Recommended Reading for December 14

Wheelie Catholic: Imagine no one has to imagine

One of the other questions I’ve been asked is “What’s it like to be a quadriplegic?” usually followed by “I can’t imagine!”

My answer to that is no, you probably can’t imagine, although you may try , with the misguided help of maudlin movies about disability, on the one hand, or inspirational tales of people climbing mountains, on the other. You’ll read stories about quads who want to die and stories about quads who help others find better ways to live. You may tap into societal myths and assumptions about disability, through no fault of your own because we are surrounded by them. You may base your ideas on the few disabled people you’ve met and generalize from there how it is to live with a disability. And, sadly, you may avoid being around disabled people because you are so worried that you’ll say or do the wrong thing as you try to imagine what it’s like for them.

To all that I say – please, don’t imagine what it’s like.

LaToya Peterson at Racialicious: Why is it so important to have productive conversations on race?

Conversations about race are not amusing at all when the people who you are discussing the issue with make it clear that (1) they have not thought about the issue much, (2) they don’t care to think about the issue much, but (3) they are determined to talk about the issue anyway. And, as some of you may know, I was recently confronted with this situation over at Jezebel. […]

Writing about race in mainstream spaces can often be frustrating and it can often be rewarding, just as many of you know from doing the same thing in your daily personal interactions. And while we are all encouraged when we have a breakthrough by talking to others and expanding upon or ideas, it is also important to remember that this must be done in a sustainable way. I have seen too many people with amazing ideas and wonderful perspectives become burnt out and disengaged because they felt they could reach everyone, every time, at every occasion. But as these structures were not built in a day, and not upheld by one person, the process to dismantling them will also be a long, hard road.

A Femanist View: Heads-up for Feb.

On the Paul O’Grady show today, professional dancer Brian Fortuna from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing (the US version is called Dancing with the Stars) announced a new show called Dancing on Wheels.

Knowledge Ecology International : Writers Open Letter in Support of WIPO treaty for People who are Blind or have other Disabilities [via BoingBoing]

The undersigned, writers and journalists, are writing to ask you to support the World Blind Union proposal and initiate discussions at the World Intellectual Property Organization on a treaty to improve access to works, articles, blog posts, subtitled films, etc in formats accessible to people who are blind, visually impaired or have other disabilities that impair access.

New York Times: Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics

Some experts say they are stunned by the disparity in prescribing patterns. But others say it reinforces previous indications, and their own experience, that children with diagnoses of mental or emotional problems in low-income families are more likely to be given drugs than receive family counseling or psychotherapy.

Part of the reason is insurance reimbursements, as Medicaid often pays much less for counseling and therapy than private insurers do.

Nashville Scene: Even after a sex-abuse scandal, NHC Bristol nursing home employees still don’t know how to handle abuse allegations

Last August, after a staffer was charged with molesting elderly patients—some of whom were too ill or frail to plead for help—at a Bristol, Va., nursing home run by Murfreesboro-based National Healthcare Corp., whistleblowers hoped that the ensuing attention would create an inhospitable climate for serial predators.

Instead, an October survey of the nursing home’s staff obtained by the Scene—prompted in part by a sexual-abuse complaint lodged in September—found that most of its employees don’t even know they are required by law to report abuse allegations to the state. […]

NHC Bristol may serve as an extreme example of just how bad a nursing home can be. The allegation of sexual abuse wasn’t the only complaint that prompted the survey in October. According to Brenda Bagley, supervisor of the complaint unit for the Office of Licensure and Certification at the Virginia Department of Health, the nursing home had been reported for a “general lack of care.”