Recommended Reading for February 10th

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas 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.

Niamh at Get Ahead Blog: Fee paying schools need a shift in thinking.

Many children with disabilities are being inadvertently discriminated against in Irish schools because of attitudes and unchallenged thinking about disability. What are these attitudes? What do principals, staff and parents think about the ability of students with disability? It is nearly a cliché, but they see the DISability not the child. In schools where parents are paying high fees for an excellent education, disability is perceived as a threat to a concept of the gold star student.

The Hindu: Disability groups apprehensive of amendments to laws

Disability groups on Sunday expressed strong apprehension that the Centre was going ahead with proposed amendments/harmonisation in various laws without consulting them.

Participants at the two-day meet that concluded here on national cross-disability consultation, titled ‘Harmonisation of laws with the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities [UNCRPD],’ felt that the government would make a shoddy job of it and compromise the real objectives if there was no effective consultation.

Hawke’s Bay Today: Young sailors tame Lion

By the end of the year, Katy Wylam hopes to recruit up to 80 people who, despite their disabilities, will have a chance like everyone else to experience sailing in Hawke Bay. And this weekend that goal came a step closer when the well-known yacht Lion New Zealand visited Napier on a special fundraising day for Ms Wylam’s Sailability Hawke’s Bay. The organisation, a trust formed a year ago, aims to provide boats and sailing equipment for people with disabilities to enjoy recreational and competitive sailing.

ABC: Muni passengers sound off at town hall meeting

“My name is Herbert Weiner and I’m a Muni victim,” Weiner said at a town hall meeting Saturday.

Muni riders are angry. They packed the meeting to voice their outrage over the money-saving measures Muni is proposing. Muni needs to bridge a $16.9 million budget shortfall. The Muni board is considering raising monthly passes from $15 to $30 for seniors, the disabled and youth, reducing service system wide and renegotiating Muni drivers’ contracts.

Daily Mercury: Better wheelchair access needed

William Lowe can smell the coffee but he can’t drink it. He can see the goods but he can’t purchase them. That is because he is wheelchair-bound and the majority of shops and cafes in Mackay’s City Heart are not accessible by wheelchair. […]

“Hog’s Breath Cafe is one I have tried to go to but can’t get in. It is a problem everywhere.” Mr Lowe said there were a few shops that had built-in or portable ramps but most did not. “In a way it is discrimination,” he said. “Some of them have only a little lip at the door but because you have only a small amount of room on the bottom of your chair, you can’t get over it. People have offered to lift the chair into some shops but it is just too heavy with the combined weight of me and the 110kg chair.” An owner of Hog’s Breath Cafe denied there was an access problem at his premises and refused to speak about the issue.

The Guardian: Disability tests in need of overhaul

Already research has highlighted problems: the National Autistic Society found that the system was not always working for people with autism; Citizens Advice Scotland reported that the system was causing disabled people “unnecessary financial distress and emotional strain”; Macmillan and Citizens Advice reported that some people with terminal cancer were not being fast-tracked through the system.[…]

Benefits should not be about targets but about ensuring the right support is delivered to those who need it. If disabled people can be supported into work then there will be a direct benefit for them, and also for the taxpayer. But if people are forced off the benefits designed to support them and into appeals by an unfair system, then that could lead to wasted opportunities, and even poverty.

By 10 February, 2010.    recommended reading