Valuing People’s Lives - David Corner’s statement on deaths in Japan

This week I saw the news media about the killing in Japan in an institution for disabled people where 19 people were killed and 26 others were injured by just one person and the media highlighted it as the worse killing in Japan since World War 2.

As a person with an intellectual disability and autism it has made me feel down, frustrated and really sad to hear about this happening to other people with disabilities around the world. If I hadn’t seen correspondence about it happening then it would almost feel like I had been having a nightmare or a bad dream. It made me feel emotional and almost wanting to jump up and down and to know the person did it as the people didn’t deserve this as he used to work at the institution and you almost have to wonder how much he cared for the people don’t you?    

I have lots of friends with intellectual disability around the world that I have met in my travels and it makes me feel sad to think that anyone of them could be next to die.

I have to ask the question why did this happen? Also what made him do this, do this kind of thing?  Sure he may have had his issues and problems as we all do from time to time. But surely he could and should ask for help and support from other people rather than take his own misery and frustration out on other people. 

We all want to be able to live like our friends and their families and the people who inspire us and are role models. None of them live in institutions and neither should we. 

One of the sad things from my point of view seems to be that organisations and staff put all their time and effort and energy into supporting people with disabilities that people often forget that staff need help and support as well. 

I look at it as a triangle of organisation staff and people surely there is a theory that if an organisation provides the help and support that the staff need, surely then they will be able to give people the right help and support and it will make it easier on the organisation?

We often hear of the saying about safety in numbers, but it almost seems to be the opposite now days as it seems that more people are being killed when they are together in a large building or in a group celebrating something, which is really sad.

It has been said that we are all born equal and in that case regardless of whether we have a disability or not we all have human rights and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We should be treated as equal with the same help and support as other disabled people.  Here a person doesn’t seem to value disabled people’s lives.

David Corner, IHC Self Advocacy Coordinator.