Recommended Reading for January 27th

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Laura Hershey: Women and Disability and Poetry (Not Necessarily in That Order)

For decades, the disability community has squabbled over the extent to which disabilities are experienced as inherent problematic biological conditions, or strictly as a social minority status. We’ve also debated whether to distinguish sharply between disease and disability, resisting their conflation as a symptom of medical colonization of our lives; or to embrace chronic and acute illness as another dimension of the disability experience. […]

For me, this is why we need poetry. Ultimately, dichotomies can’t be resolved by turning up the volume, drowning out disagreements and inconsistencies. To get anywhere near a truthful representation of our lives, we need nuance, texture, color, smell. We need open-ended questions, unexpected answers, unlikely combinations. We need prickly, messy, mundane details, rendered in words as fresh as rainfall. We need the wheeling narrative, the dust-flecked sunlit lyric.

StarNews Online: Social media opens social world to elderly, disabled

Social media is developing into more than a pastime for the elderly and disabled. If implemented properly, it could become their social lifeline. For some residents at Davis Health Care Center and Champions Assisted Living in Porters Neck, this is already the case. […]

Sixty-nine-year-old Edsel Odom suffered two simultaneous strokes on May 2, 2003. He now uses a wheelchair and clicks a mouse with his single functioning thumb. To type, he uses an infrared device mounted on a baseball cap.

Sydney Morning Herald: Haiti hospital faces psychiatric surge

The Haitian government’s Mars and Kline Psychiatric Centre was founded in 1958, which might just be when its wards received their last coat of paint, and was in a desperate situation even before the January 12 catastrophe.[…]

“This is a completely exceptional situation,” said Jean-Wihelde, “but our problems began long before the earthquake. “The house was designed for 36 boys and 11 women, but people kept coming, and we had 150 people,” he explained, adding that at any one time 500 outpatients would also visit for consultations and medication.

“Behavioural difficulties, hallucinations, cocaine addiction, people with psychological disorders, things like that,” he said. “They were terrified in the quake. They are mentally unwell, and this made it worse.”

RocNow: Gov. Paterson meets with upstate news organizations

Paterson was greeted by about 75 disability rights protesters chanting, “Don’t cut our freedom,” this afternoon when he arrived at the WXXI studios.

The protesters want the governor to drop a proposed cap on care for a person with disabilities. There currently is no limit on how much time someone can be cared for by a personal care aide, but Paterson wants to limit that to 12 hours a day.

The protesters say that the proposed cap would force more people into costly nursing home care.

Inside Bay Area: CityWise: Oakland settles lawsuit with disability rights group

City officials reached a settlement this week with the Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates over a 2007 lawsuit that said the city was ill-prepared to help disabled people in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake or firestorm.

The agreement requires Oakland to implement programs to specifically address the needs of the city’s disabled residents in its emergency preparedness plans. […] Oakland took stock of what shelter space it had available for those with disabilities after the lawsuit was filed. The city also hired a consultant to evaluate Oakland’s capacity to help disabled residents and to make recommendations on how to improve.

Karla Gilbride, an attorney for Disability Rights Advocates, said that when the lawsuit was filed, Oakland had an array of deficiencies in its emergency plans.

Bad Cripple: Ashley Treatment and the Parental Update

What the parents have done is make some inroads among four men–Allen, Diekema, Fost and Kappy. All their references in medical journals refer to these men alone. No mention is made of a single critic. Hundreds of “supportive” and private emails are referred to on their blog yet not a single critic is identified or worthy of passing reference. One possible explanation for this is the fact the parents accept without question a medical model of disability.

More on the “Ashley Treatment”:

2 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for January 27th

  1. At a feminist website, I enjoyed stretching my poetry muscles by writing haikus, two of them.

    Lily Blogs in Haiku from Rachel Simmons’ blog

    And enjoyed reading some pantoums in December from a New Zealander called Holly.

    Holly’s pantoum called MELTDOWN as well as some words from her mother. Source: Conductive World

    Really appreciating the round the world perspective for today.

    And also: it is Holocaust Remembrance Day. The theme is ‘hope’ or something along those lines.

    Great to see the ‘grey media’ emerge. It was wonderful to read about the Macintosh user with her true abilities emerging over the past five years. Especially since the Consumer Electronics Show, and the time we are reminded of the anniversary of that computer. It’s important personally since my mum and my uncle are two of the 65-and-over users.

    The Paterson and the personal care thing. 12 hours sounds parsimonious, especially over a week or so.

    Read over William Peace’s 6 points about the Ashley Treatment, especially the one about scoliosis and how far Ashley’s back is. And the experimental treatments he himself has had over time. That would possibly be the only ‘objective’ one, not to mention all the ethical flaws in the other 5 points.

  2. I also am very glad that there is a growing recognition of the value of social networks — and the net in general — for people with a variety of abilities. I’ve been using computers for social support since 1988. (BBSes FTW!) Some of the best support I’ve found via MMO games, but I’m aware that a game environment is not the most comfortable for many people.

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