Recommended Reading for Friday June 11

A woman holds up a sign reading Time to act... NOW!
A woman holds up a sign reading Time to act... NOW! The Disability Action Force on Housing is a grouping of people with disabilities, particularly developmental disabilities, engaged as self-advocates, along with their allies. They hosted a rally to push for action on the housing crisis. It was on the steps of the provincial Legislature of Alberta, in Edmonton, on June 11, 2007.

Photo by Grant Neufeld, used under a Creative Commons License.

Disability Disclosure Online

We have all heard stories about people who have lost their jobs because of pictures that surfaced on the Internet that show their after-hours behavior. A similar, but unfortunate tale is the one of the individual with a disability who is denied employment or resources because of someone’s assumption about that person’s disability which they uncovered on the Internet. Though this is not always the case, it illustrates how imperative it is for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, to decide what, when and how they disclose. You have to be aware of everything you say and do on the Internet. Here are some general guidelines that are important for all online users, including people with disabilities, to keep in mind.

Via @disability on twitter: Interview with Brock Waidmann

Many in the disability community have been calling for Hollywood producers to cast real people with real disabilities in roles where the disability has little or nothing to do with the plot. The people behind the Paul Reiser Show, a series which will soon be broadcast on NBC, will apparently do just that. Twelve year old Brock Waidmann has been cast in the role of Zeke, one of Paul Reiser’s two sons on the show. This interview with Brock Waidmann took place by email over a couple of weeks in June 2010. This is Brock’s first ever interview.

Light Headed, weak-kneed: Both the Man and the Ban

This is why today, Good As You is participating in a blogswarm with AMERICABlog,, Bilerico Project, Blabbeando,, DailyKos, David Badash, Firedoglake-The Seminal, Joe Mirabella, LGBTPOV, Mike Signorile, OpenLeft and Rod 2.0. We, as a coalition, are asking you to submit public comment in support of revising the discriminatory and medically unwarranted FDA lifetime ban on blood donations from any man who’s had sex with another man (MSM) since the time when the first Star Wars was on the big screen (1977).

What I just told someone who didn’t match current autism stereotypes.

Kanner saw a bunch of people and grouped them together. He observed some things about them. Some of the observations were accurate. Some were more conclusions than true observations. Then he came to conclusions based on both types of observations. Many of his conclusions were false. (Note: Most of Kanner’s patients would today have a high chance of being diagnosed as AS and all but maybe one or two fit at least one definition of high functioning. Several went on to college. There are many modern myths about who these people were.)

The next person came along and put more people into the category of autistic. These people included people who appeared like Kanners patients appeared, people who were like Kanners patients were, people who appeared like Kanners conclusions, and people who were like Kanners conclusions.

US State Dept announces new passport rules for transgender people

“Sexual reassignment surgery is no longer a prerequisite for passport issuance,” [the State Department] said in a statement.

From June 10, “when a passport applicant presents a certification from an attending medical physician that the applicant has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition, the passport will reflect the new gender,” the statement said.

Law Enforcement Braces For Wave Of Autistic Young Adults [I’m really struggling with this article. It’s an investigative piece about law enforcement and both tasering and shooting of autistics. It tries to balance a few different viewpoints. I’m not sure it does that in a way that’s necessarily effective. There’s reference to “waves” of autistics, and a sense of emergency about this. I don’t want people to go into the article unaware that that is there.]

Indeed, individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism encounter the police on less than ideal terms far more often than does the general population. They are about seven times more likely than others to have “contact” with law enforcement, autism expert Dennis Debbaudt, the author of Autism, Advocates and Law Enforcement Professionals, and Dr. Darla Rothman wrote way back in April 2001, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

[Related: Tybee Police ‘apologetic’ for Tasing autistic teen]

Two Years: Reflecting

So many of these conditions need more awareness! So many are poorly understood and under-researched/under-funded. So many involve patients whose experiences are not validated by our society or even their own loved ones (especially true for the “invisible illnesses”). Many patients are accused of exaggerating or of having “psychosomatic” illnesses. I struggle with how to give fair time to each of these illnesses. Which way should I turn? Which illness is facing the most pressing issues? Which illness is having an awareness day/week/month? How can I best help the causes that are dear to me? What is the most efficient use of my time?

Where should I go next when there is so much to do?


New Zealand: Autism a learning preference, not a disability “New Zealand schools should view autism as a learning preference, rather than a difficulty or disability, says UK educationalist Neil Mackay.”

“Automatically labeling autistic students as disabled, rather than recognising and responding to their unique and preferred ways of learning is not only limiting but also damaging. Placing a focus on preference rather than disability enshrines the right to be autistic.”

China: Foxconn to up wages again at suicide-hit China plant

A total of 10 workers have committed suicide at the company’s base in Longhua, southern China this year. They were all young migrant workers, among the millions of people who leave the poor hinterlands of China for the boom towns of the south and east coastal areas.

Another worker died late in May from what his family said was overwork, a claim the company denied.

The string of deaths have focused attention on working conditions in a region experiencing growing labor unrest and have triggered investigations by Apple and other big Foxconn clients, including Dell Inc.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs called recent suicides at the plant troubling but said last week the site was not a sweatshop.

Canada: Restraint technique led to Hyde’s death: lawyer. “The death of a mentally ill Nova Scotia man who fell unconscious after struggling with jail guards was the result of a dangerous restraint technique that stopped his breathing, a lawyer for the man’s family told an inquiry Wednesday.”

Namibia: Are Namibian Women Being Forcibly Sterilised?* “A landmark court case, alleging that HIV-positive women were forcibly sterilised in Namibian state hospitals begins in Windhoek’s High Court on Jun. 1. Human rights groups claim the practice has continued long after the authorities were notified.” [Via bonesarecoralmade]

US: Douglas signs guide dog bill “Gov. James Douglas has signed a bill into law that increases civil and criminal penalties for those whose pets attack guide dogs for the blind.”> [Via Service Dogs: A Way Of Life]

4 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for Friday June 11

  1. Slight HTML glitch… The “Light Headed, Weak Kneed” link has a colon instead of a closing quotation mark, and thus cuts off everything up to the Ballastexistenz link.

  2. The Ballastexistenz link is broken. You’ve got it going to a convoluted link on another website.

  3. Well fuck. State is still imposing binary-supremacist standards — people with non-binary gender identities don’t even get a mention and people with genitals ambiguous in a binary-supremacist context are stuck with whatever is on their birth certificate. I guess trans* intersex folk (they exist; I know some) are shit out of luck then? Or they have to go through the trans* hoops?

    It’s still discriminatory. A cis binary person doesn’t have to go to all this damn trouble to have ou paperwork match ou gender identity. A person who has multiple and/or fluid gender identities is going to wait a long damn time for identification showing ou gender identity.

    It’s headed in the right direction and I will be taking advantage of these new rules tout du suite. I just don’t want to lose track of who they fail while being happy they work to my benefit.

    Mostly to my benefit. It will be very nice to have a passport which has an “F” on. (Some folk in my family have been wanting me to travel with them and I’ve been avoiding applying to get a passport because I’d known State wouldn’t give me one matching my Texas- and Social Security Administration-issued ID nor congruent with how I get read in a cis binary world.) I’m also one of those folk who has multiple and fluid identities and those parts of me aren’t recognised by my government at all.


    I’ve never asked the blood donation people if I have a lifetime ban for having had sex with gay cis men back when I was trying to present as male. Probably. It never came up since I’m banned from giving blood for having too many tattoos and body piercings. There are disreputable places to get both but I don’t patronise them; if the establishment doesn’t have an autoclave they don’t get to stick me.

    Piercings done with a piercing gun at a cheap ass jewellery shop are O!K! though. Which baffles me: While the jewellery may be in sterile packs the gun itself cannot be sterilised — wiping it down with an isopropanol swab is not sufficient. And the people wielding said gun are usually untrained. At a good piercing shop everything is just about the opposite: The instruments have been autoclaved and the piercers are highly trained and experienced.

    But it’s the piercing shop that’s presumed to be filthy and disease-ridden. Yeah no assumptions at work there.

  4. Hi Anna,

    I just wanted to stop by and thank you for listing my blog in the recommended reading post! It’s an honor to have my blog included here.

    I have found this site to be thought-provoking, informative, and powerful. Anytime I visit this site, I *always* find something interesting to read (usually many things)!

    I really appreciate you including my two year anniversary post here. Yesterday, I noticed a sudden burst of traffic coming from here and I had to check it out. I didn’t get a chance to post a comment here until now because I was very ill (last night was bad but today in particular was really bad).

    So I hopped over here as soon as I could to thank you. The bloggers on this site cover such a diverse, important, informative array of topics. I just wanted to say:

    “Thank you so much!” 🙂


Comments are closed.