I must say that the most inclusive group I have ever found is within neo-Paganism. It has matured into a very open and welcoming group that deals with blind, deaf, learning disabled, gay, straight, children, adults, elders, you name it. They used to be homophobic in the 50's and even a bit in the early 60's, but that has changed, probably as we have gotten older. Like others, I have dealt with discrimination, but largely people don't know because I have been hearing impaired so long and learned so many coping skills that I often pass as hearing. However, I tend to be the poster child for disability awareness wherever I go as I don't hide the hearing aid that I have other issues. I've had people deny that I was hearing impaired and then pulled off my hearing aid and handed it to them - much to their astonishment. People don't get it that I can hear some things but not others - even one of my friends at school had a minor melt-down over my insisting on being given equal access because of my hearing. He's young - hopefully, he will "get it" later. Humans are innately clannish and exclusive in their little groups. We are like wolves or other primates (chimps for one) with a pack or troop mentality. It served us well when we were in our early stages of development, but it is a hindrance to us now. Interestingly, the root for most names such as tribal names - all around the world mean something like "the people" or "the real people" or "the only people" which means everyone else is not people, non-human, of no value. It should come as no suprise that the differently able are also not considered a part of the "real people" - sad, but not suprising. I suspect we will see racial integration and equality a long time before we see equality between all people in terms of ability/disability. We've still got a long way to go. Slithy Mary Emerson <maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: Neal, That is a humiliating experience your professor had. I got a lot of that when I was in school; I was called "that thing" by kids who had obviously never dealt with disabled people; even in college when attending something with my room mate, kids from the nearby University of California sat near us specifically to make fun of us; my room mate was sighted, but they made fun of her helping me. I even got some of it in the work place. I even got humiliated by a couple of kids at a Billy Graham meeting one time who obviously had no training in how to deal with disabled people; we aren't supposed to hear them when they say offensive things about us and are standing a few feet away, and these kids were the ones who were "trained" to wander around, pestering people to "make a decision". It's all in the past though, so I chalk it up to ignorance. Just because somebody goes to church doesn't mean they can't be mean. I can too, I admit; when cult members come to my door, I slam it in their faces, and I am grateful they don't come back. There is a time to be firm and assertive; if you don't stand your ground with some people, they'll walk all over you and enjoy it. Mary, who really hates being confrontational but there's a time and place for everything.