Recommended Reading For 16 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.

Guiding Golden: Service Dogs as a Last Resort (Thanks to Sharon and Barnum for the link!)

There should be no correlation between a disabled person’s willingness, or lack thereof, to experiment with various options and others’ assessments of wether that person’s decision to use a service dog was made appropriately.  In the same spirit, a person who decides to use a service dog after alternatives have proven ineffective, should not be viewed as any more validated in their position than one who simply decides that the medication is not for her.

Planet of the Blind: No Wonder Blind People Have So Much Difficulty Getting Jobs, Have You Checked Out Their Computer Situation Lately?

Like my friend William Peace the administration at Iowa has come to think of me as a “bad cripple” who is simply a thorn–largely because I keep insisting that we need to have accessible campus buildings and a dignified disability culture that stands for true inclusion. Call me a thorn if you must. I simply believe that 20 years after the ADA people should be able to work and go to the bathroom by golly. When I think of how low my utopian dreams have fallen I could just cry.

Wibbly Wobbly Ramblings: A Serious Case of Discrimination against Students with Disabilities

Being forced to take a full course-load despite a diagnosis that says otherwise, forces students with disabilities to play the system and risk mental stress and burnout, to which their studies suffer and creates for them the issue of repairing the damage to their GPA.

Refusing to play the system, and, following a diagnosis, being considered part-time limits a student who cannot handle working at a job to support oneself at the same time as going to school.  It restricts students from grants, services, and the benefits of a full-time student.

Healthy Place: Sorry, Too Busy Panicking to Breathe

Right now I’m doing a little bit of all of the above. Who said multitasking’s just for the highly efficient? It’s one of the few skills that comes free as part of the anxiety package (No steak knives I’m afraid. They take away the sharp things when you shake as much as I do). If you’re panicked enough, you can do 5 million things at once. Adrenaline is just homemade speed.

Comment is free: Unemployment is no “lifestyle choice”

After 18 months, the job centre was forced to pass me on to an “Employment Zone” – a private company paid by the government for every client it got into work, suitable or not.

It offered nothing that I was not already doing: I have internet access and know how to fill in forms and write CVs. My “adviser” was the Scots incarnation of League of Gentlemen’s Pauline, who relished humiliating people better qualified than herself: “We have to find ways of hiding the fact you’ve got a PhD,” she said. I wondered how she would explain away six years. I told her that I had been applying for jobs to which I was suited in skills. She replied: “If you were suited to them, you’d be getting them, wouldn’t you? Try cleaning or call centres.” Fortunately, just as she was demanding that I come in twice a week (on pain of stopping my benefit), the temping agencies with which I was registered began coming up with short-term work in academic administration.

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.

2 Comments

  1. The comments on that last one are terrible (as per usual). One of them said “well, you’ve made it quite clear that your unemployment isn’t a lifestyle choice, so why are you complaining? The person that said it is obviously wasn’t talking about you.” That’s well and good, but frequently people think that EVERYONE who is unemployed does it as a lifestyle choice. They refuse to see that employers reject wide swaths of people out of hand, without ever seriously considering them. If you’re underexperienced, overqualified, too old, too disabled, too unusual, too intelligent-sounding (and the person at the link seems like ou is almost all of these). If you’re desperate for a job, any job, employers are less likely to hire you, because they think that you’ll leave too quickly, despite the fact that noone will offer you ANY job, let alone one you want.

  2. The one about students really hits home.

    She didn’t say if she’s in the US or not, but my big problem is health insurance. It’s only available for children (on your parent’s plan) until you’re 26 (thanks to the new legislation) if you’re a full time student.

    And because Tricare is being… Tricare, they’ll stop covering me at 23. (Though I’m sure they’ll change that within a year, I mean, it’s the MILITARY insurance, shouldn’t it you know, follow the rules?)

    Anyway, I had to withdraw this semester. The day I withdrew summed up everything. “You need to relax, focus on your health.” *hands me paperwork* “We need a note from your doctor by this date! Feel better!”

    And it’s only going to be one semester (I hope), but since I’m 22, my insurance through Tricare is in danger of getting canceled. And they’re not kind – they’ll backdate it possibly to May. But I couldn’t get any answers.

    The previous semester, I took 4 classes instead of 5. (If you take 5 a semester, you’ll graduate “on time.”) To graduate “on time,” I’d have to do summer school (not covered by scholarship) or take 6 classes one of the next 2 semesters.

    I am quite lucky that they don’t want information for the withdrawal, just a note saying I can’t go to class. Because, yes I can sit in class. No, I can’t think if I do so, but if you want a body in there, well, that’s possible.

    Why do disabilities and chronic illnesses make you grow up faster? Why did I have to care about health insurance at 14 when no one else did?