The disability community has lost a giant. Paul Longmore, a scholar, historian, activist- and more- has passed away.
It was in Paul's books I first learned about disability studies and its implications as an emerging field. More importantly, I first saw in print what I'd learned after living with a disability for a relatively short time: that nondisabled voices often speak for those with disabilities, that, in his words (pdf file] :
"Nondisabled voices have automatically assumed authority to declare what 'disability' is and what disabled people need. Disabled people have often been considered unqualified to speak for themselves, to interpret their own experience. They have frequently been rendered voiceless."
His words had an enormous impact on my work.
Much has changed over the years, but much work remains to be done. Paul Longmore will be greatly missed. I offer my condolences to those who personally knew him.
Not Dead Yet
Disability Studies, Temple U
Wesley J. Smith
Medical Humanities Blog
Bloggers Remember Paul Longmore
Diane Coleman Remembers Paul Longmore
More Bloggers Remembering Paul Longmore
Hannah's Heroes: Paul Longmore