Social Role Valorisation

I’m thrilled you’re skilled in SRV
but what does that mean for me.
You’ve done the Goofie Wolfie Wolfensberger
passing workshops;
You’ve passed it here.
You’ve passed it there.
You’ve passed it every bloody where.

But I don’t have the slightest care.
Will I go to hell if I can’t spell
Social role valorisation?
Is that the thing which will save the nation,
Social role valorisation?
We used to call it being normal.
But now you say it’s
Social role valorisation.
Devised by Goofy to save the nation.
But I don’t know if I can spell
Social role valorisation.
I just want to be treated like an ordinary person.
no ifs, no buts, no exclamation.

Is that too much too ask?
Is that too hard a task?
Too treat me as you would another.
Show the same respect for me
as you’d show your father, child or mother?
In the message that you send
are you saying you can’t be my friend
treat me like any other-
treat me like a person?

an ordinary person.
who is like another.

I’ve got my differences
and in some ways they are special
but why draw inferences?
Why say it’s not valued
what I do,
what does it mean to you?
Why must I play the roles
you’ve decided I should play?
Can’t I be my self?
My own self?
I’m the best qualified person in the world
to be my self.

And what I do, I think is normal.
And that’s the way I’d like you to think of me,
fairly ordinary.
In some ways special
aren’t we all special in some ways?
Perhaps your friend.

Someone to do things with.
I wish I could release you
from the bonds of SRV.
Do you need his imprimatur?
Do you need his authorisation?
Do you need
social role valorisation
to be kind to me
to help me be
or just
to help me see
I can be free?

Written in 1999 performed in workshops, lectures, conferences dealing with intellectual disability to point out how the jargonised “Social role valorisation” prevented people from being seen as who they were. Written in 1999.