Mystique in attitudes to problems of disabled people
The problems of disabled people are often cloaked by a mystique developed by professionals, who intellectualize, analyze or compartmentalize the various aspects of these problems. They propagate the attitude that only the particular language developed by professionals can define the problems of disabled people; only the methods used by professional analysts can be used to determine where the problems come from; only the models developed by professionals can provide a solution; and only professionals are qualified and capable of implementing solutions. All of this undermines the efficacy with which disabled people can help themselves to operate at their maximum capacity.
In Europe a considerable effort is made to enable disabled people themselves to make a choice towards independent living. Professionals are encouraging disabled people to participate in decision making.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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