McCabe on NPR: Paralympics in China – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

McCabe on NPR: Paralympics in China

Helen McCabe, assistant professor of education at HWS, was a guest on “The Bryant Park Project” on NPR on Tuesday, June 24. McCabe and interviewer Mike Pesca discussed the paralympics in China, specifically the guide that was recently released to teach volunteers how to interact with disabled athletes. The guide included language that was very offensive to people with disabilities and advocates (including McCabe). According to McCabe, the guide had huge, sweeping and incorrect generalizations and was demeaning to people with disabilities, such as the assertion that disabled athletes may have odd personalities. The guide is currently being revised. McCabe wondered who had developed or proofread the original publication, noting that China had resources available to them to prevent the offensive first edition from being printed. “This is an international event… There are people available, including myself, who could have read it, who speak Chinese, who speak English, who know the field… In that respect, I feel like they could have reached out.” On the program, McCabe also talked about the challenges of living with a disability in China and compared disability in China to that in the U.S. Pesca asked about legislation in China comparable to the Americans with Disabilities Act and McCabe explained that China has enacted similar legislation, but “the huge difference is that there’s no requirement that it be implemented.” McCabe joined the faculty in 2004 and is an expert on autism and its relation to education, family and social change in the U.S. and China. Her most recent scholarly writings include “The Importance of Parent-to-Parent Support Among Families of Children with Autism in the People’s Republic of China” to be published in an upcoming issue of the International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education and “Two Decades of Serving Children with Autism in the People’s Republic of China: Achievements and Challenges of a State-run Mental Health Center” appears in the May 2008 volume of Disability and Society. The show can be heard on NPR here