Recommended Reading for February 12th

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.

Tom Sawyer actorsSt Louis Globe-Democrat: Tom Sawyer to be staged by actors with disabilities as part of ‘Big Read’

“The Assorted Short Adventures of Tom, Huck and Becky” will be performed for local students by That Uppity Theatre Company’s DisAbility Project, an ensemble of actors with and without disabilities, as part of St. Louis’ “Big Read” project.

This is possibly the first production of this classic book to be created through a disability perspective and performed primarily by actors with disabilities. […]

The ensemble has 15 active members, both with and without disabilities, who are diverse in age, race, ethnicity, class, occupation, education, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability and performance experience.

Politics Daily: My Left Breast Put Fancy TSA Scanner to the Test

Then she said she needed to check something. And she began sweeping her hands around my left breast and rib cage.

This didn’t bother me all that much; in fact it made me smile. For one thing, I don’t really have any feeling in my left breast. That’s because it doesn’t exactly exist. For six years now, it’s been a composition of part of my lat dorsi (mid-back muscle) and a skin graft from my back, supplemented by a sac of silicone. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the result of a mastectomy and reconstruction, which in turn is the result of breast cancer. […]

The takeaway here is, if you have fake body parts, you should be prepared to explain them to the full-body screening folks at the TSA.

WHEELIE cATHOLIC: Saying it doesn’t matter, when it does

Now imagine this being repeated over and over in the course of a number of hours, days, weeks, months, even years, when a resentful, angry person responds like this when you as a person with a disability make a choice. […]

Their reaction may be passive or outright anger. Sighing. Heaving. Verbal retorts. Arguing. Complaining. Or worse.

Makes me wonder if “learned helplessness” is really that or an intelligent choice in the face of these situations.

“Any color is fine.” “Doesn’t matter which flavor it is.” No, don’t rock the boat. Just don’t say anything. This can even lead to not asking in the first place.

SnowdropExplodes at A Femanist View: Dancing on Wheels 1st episode [includes spoilers]

Britain has until now never entered into the European Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing Championship. The objective of the series is to find a couple to represent Britain in the next competition.

The wheelchair dancers are all novices to dancing, but have been wheelchair users for some time (the shortest has been for 18 months after becoming paralysed). The temporarily-able-bodied dancers are all celebrities who either appeared on Strictly Come Dancing or else have dancing training due to their showbiz background.

The Smith College Sophian: Dis/Ability: An Introduction

As Smithies, there is a lot on our minds. Worries about classes, papers, exams, relationships, fitting meals into our schedules, money and so many other things constantly flit through our minds.

But how many of us worry about getting our course materials in accessible formats, having a note-taker whose notes we can follow, or deciding whether to go on medical leave for the third time in as many years or to tough it out for one more week – only to pay for it for months after?

Maybe you don’t have to think about those things. We do.

The News Tribune: Delvin backs closing institutions housing disabled

At the top of [Arc advocates’] wish list was for the Legislature to consider closing the state’s institutions and allow people to live and get services in their own communities.[…]

Teresa Payne, an Arc client and advocate for people with disabilities, said people should be allowed to choose where and how they live.

Payne, who has impaired vision and slight mental retardation because of a birth defect that affected her brain development, lived in the state’s Lakeland institution as a child and left when she was 17 because she was allowed to make the choice. She said she doesn’t remember much about living there because she was medicated, but she knows her life is better because she lives independently now.

“I am successful,” Payne said. “I am in the process of buying my own home. I have a part-time job. I serve on the (Developmental Disabilities Council) board. I want others to have the same opportunities.”

By 12 February, 2010.    recommended reading   



6 Comments

  1. The Livejournal feed for this article is broken. The contents are raw html with the following error message:

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  2. Ooh, that Politics Daily article about the TSA scanner made me so mad! At least as I read it, there was an implication that we should all be okay with having to ‘explain’ “fake” body parts.

    I found myself thinking of the author as quite the Pollyanna – gee everything’s okay even when I have to explain to complete strangers why my body looks different under your scanner. Grr.

    It is tremendously frustrating how much privacy people are willing to throw away on security theater.

    ~Kali
    http://www.brilliantmindbrokenbody.wordpress.com

  3. I have never heard of wheelchair ballroom dancing before. I just looked it up and found some great clips on youtube of wheelchair dance competitions. Beautiful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ9NqyChCA0

  4. I read the article as sort of facetious. I liked reading it that way. Like, when she said that she should be given the TSA scans of herself like when you go on a ride at the amusement park.

    Of course, maybe that’s just how I wanted to read it. And even if she did mean it to be sarcastic, maybe a lot of people (with non-suspicious-looking bodies, I mean) would just read it as “oh, ha ha, of course disabled people don’t care about this kind of treatment.”

  5. I’m pretty sure the left breast article author’s tongue was firmly planted in her cheek. The first page or so of comments was interesting … a lot of people commiserating with her experience. Only one doofus seemed to miss the entire point of the article.

    Was really happy to read to the closing institutions article – in my state, yeah! And a bi-partisan effort, to boot.

  6. There’s so much yes on the WHEELIE cATHOLIC piece it makes me want to cry. (A lot makes me want to cry these days, so take that for what it’s worth.) So many things I just stop asking for because it’s not worth dealing with the reactions from the people asked. Especially if it’s something where they have to move me; if they’re angry they’ll be jerky and that hurts. Of course I learned a lot from my abusive relatives too: help always costs. It most always costs much more than any help you get from it. Best not to ask. Last time I asked the things they said stuck in my head badly enough I wound up in hospital and I didn’t get help anyway.

    And if you didn’t ask for help, didn’t want it, didn’t need it, but they decided that they were gonna help? And you are not adequately grateful according to their script? They get really pissed. Maybe that’s just my folks but I kinda get the impression they are not unique.