Recommended Reading for Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Good Day, all. It’s been a stressful week at Chez Anna (I’m putting this together at 5 a.m. my time) so forgive me for oversights, please.
Kali at Brilliant Mind, Broken Body: I am not your metaphor
This is something that has bothered me for a long time, and actually led to one of the very few spats between the boyfriend and I (quickly mended, once we both cooled off a bit). I really hate the use of disability-based metaphors. Hate them, hate them, hate them. I believe that they’re part of what makes disability such a fearful, distorted, tragic cloud to people who are able-bodied.
It’s all well and good to say they’re bad, but I think it makes more sense if I actually go through some of the more common disability metaphors so you can see what I mean
DeafMom:Embracing My Deaf Self
My life took an interesting turn at that point. Once the grief subsided and I dried the tears, I entered a new world filled with deaf and hard of hearing people. It wasn’t easy– because I had spent the previous 19 years of my life hiding my hearing aid and feeling quite uncomfortable with anything that reminded me that I was “different.” It took awhile for me to learn American Sign Language and get to the point that I embraced a deaf identity. Once I did, there was an amazing transformation in my life: Yes, I am deaf and gosh-darn-it, that’s perfectly ok.
shiva at Biodiverse Resistance: When Will We Be Paid For The Work We’ve Done?
There are several horrible things here. First, the uncritical use of the term “trainable”, dating from the workhouse-era classification of intellectually impaired people into those who could be “trained” to do “useful” work (often with “training” methods that basically amounted to torture) and those who could not (particularly disturbing coming from a “special education” teacher!). Second, the assumption that her “functioning level” (a heavily loaded and problematic term in itself) will never change throughout her lifetime, and that, despite Brown demonstrably being in reality an adult, her “functioning level” is that of a child, meaning that Masaki buys into the “eternal child” stereotype of learning-disabled people – historically and still used to deny them adult sexualities, adult roles within families, and all the basic rights, freedoms and responsibilities that anyone else is assumed to gain automatically on reaching chronological adulthood – which is perhaps even more disturbing as an attitude held by a teacher whose pupils she considers herself “mentor and so much more” to. Thirdly, the glib “wouldn’t it be nice” comment, which is more patronising “inspirational” crap, making disabled people into ciphers of innocence rather than real, flawed and complex people.
MarfMom: A Call for Posts
A Call for Birth Stories From Women With Disabilities
Whether you knew about your diagnosis ahead of time or not, whether you had a vaginal birth or a c-section, I want to hear your story. Positive birth stories are awesome, but if yours wasn’t what you hoped please feel free to submit it too because I want to keep this blog real and the reality of having a disability is that sometimes our deliveries are complicated. I’m going to leave the term disability open-ended, but I’m basically looking for high-risk pregnancies (or what would have been if you’d known your diagnosis). You don’t need to have a connective tissue disorder.
Anne at Where’s the Benefit: The Damaging Effect of how People Perceive disability benefits
If you are one of society’s more vulnerable members, you will have to fight for everything and wade through reams and reams of red tape. That is the experience that many of us have. And people who become eligible for disability benefits and try to claim them are often completely shocked. Some do not have the energy, emotional strength and/or intellectual capacity to go through all of the form-filling and bureaucracy involved in applying and apppealing.
But so long as the myth persists that it’s simple and easy to apply for disability benefits, people will believe that anyone who says it’s not is making a fuss over nothing, or sticking up for so-called scroungers – and when people become eligible for these benefits and try to apply, they will continue to be absolutely gobsmacked when they find out how difficult it is.
In The News
Canada: The National Post: Bygone Braille. “Advocates blame funding shortages, not enough qualified teachers, and decisions by administrators to deny Braille instruction to children with low vision because of an emphasis on encouraging these students to read print. Educators say this assessment couldn’t be further from the truth and argue that today’s diagnostic tools have honed the art of identifying those who truly require Braille instruction and those who don’t.”
Australia: Australia Misses the Plane on Accessible Tourism. “Based on general population statistics of age acquired disabilities the total expenditure of this group in the travel sector is likely to exceed 22% in ten years time. Not only is this relevant to Australia’s domestic tourism market but the majority of Australia’s inbound tourism is sourced from countries with similar age demographics.”
UK Learning Disability Coalition protests in Birmingham at Government cuts. “The campaigners from Birmingham, many of whom use social care support, held up “Cuts Incident” boards displaying the frontline services which they fear will be affected by the Government’s Budget and Comprehensive Spending Review and subsequent cuts that will be made by local councils.”
By Anna 20 October, 2010. recommended reading abuse, australia, birth stories, braille, canada, Deaf, Disability Living Allowance, disability metaphors, DLA, down syndrome, protests, self-acceptance, stigma, tourism, u.k., work