(Inspiration) Porn: Special Needs Proms (transcript)

Intro/Boris: And now I wanna talk to you about inspiration porn, and no, I don’t mean adult videos with a heartfelt message about loving yourself – I mean portrayals of people with disabilities as inspirational or exceptional based solely on having a disability. People with disabilities face a number of barriers in our society and inspiration porn does little more than reinforce harmful concepts and perspectives that keep these barriers in place. People with disabilities don’t exist just to make you feel better about yourself – they just exist. Same as you. Same as me. To help dismantle the influence of inspiration porn, all of us at the Access Aisle present to you – our Porn Clip of the Month

News Clip Anchor #1: It’s prom season and high school students are swept up in the excitement of getting dressed up for the special dance, however, students with special needs can’t always attend but today, as Korina Flores shows us, they were able to enjoy a dance organized just for them.

News Clip Anchor #2: These students can enjoy a day of pampering and a prom, just like other high school students. During the special needs proms, students from 11 different school districts – 

Boris: I’m gonna stop you right there Ms. News Lady – you’re right about one thing, people with disabilities are often excluded from community activities and this definitely includes school functions like proms. But special needs proms are NOT the solution. In this story, you’ve got eleven entire school districts that would rather keep students with disabilities completely segregated than put even the slightest effort into examining what it is about their own practices that keeps these students from attending proms at their own schools. How is this something we celebrate? If you can’t get into your house because the door is locked, does it make more sense to buy a completely new house down the block or just unlock the freaking door? Now I’ll admit that special needs proms are a very popular, Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine foundation organized hundreds of church based events world wide this year to give students with disabilities a prom. Except these proms didn’t even happen during prom season. They happened during one night in February. Because nothing says equal access like being completely excluded from not only the event but the entire event season.