Recommended Reading for December 30: Bumper midweek edition

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post.

Action Item for USAns: Cripchick: human rights abuses in public schools

these are practices that are rightfully considered torture if done to prisoners but ones that still happen in our public schools. disabled youth are targeted every day for things like hand flapping and speaking out.

recently, a bill has been introduced in congress that addresses restraint and seclusion. […] right now this bill is in need of sponsors… please use this form to contact your congressman or via congress.org asap and let them know that you will not stand for human right abuses in our schools.

IPS Laos: How Women Cope With Disability – Part 1. Lacking any social supports and ditched by family, Lao women with disabilities create work & home for themselves:

In a family of 12 children, the illness [polio] came as huge blow.

When they found she could not walk, the reaction was one commonly held, she said. Attempting to protect her from taunts and embarrassment they refused to let her go to school. In frustration, she stole her sister’s uniform and turned up at school. The teacher was impressed and called on her parents to educate her.

Her parents were reluctant, insisting she learn to sew at home so she had a source of income. She did learn, but by dogged persistence attended school, eventually earning a BA, majoring in Business.

“Education for women is the key. In the old days they believed that disability was caused by something bad you did in a former incarnation. That type of thinking is still around but not as strong,” she said.

“The government of Laos has given approval and support to the Convention for the Rights of the Disabled and are currently drafting a decree which will govern national policy,” Chanhpheng said. But there is no social security, no income support for the disabled or their families. In short if you don’t work, you don’t live.

Haddayr Copley-Woods at MPR News: Insurance may pay for your wheelchair, unless you need it to go someplace

The people making decisions that will affect our day-to-day lives are people like Missouri’s junior Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill — who said a few months ago that we could save the government “hundreds of billions of dollars” by not “giving free scooters to Medicare beneficiaries who don’t really need them.” […]

I had to prove I needed it to help me eat, sleep and use the bathroom. That’s about all the federal government — or my insurance company — thinks I need to do.

Let me lay it out for you. Here is what this policy, and my own government, are saying:

Disabled people shouldn’t work. They certainly can’t support their families, but if they do, that was bad planning.

Disabled people shouldn’t parent — or at least not in public. Why did a defective person like you have kids in the first place?

It doesn’t matter if disabled people volunteer. You’ll just look weird and creepy and be in everybody’s way.

All a cripple needs is to get from the ‘fridge to the toilet to the bed. It’s all you deserve, and it’s all you’re good for.

News Herald Panama City: No scooters allowed at St. Andrews State Park — yet

Jessica Kemper Sims, information director for the Florida Park Service, confirmed the use of motorized scooters, even for the handicapped, is prohibited on state beaches.[…]

Sims said a non-motorized “beach wheelchair” was available free of charge at the Jetty store at St. Andrews State Park and the wheelchair “is used frequently.” Those wheelchairs are not motorized and “require the assistance of another person to be pushed through the sand,” Sims wrote.

KETV Omaha: Disabled Woman Waits For City To Clear ‘Lifeline’ [hat tip to ZeaLitY]

A disabled woman has been trapped inside her home since the most recent snowstorm while the city tries to figure out a method for clearing an alley that serves as her lifeline to the city.

NPR: Intellectually Disabled Student Wins Dorm Suit

[Micah] Fialka-Feldman, 24, attends classes at Oakland University, as part of a program for students like him, with intellectual disabilities. The campus is about 20 miles from where he lives with his parents in Huntington Woods, Mich.

A few years ago, Fialka-Feldman helped his younger sister Emma move into her dorm room when she went off to college at Mount Holyoke. It gave him another reason to want to live on campus: He thought he was missing out on an important part of college life. But his school said because he was in a special program and not a full-time student, he couldn’t live on campus.

So Micah sued.

Early yesterday morning, his cell phone rang. It was his lawyer with the news: He had won. “I’m happy and I’m proud,” say Fialka-Feldman.

Charlotte Observer: Judge backs lawsuit by disabled pair for independent living

A federal judge Monday prohibited the state and a local mental health management office from cutting services to two Wilson-area people with mental illness and developmental disabilities until they get a full hearing on their lawsuit seeking to continue independent living.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle said it’s likely that two residents identified in the lawsuit as Marlo M., 39, and Durwood W., 49, would suffer irreparable harm if a local mental health office went through with a money-saving plan to move them from their apartments.

And, to wind up, a collection of links on race disparities and the US health & health care debates. Check them all out.

MPR News: Racial disparities a concern in health debate

Sonia Sekhar at The Wonk Room: Racial and Ethnic Minorities’ Stake in Health Reform

Tapped: Health Reform: Race And Representation.

bfp at flipfloppingjoy: Pet Peeve Saturday

mama at guerilla mama medicine: canary in the mine

By 30 December, 2009.    recommended reading   



3 Comments

  1. The beach article above unfortunately leaves out a lot of critical information – about turtles.

    One reason scooters and other electric/motorized vehicles are currently banned from state and many city beaches in Florida is because the beaches are also required, by federal law, to protect sea turtle eggs. (I don’t know how other states approach this issue. I only know Florida.) The actual BEST way to do this is to send teams out to find and mark the sea turtle nests with nice big signs so that everyone can avoid them. (Able bodied people are perfectly capable of stepping on sea turtle eggs by mistake.) Unfortunately, many counties lack the money and human resources to mark and/or move sea turtle nests effectively. (It involves getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning to watch for incoming sea turtles and look for nests, and determine if the nests are in a “safe” area (based on lighting, not human traffic – all nests on Fort Lauderdale beach have to be moved, but not all nests on Pompano Beach, just a few miles up, do) and need to be marked or moved.) Equally unfortunately, Florida as a state is absolutely terrible at dealing with beaches and parks on an individual basis; the rules implemented at one park for what may (or may not) be perfectly valid environmental or other reasons get implemented at other parks regardless of whether or not those rules SHOULD apply at the other parks.

    This is particularly annoying when dealing with beaches where, quite frankly, there’s no particular environment/habitat left to defend – Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Panama City. You can see from the picture that no sea turtle nests should be on that beach at all, and the habitat in general is not even remotely pristine; there’s no particular environmental reasons for not allowing wheelchairs/scooters of any kind on that beach. (I can see keeping noisy sand buggies off that beach but that’s just me.) I haven’t been to St. Andrews Park, so I have no idea what’s involved there, and the article doesn’t say or give any context.

    Some parks in Florida are doing what they can to allow humans to interact with fragile environments with minimized impacts – in Everglades National Park, for instance, with elevated wooden trails and restricted canoe access to specific waterways. This could certainly be done on Panhandle coasts as well, which could have the added benefit of increasing wheelchair access.

    With all this said I’ve been fairly impressed by the wheelchair accessibility of some of Florida’s state parks – Blue Spring State Park, for instance, has a boardwalk accessible to wheelchairs that manages to protect manatees while allowing people to view them. Homosassa Springs is also very accessible. But of course these are in areas that would be difficult for any human to navigate without boardwalks and/or boats.

  2. Thank you for the link to the human rights abuses in public schools. My son, who is on the autistic spectrum, was the victim of this in his school. He’s now homeschooling and much happier. Restraints and seclusion for kids with disabilities is so rampant in public schools, and would never be tolerated for a typical child.

  3. So glad to see the link to Micah’s story! We’ve been waiting for so long for the university to get with the program, but they ignored our petitions and protest and speaking out. I’ve taken classes with Micah, and I live in the dorms at Oakland University; it’ll be great to have him as a neighbor. 🙂