I was going to tweet about this article about Kevin Rudd patting a crip on the head, but it would require 10 successive tweets to do so. So here are my thoughts.
In my own experience I've met Rudd a number of times since he became Opposition Leader in 2006. Each time he has treated me with the respect I deserve. I don't believe the incident is indicative of how the Prime Minister interacts with people that have a disability.
The more important issue is why and how this has stirred up media attention? One could argue the optics are not good, but it is really a major issue? I don't believe it is. Kevin might want to avoid it next time, but it doesn't deserve mainstream media coverage, or misplaced diatribes dissecting the issue. Has anyone asked the lady who received that pat if she found it offensive? Do we even know the context of these pictures?
This is why the general public fail to take disability advocates seriously. It is because the sector gets bogged down in bullshit issues such as this.
If disability advocates want to have a go at Rudd why not ask him how he let a shambles of a NDIS policy through? Or better yet, what is he going to do to make it equitable and efficient now that we're stuck with it?
I may be a crip, but I think this represents the final straw for me being classified as a 'disability advocate' in the general sense. This incident once again demonstrates that I do not share their value system, beliefs or motives.
And I think they would agree.