Saturday, July 11, 2009
I returned from the Brooklyn National Conference two days ago. Though the conference was pretty amazing, considering all the media coverage about our concerns with language, never before had I been so happy to return. Everyday was a challenge, responding to follow up media requests (though the host committee was more overwhelmed than me) and dealing with on-site media (one attendee threw a plate at a camera man because he shined a light in his face). My biggest concern had to do with all the headlines claiming LPA wants to ban the word midget. Many conference attendees said many different things during the week. So I wouldn't be surprised if at some point the word ban was used, but in reality LPA passed a policy statement condemning the word midget and the FCC complaints list material that was found offensive. Neither the policy statement nor the FCC complaints ask for a ban. Perhaps we would not have received so much coverage without the word ban. Though some of the coverage has been bad -- people calling us the language and thought police; calling us overly sensitive PC Police --our concerns with language are more in the public eye than ever before. Going forward, I hope LPA can use this attention to our advantage, continuing to educate around language and continuing to present the message that people of short stature are just like everyone else, doing their part to contribute to an inclusive, diverse community.