watering plants" and the following text? A big one!!!! Some attitudes have shown me that people with disabilities are treated just as if they were plants and some groups and people keep watering them according to these groups and people's interests, to keep people with disabilities alive but static, as a plant.

This year was held in Brazil the DBI Conference - International Deafblindness, and as many people know, I am a Deafblind person myself, but I spent many days answering thousand of email messages asking me why I didn't participate of this "important" event. My answer was always the same: I wasn't invited! Many people from this organization tried to convince me of many hypotheses, but for me it is clear that I wasn't invited because I am not the kind of Deafblind who accept everything without contesting. I have sovereignty and this profile is not well seen by the people who organize the conference. This conference was a "make up" on the true reality about the Brazilian Deafblind people. Since 1962, year in which the education of Deafblind people in Brazil really started, we have been subordinated in relation to our values and development. Some people, groups and organization, which use the power of Dollars and Euros, produced a pure greed, real selfishness, the uncontrollable tendency to power and control and more than that, the terrible subordination. I affects directly the Deafblind people but it is strange how it doesn't affect people who are not Deafblind. Many people got medals in this "important" event. Medals which were made with the blood of thousands of Deafblind people who suffered and didn't have any opportunity. And the most unbelievable thing was the theme of the conference: "Inclusion for a life of opportunities". Can you believe that? They have been "watering plants" for 50 years. In this conference an American Deafblind man presented a lecture about technologies to support Deafblind people. He is very skillful, but what I can't understand is that he is American and some years ago he was in Brazil presenting exactly the same thing. From that time to now no plan was really developed to permit Deafblind people to have a real access to these technologies. So, here I leave some thoughts about it: Form how many years more this American man will come and go with the same thing? From time to time the "Deafblind plants" are watered, do you understand what I mean? How many times international people, groups and organizations will use "the American sprinkler" to subordinate and play with the feelings of many Deafblind people in Brazil ? Here is the question!

Everybody know that in Brazil many things are fashion for some time. I think that the United Nations Convention for the rights of people with disabilities is an example of fashion now. For many times this year I heard the sentence: "The work according to the Convention". "Education according to the Convention" and some many others like theses and then I think about them. They want "light" for people with disabilities but in fact what we know is that we live in the dark. People with disabilities really don't know what is and how they can use the Convention and that many people are using it as a "water sprinkler". Oh my! But we need to be honest and admit that many of the people with disabilities accept advices form these "water sprinklers" and they never fight for their rights in their cities, rights which are always forgotten. Do they understand the Convention or they talk about it because it is fashion? People with disabilities only will understand the Convention when they have a real control on their identities, otherwise the "fashion" takes the control.

This lack of identity present in many people with disabilities almost made my moral get in collapse because the many times I have heard "I represent people with disabilities". This "I" is hardly ever a person with disabilities. Wao! It is incredible how people with disabilities accept that or are convinced to accept that, and they seem to like being represented. Will be there the day in which they will represent themselves? Maybe this day is close because the release of the National Plan for the rights of people with disabilities, which is called as "living without limits". Great thing! Billions in investments, daughters and sons of parliament people in photos, Even president Dilma cried. But to obfuscate the party, there was the funeral of the decree number 6.571/ 08 which was about the inclusive school. So what now? Will the billions of Reais be used to really "live without limits" or will they be used by the "water sprinklers"?

There were many situations this year which make me furious. Sometimes I want to give up and run away as the American-Russian philosopher Ayn Rand highlighted. She was Jew, she ran away for the Russian revolution and went to The USA in 1920, and she talks about what she experienced. I it is as if she had lived under some governments well known by us, Brazilians, isn't it? "When you notice that to produce you need the permit from those who don't produce anything; when you notice that money flows for those who negotiate not with properties but with favors; when you notice that many get rich through bribe and influences than through working and that the laws don't protect us from them, but on the other hand they are protected from you; when you notice that corruption is rewarded and honesty is converted into self sacrifice, so then you can affirm truly that your society is convicted, so run away!" But as Brazil is a nation of all Brazilians and I am not the kind of person who runs away, as a citizen, I beg, using the Constitution regulations, that president Dilma remodel the decree number 7.611/11 so it can really be according to the Convention and so it can guarantee the right for education with all the required resources, so Deafblind people won't be discriminated more than they are now and one day they can really be citizens with equal conditions.

• Deafblind Brasilian. President of Agapasm - www.agapasm.com.br. Specialist in Special Education. Writer. II Sentidos Award Winner. Honorable Rotary Club member - Rotary Club in São Luiz Gonzaga-RS. International Leader for the employment of people with disabilities - Professional Program on International Leadership, Employment, and Disability (I-LEAD) - Mobility International USA - MIUSA. Member World Federation of Deafblind - WFDB. I write articles for the Reação Magazine, and also to Planeta Educação and I am a counceler of Rede Educativa Mundial – REDEM. Counceler of Inclusion Brazil Institute