Recommended Reading

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.

Nisha at bell bajao: Regulation of Disabled Women’s Sexuality

The pressure to ignore the bodily experiences for a collective voice to locate and challenge the barriers “out there” has made disability theorists and activists collude with “the idea that the ‘typical’ disabled person is a young man in a wheelchair who is fit, never ill, and whose only needs concern a physically accessible environment.”[14] This collusion has led to the sidelining of disabled women, non-visible impairments, intellectual impairments, elderly with chronic conditions[15], and disabiliy’s interaction with gender and other social, cultural oppressions[16]. Further, it has ended up contributing to the disappearance of the embodied experiences from most disability literature[17]. […]

The social norm of sexuality which is based on being “able-bodied” and the material situations of disabled women as “asexual objects” creates “rolelessness” – “social invisibility and this cancellation of femininity” prompts some disabled women to claim essential femininity which culture denies them[25]. This may give the impression that most disabled women have freedom from the standards set by the patriarchal male gaze and that they are in a position to develop and lead happy alternative lifestyles. In reality, imagining them as “antithesis of the normative woman”[26] adds to their disadvantage of being women.

Lisa I. Iezzoni and Laurence J. Ronan at the Annals of Internal Medicine: Disability Legacy of the Haitian Earthquake

Even before the earthquake struck, Haiti had few rehabilitation professionals and little capacity to manufacture essential assistive technologies, including prostheses and wheelchairs. While international organizations are assisting to fill these gaps, ultimately rehabilitation programs and assistive technologies will need to fit the specific demands of Haiti’s culture and rugged natural physical environments. As Haiti rebuilds its public and private spaces, ensuring accessibility to persons with disabilities will be critical. Wheelchair-Using Child Actor Sought for NBC Pilot

If you’ve been unhappy with a character who uses a wheelchair being played by an actor who doesn’t on Glee, here’s some promising news: An open online casting call has gone out for a child actor who uses a wheelchair to play the son of Paul Reiser (pictured) in a pilot for NBC. The casting call, seeking performers age 10-13, describes the character as “sweet, funny, really smart and upbeat. He loves sports, music, and everyone he meets — especially adults. Inquisitive and with a mind like a steel trap, he remembers everything — which can be good or bad! He can easily get anxious and sometimes gets a bit obsessively focused on things. And oh, he has used a wheelchair since birth.” Not quite sure how you use a wheelchair at birth, but I applaud the intention.

NSW Human Services: Community garden for people with a disability

A community garden at Macleay Valley Community Care Centre is proving its value to people with a disability. Not only does the garden offer a place for them to enjoy or simply relax, it also provides them with fruit and vegetables.[…]

The project involved erecting a fence around the garden, screening under an existing deck, laying concrete paths and removing existing diseased trees. Six planting troughs were concreted into an area that is wheelchair accessible and garden beds are at a suitable height so they can be easily reached by older citizens and people with a disability.

World Health Organisation: Marking International Women’s Day [podcast transcript]

Veronica Riemer: Women are also facing discrimination in their opportunities for education. Bliss Temple from North Carolina in the USA, is a medical student who uses a wheelchair because of her disability. She talks to us about the challenges she has faced in taking forward her studies.

Bliss Temple: When I went to apply to medical school, because of my disability, I knew that it was unchartered territory. So I applied very widely to 28 different schools. About a third of them rejected me out of hand and said “you are too disabled; we won’t even consider your application”. It ended up that I did get accepted in several places and at the school that I chose, Duke University, I was the first person who was a wheelchair user. I think the first with what many people would classically think of as a disability; although there have been people with mental health problems.

Veronica Riemer: Bliss tells us why it is important for persons with disabilities to be accepted for medical training.

Bliss Temple: The world of medicine can really use people with disabilities. We are health care consumers of course and it is really important that we have more providers that understand the experience of having a disability.

The Wichita Eagle: Disability advocates ask court to halt cuts

A petition filed Friday by InterHab, an association for developmental disability service providers, seeks a temporary restraining order and asks that $10 million cut by the [Kansas] governor and Legislature be returned.

The cuts mean services for Topeka advocate Nancy Spano’s daughter Heather have been greatly scaled back. Heather is 24, but health problems and severe developmental disabilities mean she functions more like a 5- or 8-year-old child. Spano said her daughter needs round-the-clock care and help with basic hygiene. After the cuts, Heather was left alone at night and had no staff for help on the weekends. She frequently called her parents at all hours of the night, frightened.