Recommended Reading for May 13, 2010

Jacquelyn Palmer-Boyce lies on her back, wearing a yellow t-shirt and jacket and a yellow bandana on her head, surrounded by dandelions for MCS Awareness Month. ©2010 John Boyce

Photo via The Canary Report, who writes: “Heralding MCS Awareness Month, profile photos radiating the warmth and vibrancy of yellow are popping up throughout our community on Facebook and on our network. Yellow, for those of us with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, symbolizes the canary in the coal mine, with which we all identify. Our identity as a canary embraces and honors our bodies’ wisdom, and uses our song to alert the world of the menacing dangers of toxic consumer goods and a polluted planet.”

Alexandra Lammers and Eric Hoyle, she in a wedding dress with a festively decorated cane and he in a morning suit exit the church after their wedding.
Alexandra Lammers and Eric Hoyle, she in a wedding dress with a festively decorated cane and he in a morning suit exit the church after their wedding.

Photo from The New York Times Vows article about Lammers’ and Hoyle’s wedding. While Lammers was using a cane due to an injury, rather than a disability, it was still nice to see a mobility aid in the New York Times like this.

Disability Scoop – Disability Advocates Reserving Judgment on High Court Nominee

Disability advocates were hesitant to say much about [nominee to the United States Supreme Court Elena] Kagan. Without a judicial record, they said little is known on her positions regarding disability rights law. “I think her hearings are going to be important,” Louis Bossing, senior staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, said of Kagan’s upcoming Senate confirmation process. “We’re going to spend time working with the judiciary committee so the senators can ask questions we’ll need to know whether to support or oppose her nomination.”

The New York Times – When Treating One Worker’s Allergy Sets Off Another’s

On the first day Ms. Kysel took Penny, [her allergy-detection service dog] to work, one of her co-workers suffered an asthma attack because she is allergic to dogs. That afternoon Ms. Kysel was stunned when her boss told her that she could no longer take the dog to work, or if she felt she could not report to work without Penny, she could go on indefinite unpaid leave. She was ineligible for unemployment compensation because of the limbo she was put in.

Ghana News Agency – Women with disabilities demand respect from society

Women with disabilities in the Upper East Region has called on society not to see them as liabilities but help empower them so they could take care of themselves. They complained that many people regarded them as a curse to their families and did not want to associate with them especially in issues of marriage. They explained that when they receive marriage proposals the potential groom’s family would usually argue that the disabled woman would join the family with her curse and discourage their son. These concerns were raised at a meeting of the Association of Women Living with Disabilities, held in Bolgatanga, to discuss their situation and find ways to make things better for their members.

MB the MD/MC – on (dis)ableism

I have a lot of people in my family with disabilities, though none of them would consider themselves disabled. In talking with another radical woman of color, it seems that disability is so the “norm” in our communities, it’s often not marked as an identity unto itself. I often wonder about what a release it might be for women of color to see disability as a framework that intersects with race and gender, to not always feel the need to keep fighting, even when it hurts, to let go of the ways that we as cis and trans women of color in particular, have taken up ableism in ways that reproduce harm to ourselves and the communities we “work” so hard and care for. Why does disability mostly look white?

Associated Press –Feds Sue Over Treatment of Disabled in Arkansas

The federal government accused Arkansas in a lawsuit Thursday of leaving people with severe mental or physical disabilities with no choice but to go into state institutions. The Justice Department lawsuit accused Arkansas of a “systemic failure” that places people in institutions when the state should pursue less restrictive avenues for their care. “The state gives individuals with developmental disabilities the draconian choice of receiving services in segregated institutions or receiving no services at all,” the lawsuit states. The federal government accused the state of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, which guarantees people with developmental disabilities the right to live in the most appropriate setting for their needs. The state has six centers for the developmentally disabled that, in all, care for about 1,100 people.

A faded street sign reading 'CAUTION DEPRESSION AHEAD' is in focus with a blurry background of escalators.
A faded street sign reading 'CAUTION DEPRESSION AHEAD' is in focus with a blurry background of escalators.

Photo credit unknown, seen at Nowhere Pixie.

4 Comments

  1. @ the NYT article: Couldn’t they have placed one of the employees in a private office or on a different floor? Ms. Kysel mentions that vision-impaired employees are able to bring their dogs to the office; a simple solution would be to move her to the same floor as those individuals, and away from her allergic coworker. I’m suggesting that Kysel be moved to where the other people with service dogs are simply because the allergic coworker simply can’t be moved to that area.

    It also seems like a huge failure on the part of HR that they didn’t verify with the other employees that bringing a dog to their workspace would be safe for all.

  2. @K – there are a number of different potential approaches. i’d also like to see some information on the employee with asthma and whether that condition rose to the level of a disability – if the dog caused a few sneezes that could effectively be treated with an antihistamine or if it was a more severe and significant effect. i think this article highlights the difficulties HR departments and employers have when negotiating these conflicting accommodations and how their solutions may not always serve PWDs very well.

  3. @ abby jean:

    From what the article stated, it triggered an asthma attack in the coworker, which is severe. FWIW, though, we really won’t know the extent as readers, but I would be interested to find out.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on the article.

  4. There’s more info on the service dog case at the Indy Star.