Recommended Reading for February 8th
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. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.
Image caption: What an accessible view! (source: Tourism New South Wales Image Library)
Image description: A wooden boardwalk overlooks an incredible misty view of forested mountains. Two people are on the boardwalk; one standing, one sitting in a wheelchair.
Columbia Daily Tribune: Disabled advocate takes on town, mayor
John Hinten is co-founder of a committee focused on improving accessibility for disabled people in this north Boone County town, and he was recently recognized as a “champion” for the disabled in a proclamation by Gov. Jay Nixon.
But Hinten these days is barred from meetings of the Centralia Accessibility Committee because he filed a disability discrimination complaint against Mayor Tim Grenke. Grenke notified the panel he could not attend the CAC meetings until the complaint is resolved, citing a potential conflict of interest. […]
Grenke also said Hinten had contacted him only once about the inaccessible coffee session at J.R.’s Diner. The mayor said he has had similar “coffee” events at other establishments that are not handicap-accessible. Where accessibility is an issue, Grenke said, businesses “make reasonable accommodations” to handle wheelchair-users by lifting them up steps or across other barriers.
Grenke insisted he has hosted coffees at wheelchair-accessible sites, but Hinten has attended only one. Hinten said that carrying a wheelchair-user is “neither legal nor dignifying.”
Canadian Tourism Commission: Realwheels shows some SPINE during 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
Kerr wrote [SPINE] specifically for leading man James Sanders, a British Columbia actor who plays a guy escaping the limits of his physical body by beaming into cyberspace. The whole enterprise is pretty high-tech: there’ll be video screens and live actors who “interact” with computer-generated people created by the artists (and operated like puppets via computer) for an effect Sanders calls “blended reality.” […]
The 39-year-old actor is quadriplegic. In 1990, during his third semester of theatre school, Sanders broke his neck in a freak accident while playing in knee-deep snow. What to do? Well, he was still an actor. Sanders realized that if parts for quadriplegics weren’t exactly budding on trees, he could create some.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Va. deaf inmates’ rights violated, lawsuit contends
A lawsuit has been filed against the Virginia Department of Corrections and other officials alleging that the rights of deaf state prison inmates are being violated.
Among other things, the complaint contends that deaf inmates do not have adequate access to sign-language interpreters, visual notifications of safety announcements, and devices that would allow them to communicate with family and friends outside of the prison.
MySA News: New chamber chief has survived challenges
Jane Thomas has survived plenty of challenges, from losing the ability to walk as a teenager, to a diagnosis of Stage III breast cancer as an adult.
She managed to make it through with a good sense of humor and a sense of purpose that has carried through today. On Friday, Thomas, 43, became chair of the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
But the chamber’s new officer induction ceremony proved another obstacle: the stage for the ceremony had no wheelchair ramp.
Star Tribune: Deaf patient was dying, but no one told her
For three months, the Nelsons [both Deaf] met with doctors at North Memorial Medical Center, but they weren’t aware Mary Ann was dying of cancer. In fact, they thought she was doing well enough in her battle with the disease that she could go to her retirement party. So they were stunned in March 2006 when her oncologist abruptly put an end to their hopes — and their request — with a terse note saying, “We can’t cure the cancer!” […]
state regulators announced that North Memorial agreed to pay $105,000 to settle charges that Nelson and another patient were not provided access to qualified sign language interpreters. Often, David Nelson had to read lips or write notes to communicate with doctors and nurses, despite his repeated requests for an interpreter.
It has not been an easy road, but where there have been challenges, there have also been triumphs. Most notably, [Braeden Reed’s] recent debut performance in the movie Dear John as a boy with autism. The film, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, was shot in the Charleston area last fall and is set to be released in late 2009 or early 2010. […]
“To work with Braeden in Dear John was completely wonderful,” said Lasse Hallstrom, the film’s Oscar-nominated director, whose credits also include The Cider House Rules and Chocolat. “He brought charm and intelligence and spontaneity to the part he played. He was fearless and he lacked that inhibition that many other kids have in front of the camera.”
“I thought it was nice!” exclaimed Braeden, about his Hollywood experience.