Recommended Reading for October 20, 2009

In the blogs:

Sins Invalid IV: Possibly NSFW:

Sins Invalid is a force to be reckoned with. Make no mistake about that. I’ve been to 3 of the 4 shows, some of them more than once. I can tell you: Sins is a force to be reckoned with.

Sins describes itself as a “performance project on disability and sexuality that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized from social discourse.”…

To get at these questions, I want to impose a perhaps artificial distinction between disabled sexuality and crip sexuality. I may come back to that in a separate post, but, for the moment, it is just a division that allows me to get at some important ideas; it is not a philosophical position to which I am committed.

Learning to be a mother not possible for the learning disabled:

The Mirror tells us of a mother who is facing having her baby taken away from her after it is born. Yes, that’s right, the mother isn’t even a proper mother yet and already social workers have decided that she is unable to properly care for the child. Why? Because she has learning disabilities. You know what? So do I. Learning disabilities do not mean someone is unable to care for a child. They mean that someone needs assistance with learning, not that they’re unable to learn.

The fact that social workers have pre-determined that a mother-to-be isn’t qualified to be a mother because of her disability smacks of the legacy of eugenics. Eugenics was the late 19th, early 20th Century movement that was based on an interpretation of Darwinism to “improve the races”. One of the things that resulted from this movement was the forced sterilisation of people, mostly women, who were regarded as “imbeciles” on the theory that imbeciles beget imbeciles. Interestingly, imbeciles were only found among those that society had deemed as unworthy, such as working-class prostitutes or children in orphanages.

In the news:

Wheelchair-bound man left halfway up Mount Snowdon [Lauredhel wrote about this story yesterday]:

A WHEELCHAIR-bound man suffered mild exposure after being abandoned halfway up a mountain by a group of charity climbers who gave up carrying him.

The 31-year-old man was left sitting on the steep and rocky Llanberis Path by the rest of his party of six, who were martial artists on a charity climb of Mount Snowdon in North Wales, the TimesOnline reports.

“The poor bloke was sitting there in his wheelchair for quite a while,” climber Dave Morrell, who witnessed the incident, told the TimesOnline.

Disabled Woman Stranded in Flat for Six Weeks:

The 77-year-old is crippled by osteoarthritis and cannot walk more than a few yards. She relies on a mobility scooter to get around.

But she was left stranded in her flat while a lift was replaced at the complex.

She couldn’t even get her scooter out of the building to visit local shops and had to rely on her daughter, Celia Roussel, to carry out day-to-day errands.

Worse was to follow because, after the lift was repaired, she was told that the scooter could not be used in it because of a problem with “weight distribution”.

Disorder Inspires Teachable Moments:

” ‘Tricho’ is Greek for hair, and ’tillo’ means pulling,” she says, referring to information and pictures on poster boards that her mother, Liz Murphy, holds and flips when cued.

Hats are the linchpin for Brogan’s outfits because they help her deal with her trichotillomania, a compulsive hair-pulling and skin-picking disorder. Brogan doesn’t struggle with skin picking, but she started absentmindedly pulling out her hair, one strand at a time, primarily in the crown and on the left side of her head, when she was in middle school.

Now she travels to middle schools to educate students about the neurobiological-behavioral disorder. She visits cosmetology schools, too, because getting a haircut can be sensitive for someone with “trich,” as the disorder is often called.

Oh hey, Google started a blog that links up all their accessible web-design stuff. I get a bit frowny at “it’s not just for PWD”, as though a large percentage of the population (35% of people over 35 in my province) isn’t a good enough reason to do something, but I suspect that’s just trying to sell it to people who are resistant to that idea.