Recommended Reading for 02 September 2010

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 and links are provided as topics of interest and exploration only. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

Sorry for the late post, folks! Pesky little Typhoon and all!

ITWeb: 1up for gamers with disabilities

It’s hard to say if there is any disability that limits someone from gaming, according to Coe. “With so many innovative peripherals such as over-sized buttons, muscle twitch sensors, and thoughtful customisation, I think we can modify anything for anyone.”

The Living Artist: Accessibility FAIL: Ross Park Mall

17th in line, 90 minutes to go until opening. Feeling my back starting to twinge, I sat down on the floor. A minute or two later, mall security guards came over and told me I had to stand. Even when we explained that I had a back injury and couldn’t stand for very long, they cited “safety issues” and said again, I had to stand. Since I didn’t feel like getting into an argument (and possibly getting all three of us kicked out), Aiden and I left.

Think Progress: Alan Simpson Says Veterans Who Are Agent Orange Victims Are ‘Not Helping Us Save The Country’

The system that automatically awards disability benefits to some veterans because of concerns about Agent Orange seems contrary to efforts to control federal spending, the Republican co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s deficit commission said Tuesday.

Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson’s comments came a day after The Associated Press reported that diabetes has become the most frequently compensated ailment among Vietnam veterans, even though decades of research has failed to find more than a possible link between the defoliant Agent Orange and diabetes.

“The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess,” said Simpson, an Army veteran who was once chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

Rolling Around In My Head: The Battle

Three days ago we went to our local grocery, which had just opened after going through a several month closure due to renovations, and I noticed something slightly odd and yet wildly infuriating. They have 7 or 8 checkout aisles, one of which is designated as a wheelchair lane. It’s a lovely lane for me especially when I am in my power wheelchair. I’m wide, it’s wider, the lane is widest – a lovely fit wouldn’t you say. It’s so much better than what they had before. So, anyways, back to being annoyed – which through a mammoth act of will I manage NOT to be all the time. They had all the aisles open, that’s ALL of them, except the wide wheelchair aisle.

New York Times: Study Says Brain Trauma Can Mimic A.L.S.

A peer-reviewed paper to be published Wednesday in a leading journal of neuropathology, however, suggests that the demise of athletes like Gehrig and soldiers given a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, might have been catalyzed by injuries only now becoming understood: concussions and other brain trauma.

Although the paper does not discuss Gehrig specifically, its authors in interviews acknowledged the clear implication: Lou Gehrig might not have had Lou Gehrig’s disease.

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note if you would like to be credited, and under what name/site.

About Ouyang Dan

is an extremely proggy-liberal, formerly single mommy, Native American, invisibly disabled, U.S. Navy Veteran, social justice activist and aspiring freelance writer currently living in South Korea on Uncle Sam's dime. She has a super human tolerance for caffeine and chocolate and believes she should use those powers for good. She said should. She is not a concise person, and sometimes comes on a little aggressively in comments. Sometimes her right arm still twitches when military brass walks past her, but she would rather be reading YA Lit or pwning n00bs. She can be found being cliche about music, overthinking pop culture, and grumbling about whatever else suits her fancy at her personal website, random babble.... She also writes about military issues for's Women's Rights blog. If you have something interesting to say email her at ouyangdan [at] disabledfeminists [dot] com. Lawyers in Italy looking to hold lottery winnings in her bank account may wait longer for reply.

3 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for 02 September 2010

  1. This was my repsonse to the article about the person not being allowed to sit on the floor at the mall when their disability acted up.:

    Actually, I know what this was really about. See, I was homeless for three years.

    You say there were no benches at all? Yeah, this is one of those things public places have been doing over the last few years. They’re getting this “brilliant” idea that if they don’t provide anywhere to sit, then homeless people won’t come in and no one will have to look at us.

    This was in no way a “safety issue”. You weren’t allowed to sit on the ground because you would have looked homeless and they can’t have that.

    Which also sucks because I also have disabilities where I can’t stand up for long periods of time. In this rush to push homeless people out of the public sightline, all sorts of other people are being punished right along with us. With nowhere to sit, how are elderly people, families with small children, and others who need to stop randomly supposed to stay there longer?

    Oh, right. They’re supposed to be good customers and sit in a store where they buy something.

    Yeah, this was about an intersection of oppressions moment. They didn’t care about your disability, just that someone didn’t look homeless by sitting on the ground. That’s going on out here in Seattle now too. Most of the bus stops don’t even have benches anymore.

  2. I was going to leave a comment similar to this at that site, but I didn’t want to get into that fray. You are so right. I have a feeling it is about that

    They do the same thing here in Seoul. We were at the iPark Mall (no affiliation with Apple that I am aware of) and my partner was in the restroom while I waited with a friend. We were on a floor with only a few shops and a large artsy sculpture. There were no chairs, benches, or anything. My legs, feet, back, and everything were beginning to hurt, and The Guy just couldn’t wait to get home to use the facilities, so I tried to rest against the wall. We sat for just a moment and security came upon us quickly and shooed us away, telling us it was for safety. We might have been in the one area in all of Seoul that wasn’t crowded. Including the security there were all of six of us.

    I see them do the same thing with homeless people, and as much as I love living here, I think that the reason I seldom see homeless people is because they are always trying to shoo them off to hidden areas where they are less visible.

    The hurtful attitude towards the homeless is harmful to more people, disabled people, parents, elderly people…just like you said. It is an argument I get into with Garrison Commanders on post here about how being ADA compliant isn’t enough. A bench is a polite thing that tells people you aren’t othering them. The absence of spaces to rest says that only certain people are allowed here!

  3. The only bus stops here that don’t have benches are because they’re really minors stops and only have a sign marking them, but I’ve noticed a variety of… inventive… approaches to bus stop seating (both in Arizona and in England) that as far as I can tell are specifically designed to keep homeless people from sleeping on the benches. Here in Tucson, they have metal brackets over them a few inches above the surface, separating them into individual seats. (Also, they’re painted BLACK. In the DESERT. I got a second degree burn when my hand accidentally rested against one last time I took the bus, and that was at ten in the morning!) In London, I saw some with sort of stools instead of benches, and many with these weird less than a foot wide benches that are tilted at a sixty degree angle or so to make them impossible to lie down on. (They’re also really uncomfortable and difficult to sit on, but of course depriving homeless people of shelter matters more than making bus stop seating usable. I think someone also said they don’t want homeless people sleeping on them because some of the buses run at night and it would prevent people who were actually using the bus stop from using the bus stop?)

    I haven’t been inside a mall in rather a long time, so I’ve no idea what seating is like in our local malls. (My mum hates malls, so I have not been to them very often.)

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