On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Prague conclusions, adopted at the International seminar about Independent Living, YHD would like to present to you the new book on with the title ‘Theses for the theory’ and culture of handicap written by Ph. D. Dušan Rutar.
The turning point in our lives that charted our course and that we made sure to stay on was meeting Dušan Rutar Ph. D., who came to work as a psychologist at the Institution for Enabling Handicapped Children and Youths, where we had lived since our childhood and where we went to secondary school. When we met, we were high school students, unhappy with the institution in which we were living but we were unable to explain to ourselves why we were unhappy and why we felt the need to fight the institution. Shortly after he had started working there, we asked him to give us lectures about things and worlds that we didn’t have the slightest clue about. He introduced us to the world of psychoanalysis, explained the mechanisms of institutions, and uncovered the ancient thinkers… Based on this, we decided to study philosophy and sociology of culture and to make for ourselves a life outside institutions. We started discussing the theory of handicap that Dušan Rutar had been developing at the time and we were trying to find a different, better place in the society for ourselves. An informal movement was born out of this rebellion and our wish to find answers, which we named Youth Handicapped Deprivileged (later YHD was reformed into a formal organisation, YHD – Association for the Theory and Culture of Handicap). The handicap theory and the need to fight against the way people perceive the care for the disabled (i.e. the way ill persons are taken care of, i.e. the medical model) continue to guide us when designing our projects and initiatives.
A treatise that ultimately explains the true nature of handicap, which is in no serious relations with invalidness, but it, is strongly connected to the idea of freedom. The mission impossible who tortured human mind for centuries with a question how can a human being becomes free. The culture of handicap is a direct answer to this question.
Freedom is thus possible, because handicap is nothing else but a structural mechanism of reality that keeps it open, undeterminable and capable for human’s creativity. In this perspective, handicap means transcendental ability of human being to become free, to share solidarity with other human beings and be equal. It is possible that only this century will finally offer human beings real opportunities to create a new culture of life which will find its foundations in ideas represented in this book.
You can order your copy of the book at firstname.lastname@example.org, the price for one copy is 20 Euros. All gathered funds will be invested into personal assistance service.