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When I was a kid I swore I’d never work as a teacher because I didn’t like school all that much. Which is funny when you consider my dad worked as an actuary, and my siblings were both academically advanced.
The social aspect I handled just fine, but I found the work to be too much at times. I like to say that by the time I came along, all the numbers and logic genes had been taken.
They are a minority of my case load, but they are there.
Even the people I work with who are high functioning work with me because they need some extra support to help them.
On Valentine’s Day OKCupid finally capitulated to campaigners’ demands after Mencap released a video showing people with learning disabilities reacting to the question. “I want them to love me for who I am.” Announcing the company’s intention to remove the question, Elie Seidman, CEO of OKCupid said in a statement: “Ok Cupid has always been dedicated to inclusivity. The questions do not reflect Ok Cupid’s editorial point of view.” “Nonetheless”, he added, “in this particular moment, when the world seems so divided, so full of animosity and fury, Ok Cupid is going to make one small gesture at lessening the noise. However, Mencap noted: “Ok Cupid has failed to speak directly to campaigners with a learning disability or at any point apologised for the harm caused to people with a learning disability.” Ciara Lawrence, who has a learning disability and works for Mencap, said she was “really happy” the site had finally agreed to delete the question but that the company’s failure to engage with people with learning disabilities who had complained or to apologise was a cause for concern.
The video, which was released alongside research from the charity which found 75 per cent of people believed Ok Cupid’s question was unacceptable and 74% thought it should be deleted, showed a series of crestfallen people viewing the site and explaining their feelings. Our track record of advancing the interests of marginalized groups is long and extremely clear.” Mr Seidman argued: “While Mencap may be well-intentioned, they are speaking out against an organization that shares their aim of promoting the interests of people who have been discriminated against.” He continued “Questions are a core part of Ok Cupid, dating back to when we were founded. The questions have been generated by staff and users over more than 10 years. We have removed the question.” Other controversial questions found on Ok Cupid Would you strongly prefer to go out with someone of your own skin colour/racial background? If one of your potential matches were overweight, would that be a dealbreaker? “Ok Cupid has never spoken directly to campaigners with a learning disability, answered our questions or said sorry for the harm this question has caused,” Ms Lawrence said.
This was a long-term project that we’d work on every day during story time.
One day I discovered I had lost the materials (they must have landed in the same vortex as my lost homework and retainer) and panicked.
“It makes me worry that Ok Cupid is just offering to delete the question to shut us up, rather than because they understand our concerns,” she added.