To the Editor:
As a long time disability advocate and professor, I was stunned by the wording in Christine Janice Kuziemko’s obituary, “Despite her disability she was known as a loving and affectionate person by all who knew her.” This wording connotes that Ms. Kuziemko’s loving ways might not be expected, due to a disability. Contrary, those with a developmental disability can exhibit a full range of emotions, even more than the general population, since the cognitive differences can showcase a childlike personality. I was dismayed that the editor allowed this wording to be printed in this day and age. Especially since media venues, like our local newspapers, have the opportunity to correctly educate the public about disability. Instead, it reminded me that despite the 1980s deinstitutionalization movement, where the disabled were allowed to join the rest of us in society, we still operate from an outdated and insulting paradigm.
DR. JUSTINE PAWLUKEWICZ