Recommended Reading for Wednesday, September 29

Insomnia Anna says: “Yawn”

Raising My Boychick: On The Ubiquitous Use of “Crazy”

Now you’re just being melodramatic. Don’t you have bigger things to worry about?

Sure. I have mental health disparity because of racism and other bigotries, and exorbitant prices of prescription drugs, and insurance that won’t cover the medicines that work for me, and mental health wards closing, and overcrowding and dehumanizing protocols in the ones still open, and cops shooting people they know are unwell, and mental health used as an excuse to take away our kids, and a lack of effective treatments, and a terrifying mortality rate that people treat as a dishonoring failure in morality. I got lots of bigger stuff to worry about.

Where’s the Benefit: No Wonder People Think We’re All Scroungers

The coalition government’s attack on disabled people isn’t limited to reassessing benefits or encouraging members of the public to shop “scroungers”. Something rather more terrifying is going on: the government and associated entities are repeatedly, and persistently, describing Disability Living Allowance as an out-of-work benefit – which helps convince the general public that it’s a waste of “their” hard-earned tax.

As I wrote in this piece for Guardian Comment is Free, the government’s State of the Nation report offers a woefully misleading representation of the nature and purpose of DLA. “There is a high degree of persistence among claimants of many low-income and out-of-work benefits”, it says. “For example … around 2.2 million people, including 1.1 million people of working age, have been claiming disability living allowance for over five years”.

New Muslim Comic Book Superhero on the Way [Comments are horrible]

The new superhero is the brainchild of a group of disabled young Americans and Syrians who were brought together last month in Damascus by the Open Hands Intiative, a non-profit organization founded by U.S. philanthropist and businessman Jay T. Snyder.
The superhero’s appearance hasn’t been finalized, but an early sketch shows a Muslim boy who lost his legs in a landmine accident and later becomes the Silver Scorpion after discovering he has the power to control metal with his mind.

Astrid’s Journal: Autism, Intellectual Disability, and the concept of Primary Disability

The other point I have huge disagreements with, is the excusing of the lack of attention for intellectually disabled autistics from autistic advocacy groups. This excusing comes from the reasoning that these groups are concerned with autism, not intellectual disability, but you cannot specialize multiple disabilities away. In my opinion, autistic advocacy groups should be concerned with all autistics, including those with multiple or severe disabilities.

Disability Now interview with Dan Daw of Restless Dance Company in Australia: Dancing Dan: The Wizard from Oz

What’s the best thing about being disabled?
Watching people’s faces as the cogs turn when I use the words “dance” and “disability” in the same sentence – priceless!

What funny things get said about your impairment?
My favourite is at airports when the metal detectors beep and they presumptively say, “Oh, you’ve got a metal hip”. “No”, I reply, “I’m wearing a belt”.

Marissa at This is Hysteria: Go Where? Gender, Ability, Intersectionality and Constructivism Please note this is an image-heavy post, and the disability-specific stuff starts about halfway down.

This flawed way of understanding identity – each deviation from the default seen as a discrete layer – is reflected in the washroom signs indicating wheelchair access. Often, there is a male figure, a female figure, and a third non-gendered figure in a wheelchair. Disability is depicted as a discrete aspect of identity, to be layered on top of gender.

Simon Darcy at Accessible Tourism Research: Inherent Complexity: Accessible Accommodation Room Components

Most research had identified the generalities of accessible accommodation requirements without having any specific empirical approach to understanding the needs from a mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive perspective. Each individual has their own access discourse where they value the relative importance of certain room components based on their individual access needs (e.g. many wheelchair users require a roll in shower & hand held shower hose Photo 1). While the overall building codes and access standards identify a myriad of components, the individual only understands at least complex technical documents from what they require in an accessible room (Australian Building Codes Board, 1990; Standards Australia, 1992, 2001, 2002). On the other hand, the accommodation manager manly as a understanding that their establishment has a “disabled room” that people with disability should be other stay in. Hence, once an individual hears that establishment has an accessible room they believe that it will meet their needs (Darcy, 2010).

In The News:

Canada: Dead Veteran’s Last Battle Was for Disability Cheque. “On Feb. 27, he died at the age of 93 in Barrie, Ont. Three weeks later, the $55,000 disability cheque he had been expecting arrived, becoming part of the assets in his small estate. That is, until officials with Veterans Affairs Canada ordered the money seized. Quick may have qualified for a disability but now that he was dead the government wanted its money back.”

UK: MSP Drops disabled clause from assisted suicide bill “Bill Scott, Policy Officer at the campaign group Inclusion Scotland, welcomed the decision, saying: ‘That clause was dangerous, particularly at a time of cutbacks, to say to people you can’t live independently but you can apply for state-assisted suicide as if it’s a way out.'”

Australia: Disabilities ‘forgotten’: opposition “Senator Fifield said more needed to be done to help people with disabilities because neither Labor nor the coalition had “covered themselves in glory” on the issue.”

By 29 September, 2010.    recommended reading  , , ,  



1 Comment

  1. There is already an Arabic “super-hero” comic book series with a disabled character — it’s called The 99 and the disabled character is John Weller, a bitter-and-twisted paraplegic from St Louis, who has a burning hatred for anyone who causes a traffic accident and is capable of exacting some kind of supernatural vengeance (the ’99’ refers to the 99 names of God in the Qur’an, and one of them translates as “afflicter”). Perhaps the Silver Scorpion will prove a better role-model than the one in the 99.

    A year or so ago, a British Muslim magazine called Emel did a feature on Muslim bloggers and mine was one of those featured. When it came out, the other major feature in that edition was about The 99, and it appeared that the three characters on the cover were meant to be bloggers rather than characters from The 99, and the one that looked like me was in a wheelchair (although a funny-looking one, with a hard seat which you wouldn’t ask a full-time wheelchair user to sit in – clearly they hadn’t done their research). As I had written some articles on disability in the couple of months before that, I assumed that they thought I must have been a wheelchair user myself, which I’m not, so I must admit it freaked me out a little bit until I realised it wasn’t meant to be me.