Recommended Reading for February 24th

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.

Mark Bekir in a First Flight Crew T-shirt

Image: Marky Mark (Mark Bekir) in a black First Flight Crew T-shirt.

accessibleARTS: First Flight Crew breaking into the scene:

The eight piece hip hop crew from all over Sydney is managed by Accessible Arts’ Creative Programs Coordinator, Alison Richardson and was formed in 2009 as a result of a series of workshops with Victorian based music organisation Club Wild, further development with Powerhouse Youth Theatre and all under the guidance of hip hop artist, Morganics.

Wheelchair Dancer: Passing By:

At the studio where I take classes when I am in NYC, the elevator isn’t ADA accessible: it’s painfully small. So small that there is always a line, well, a press of people waiting to go upstairs. It continues to amaze me that hyperable-bodied dancers who are about to go and dance for hours on end take the elevator. But they do, and so, when I was using my previous (wider) chair, I had to get there even earlier than the rest; I had to stand up, dismantle my chair, limp in, hold the door, drag the pieces in behind me and then reassemble the thing. It’s the sort of disability performance I didn’t want people to see.

staticnonsense: at I Am Not: A Punishment:

I am not a punishment to be bestowed upon anyone, much less my caring and supporting family. I know your beliefs strongly state otherwise, but they do not represent the reality of the situation.

My mother’s medical decisions and past choices are hers. They are not anyone else’s business. It is not our place to judge her for her decisions, especially when one does not know or one doesn’t need to know the reason why. No matter her decisions in the past, she is an infinitely caring person that has been behind me every step of the way through the trials and tribulations of my life.

IP at Modus Dopens: Why separate resources ain’t good enough:

There’s a pervasive myth that annoys the hell out of me, and I hope you’ll excuse me while I get it out of my system: it’s the idea that it’s ok for an institution to put in new inaccessible facilities as long as it also has some accessible ones elsewhere.

Really, no.

Why why why do we have to have one set of facilities for the “normals” and another set for the “freak show”? It’s humiliating, and it’s not even useful. If you’re putting in a facility from scratch, it’s often the case that you can put in something accessible for the same cost as something inaccessible. So it’s not even easier to put in two sets of facilities rather than just the one. This is just another way that we center the experiences of currently non-disabled people

PS News: Red tape cut enables disabled veterans:

Ex-Service personnel with disabilities who access income support are to be spared medical reviews at Centrelink for their Disability Support Pensions. […] Mr Griffin said TPI pensioners currently had to endure repeated Job Capacity Assessments to keep their Disability Support Pensions.
He said these assessments were “unnecessary”, as the veterans had already been through a rigorous assessment process to access DVA benefits.

Brisbane Times: When the ability to act is what counts :

Actors with a disability playing characters with a disability have been particularly prominent in Australian films this year, including Matthew Saville’s feature Noise and Clubland, which stars Brenda Blethyn. […]

Rick Randall, director of The Other Film Festival, Melbourne’s trail-blazing festival of “New cinema by, with and about people with a disability”, says roles remain few and far between in Australia. “There are a few films with minor roles played by people with disabilities, but there’s still a long way to go. The major problem, though, is that we’ve got a shrinking film industry so it’s really hard for new players to get a foothold.”

Young agrees, adding that it’s vital that disabled people are making the work as well as starring in other people’s. “When we write about our own experience, we bring something to it that non-disabled people rarely manage to capture,” she says.

New York Times: Doing an About-Face on ‘Overmedicated’ Children :

[Judith Warner] sallied forth to interview all the pushy parents, irresponsible doctors and overmedicated children she could find — and lo, she could barely find any. After several years of dead ends, missed deadlines and worried soul-searching, she was forced to reconsider her premise and start all over again.

“We’ve Got Issues” is the product of that unusual cycle. Journalists who cobble together enough anecdotes to support a preset agenda are all too common, and presumably Ms. Warner could have managed to do just that. Instead, she actually let her research guide her thoughts.