More than 2000 people are registered with us and they have a couple of things in common; they have a disability and they want to work
Accepting personal responsibility for their own care through employment and earning wages is a theme I hear repeatedly when I speak with our job seekers. They appreciate their community and wish to play an active part as taxpayers and consumers. They want to build and contribute to our society.
I pinched this from today's Nine MSN (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8408720):
An intellectually retarded boy who was bullied at school killed an elderly South Australian woman to feel empowered, a court has heard.
The 15-year-old has pleaded guilty to murdering 63-year-old Pirjo Kemppainen in September 2010.
Ms Kemppainen's body was found by a family member just hours after she called police to report a rock had been thrown through her glass sliding door.
Ms Kemppainen was stabbed numerous times with a knife and struck with a heavy object at her home in Callington, about 60km east of Adelaide.
In sentencing submissions to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, forensic psychologist Luke Broomhall said the bullied boy had an IQ between 60 and 70 and was desensitised from watching violent video games.
The boy experienced discrimination and ostracism at school, which fuelled his "retribution" towards a third party, Mr Broomhall said.
He killed the elderly woman in revenge to re-empower himself, he said.
The boy's lawyer, Andrew English, said the youth's mental faculties made him unable to understand the consequences of his actions.
"Once he become fixated he found it almost impossible to back out of the situation, to consider the moral impact of what he was doing," he said.
Ostracised at school, the boy found it difficult to empathise with others.
"He saw others as the enemy."
The suggestion is that in some way disability reduces responsibility.
Sorry - utter nonsense. The reason this bad person did a bad thing had absolutely nothing to do with his disability. I know and have worked with people who have intellectual disability for more than twenty years. Many of these people are my friends and they also have told me of experiencing ostracism and bullying. That said,murderers are in short supply!
Disability is not an excuse for wrongdoing and every person has a responsibility to respects the rights of others - we do nothing for the cause and empowerment of people that have a disability when we use that disability as a shield from personal responsibility.
This criminal could just be a bad person.
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