Costs are a barrier to Courage Center program

Courage Center is forcing me out of the sailing program by their insistence on charging a man who has already […]

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Courage Center is forcing me out of the sailing program by their insistence on charging a man who has already been legislated into poverty.  You may say that this is about fun and sailing but it is also political (as much as I hate that aspect). My graduate school advisor said politics dictates who controls the goods and services. You want to be especially accommodating to Courage Center because that is the source of the boats, volunteer training, liability protection and quack quack quack.

I get $1,010 a month Social Security Disability Income from which the state of Minnesota has legislated me and people like me further into poverty by taking an additional $333 “spend down.” The state will not let me earn above $650 a month.  I know of people who have been forced to give everything away and move into nursing homes because of the state “spend down”.  The state is taking the federal money that I earned as a taxpayer.  The federal government allows me $1,010 and the state government only allows $650; what’s wrong with this picture?

Then, I am told that Courage Center “has to” pay their staff.  If you charge for the service you will force me and most disabled people out.  Courage Center is more concerned with their expenses and paying their staff than the plight of people with disabilities.

Have you ever read “Disabling Professions,” an essential book about how the “helping professions” need groups to make their money?  They work with the Mask of Love, as the book calls it.  The Mask of Love is to pretend to have concerns about people with disabilities and then look for ways to take more money from the poorest group and keep disabled people isolated and powerless.

I know that people don’t want to look at anything academic when they’re trying to have fun.  But I hope that you do:   The Social Model of Disability is a reaction against the Medical Model of Disability. There were 54 some million people with disabilities as of the U.S. Census in 1996.  Roughly 1 in 5 (20%) of America has some disability.  One in 12 Americans has a severe disability. 75% of that population is unemployed primarily through a combination of prejudice and governmental rules. Of the 25% who are working 75% can only find part-time jobs.

As you know manufacturing —made in America—is a thing of the past. All of the “work” work has been exported.  Now more than 60% (a decade ago) are in service professions.  There are places like Courage Center and they need people to serve. I was told that they wanted to charge a fee to pay their staff.  That is exactly what I am talking about.   

The sailing program is not being made available to most disabled people who can’t afford Courage Center.  Oh, yeah, I forgot there are those who think it is all about wheelchairs and doesn’t have anything to do with politics and economics, has nothing to do with the 75% WHO CAN’T AFFORD the Courageous Center.   

I was so excited about the disability sailing program because it looked as if it might be about fun and sailing and equality and people helping each other.  But it is always about power and money isn’t it?   

Most peoples’ ideas about disability come from the post-World War II polio epidemics.  The national icon is the wheelchair symbol. For most of the last half of the 20th century the disability leaders were predominantly post-polio.   

Now since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where there are all these IED brain Injuries (my disability) you’re going to see lots more people with brain damage like me.  And our national perception of disability will change.   

I don’t have any money or any resources to offer but I would like to know if grants and corporations could help fund disability sailing.   

Courage Center is forcing me out of the sailing club and making it middle class and exclusive.  I hope people don’t let that happen. I was excited to get to do something that I have always been excluded from-here we go again.

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