Recommended Reading for October 29 2010

Hello! And welcome to Recommended Reading!

Let’s start with the “stupid and outrageous shit” portion:

Chicago Tribune – Parents told to leave disabled kids at shelters

Indiana’s budget crunch has become so severe that some state workers have suggested leaving severely disabled people at homeless shelters if they can’t be cared for at home, parents and advocates said. They said workers at Indiana’s Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services have told parents that’s one option they have when families can no longer care for children at home and haven’t received Medicaid waivers that pay for services that support disabled children living independently.

CBS 6 Albany – Assemblyman defends debate comment

Assemblyman Bob Reilly says he was just trying to convey the struggles of a man with a serious disability. It’s the way he did it that is drawing criticism in some parts of the capital region. At a debate Monday night Assemblyman Bob Reilly was making a point about standing up for a person with a disability concerned about funding cuts, when he suddenly appeared to mimic that disabled person.

And now let’s wash that bad taste away!

Biodiverse Resistance – When Will We Be Paid for the Work We’ve Done? [I love people writing about stuff they see here!]

FWD/Forward alerted me to this story, about Mary Brown, a woman with Down’s syndrome who does unpaid volunteer work as a classroom assistant in a “special education” primary school classroom (in the US, although extremely similar things happen in the UK and other places). The news story presents this as an unequivocally good thing, something that is a great beneficial opportunity given to Brown, without ever seeming to consider that there might be some injustice in such a set-up.

Some Assembly Required – The Abstracts of the Mind and the Schizophrenic Metaphor

The problem here being, I rarely speak literally. I speak in abstracts because I think in abstracts. I say I see these things because in my mind, I perceive these things to be just as real as anyone else who would look at a tree in their yard and see that yes, there is a tree there. So when I say I see these things, people assume that I am literally seeing what isn’t physically there, which isn’t necessarily the case. Do I also see things that aren’t there? Yes. Like my blue butterfly, or this little boy that used to keep me company as a child when my friends abandoned me. But other times what I am seeing is what you are seeing – just differently.

Wheelie Catholic – Not a Problem

It was cold last night, perhaps made colder by the fact that I don’t have an accessible thermostat. Of course I could pay to fix that which is my responsibility as a disabled tenant, but I’ve already had to deal with lots of other issues which cost bundles, so it’s a compromise I live with.  Like many other issues of access, it’s not a problem until it is. I think that’s why issues of access are often perceived as personal problems, even seen as complaints or gripes, because until you are the one who can’t turn the heat on or get into a place or check out a menu that’s not in Braille etc. it’s not a problem. That’s why living with a disability 24/7 is much different than simulating it.

ESPN – Details set for Ron Artest’s ring raffle

On Dec. 25 [professional basketball player] Ron Artest will raffle off his ’09-’10 championship ring. Meaning someone is going to end up with the sort of present unavailable to even the nicest on Santa’s list. Last month, Artest announced his intention to give away his ring to raise money for mental health charities, though the details were a little foggy. No more. Raffle tickets — meaning no auction, so the process is commendably egalitarian — will be sold for $2 each though Artest’s website, with a minimum purchase of five. Proceeds will benefit Artest’s charity, Xcel University, then be distributed to a pair of mental health charities to be designated later this month