Recommended Reading for November 11, 2010
Wheelchair Dancer: Wheelchair Shawty
How can we go there, again, without looking at the work of black disabled artists? Why is this move/dance a trend in the clubs and why not the moves of actual disabled artists? Don’t know who is out there? If you want to get started, check out the work of Leroy Moore. His Krip Hop Nation is one of the places where black disabled hip hop artists can be found not depicted as isolated individuals doing their thing, but, rightly, as powerful artists who have a culture, tradition, history, and place in the world.
I am seeking first-person, literary non-fiction essays from established writers and talented emerging voices detailing your experience with a mental health issue, and how you’ve learned to make peace with it. Although your essay may (and should) reveal the truth about what it is/was like to live with your particular challenge, I’m looking for contributions that have a positive and/or hopeful tone (humor is more than welcome), with concrete examples of how you’ve managed to be productive, successful, satisfied, and yes, happy–or at least content. It’s All in Her Head will both acknowledge the severity of treated and untreated mental concerns and also share women’s strategies for taking care of themselves and restoring themselves, given the tools at their disposal, from pharmaceuticals to meditation, and everything in between…the winning cocktail that gives them some measure of mastery over their lives.
Dave Hingsburger at Rolling Around In My Head: Service Interrupted
Purposeful exclusion,’ I said, ‘there is no way anyone could design this, approve this and build this, without knowing that people with disabilities will never be able to use it. That makes it purposeful. The fact that only certain people can now use it make it exclusion.’
‘I’m sorry,’ she said but I interrupted.
‘This is bigotry in concrete, this is prejudice made of steel and glass, this is how builders and designers and hotel managers spit in the face of those with disabilities. They knew, they didn’t care, they did it anyways.’
Lene Anderson at The Seated View: Old Game New Name
I know two people who have loved each other for a long time and who want to get married. They’re both capable adults, both single, nothing stands in their way. Well, except for the fact that they both have a disability. Because in Ontario – as well as any other province and country I know of – if you are in receipt of public assistance because you are what they so wonderfully called “unemployable” due to a disability, you lose your assistance if you get married or move in with your love. Social assistance also comes with coverage for medication and equipment, such as wheelchairs. Even if you could get a job despite the barriers in education and employment that are huge contribution to the upwards of 85% unemployment rate among people with disabilities, you’d need a very wellpaying job to be able to afford not just the regular expenses of living, but things like medication and equipment (a wheelchair cost $12,000, three quarters of which I paid myself) and all the other expenses that come with having a disability. Essentially, you’re forced to stay on assistance even though you’d rather be working. And that means that you’re forced to be financially dependent on someone, either the state or your spouse. Everyone can marry here in Canada, even same-sex couples. But people with disabilities are in effect not allowed to marry.
Anna Huebner at Access Tourism New Zealand: How A German Town Improved Access and Revitalised Itself
A wide range of facilities in Dahme now grant free ‘Accessibility for All’. Amongst other such facilities, a barrier-free swimmer’s pool was opened last year, the tourist information centre moved into the town hall (now providing a barrier-free entrance), a hotel in the city offers a large number of accessible rooms, access has been created to major city sites (e.g. to the castle ruins and the abbey), the town sports-centre upgraded its tennis court, and dropped kerbs have been created.
The regional tourism marketing advisor, Ursel Ochs, highlights the advantages: “accessibility means quality of life for all population groups. Older and disabled people, young families with buggies and younger children, and also cyclists profit from barrier-free facilities – it has become a market segment”. Future projects are already in planning. In 2011, for example, the main street is to be reconstructed, providing opportunity to develop barrier-free entrances to the shops along the road.