Category Archives: language
Brine and Kath traveled from Land’s End, England, at the very southern tip of the UK, to John O’Groats, at the very northern tip of Scotland, the two settlements in Britain that are furthest apart, by hand-pedaled wheelchair and bike, arriving in John O’Groats on the summer solstice.
A Voice For Neli [this site is by the mother of a young black man with autism who was recently arrested and harassed in Stafford, Virginia, primarily due to his race and disability status]
My son was traumatized. He has since been transferred to a mental hospital to receive treatment. I have placed a link to the story below for the world to see. How very sensational and yet sinister at the same time. What is so suspicious about a young man sitting under a tree at the library. The library is where my son goes quite frequently because there is a teen room there. What made him suspicious? Was it because he is a young black male? Possible gun? Why was the assumption made that he had a gun when there was no visible gun seen? Again was it because he was a young black man? These assumptions are what catapulted the events of that day and has turned our family’s life completely upside down.
Bad Cripple – Conjoined Twins, Disability and Ethics
Few books I read cause me to radically alter my preconceived ideas or thoughts. One such book that did this for me was One of Us by Alice Domurat Dreger. Dreger’s book, subtitled Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal, stunned me. Prior to reading One of Us I thought that the effort to separate conjoined twins was logical, the only viable choice parents had even if the mortality rate for such a procedure was very high. By the time I finished reading Dreger’s book I learned that my preconceived ideas about conjoined twins, largely gleaned from the mass media, was wrong. Not only did I feel enlightened thanks to Dreger but I learned much about what she termed anatomical politics.
Astrid’s Journal – On Disability and Suffering
Disability is not a tragedy. Both of these framings assume that. Someone can be suffering and have a disability, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is suffering because of the disability. (Correlation is not causation!) This immediately reminded me of the first time I fought this terminology, back in 2007. My support worker wrote into my care plan that I suffer from an autism spectrum disorder. I asked her to correct it to say that I have an ASD, which she at first refused. We got into a pretty lengthy argument, in which she used all kinds of ableist misconceptions about the suffering of people with autism, until she gave in and changed the wording. Most of these misconceptions are rooted in the medical model of disability. That is, they assume disability to be an inherently bad affliction, and of course from there conclude that disability is something someone suffers from. Here are a few examples of arguments people use to base the idea that one suffers from a disability, upon…
After Gadget – Lyme Awareness Month, Part I
The next three After Gadget blogs will specifically address Lyme awareness from the service dog perspective:
- How Lyme can affect your dog, and what you need to know about it (that your vet might not).
- How Lyme can affect you, and what you need to know about it (that your doctor might not).
- How Lyme transformed my experience specifically as a service dog partner.
Note: Since this blog series focuses on awareness, I’m honing in on the issues that I think are most important for you to be aware of. My goal is to prevent more cases of Lyme — especially chronic or untreated Lyme — in dogs and people. So, I’m going to skip a lot of general information. For example, telling you the name of the strange organism that causes this disease will probably not be what impels you to rethink the limp that comes and goes in your dog, or that frustrating “flakiness” of your sister-in-law. It won’t change your mind about whether you are taking adequate precautions against tick-borne disease (TBD). On the other hand, I hope this series will.
Leaving Evidence – Creating Collective Access
What is collective access? Collective Access is access that we intentionally create together, instead of individually. Most of the time, access is placed on the individual who needs it. It is up to you to figure out your own access, or sometimes, up to you and your care giver, personal attendant (PA) or random friend. Access is rarely weaved into a collective commitment and way of being; it is isolated and relegated to an after thought (much like disabled people). Access is complex. it is more than just having a ramp or getting disabled folks/crips into the meeting. Access is a constant process that doesn’t stop. It is hard and even when you have help, it can be impossible to figure out alone.
USA Today [so take it with a grain of salt!] – World Cup matches may boost your mental health
Scientists have shown that fans who feel personally invested in a team or, better yet, who attend games and cheer along with like-minded fans, reap the mental health benefits that come from a feeling of social connectedness. “The main thing that people achieve via sports fanship is a sense of belongingness, or connectedness, with others,” said Edward Hirt, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University. “Sharing a common allegiance with others bonds people together in a special way. We can relate to others who share fanship with our team and feel a camaraderie with them that transcends ourselves.”
I love looking at pictures of cute animals on the internet. Cats, dogs, monkeys, dolphins, turtles, otters – whatever. And I find that skimming through a few LOLcat macros during the workday can do wonders to perk up my mood or give me a smile before diving back into work. Which is part of why I get so annoyed when the LOLcat sites do something offensive or wrong – this is supposed to be my fun time, not my get-my-rage-on time! I have a whole other folder of RSS feeds for rage time!
So I got mighty cranky when I saw this at I Has a Hotdog, the spinoff site from I Can Haz Cheeseburger that has LOLdog macros:
Ok, FOR CEREAL??? This is not only offensive, it doesn’t even make sense. A person with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), which is more commonly and more accurately termed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), does not manifest in multiple identical bodies. The whole point is that there is one body/mind that manifests multiple, distinct identities or personalities, called alter egos. A person who could split themselves into multiple identical bodies, all with distinct identities, is not a person with MPD or DID, but instead is some kind of magical self-cloning person who should probably be off fighting crime in Gotham City.
This underlined for me how DID is a go-to joke, a punchline often used in contexts or situations that make absolutely no sense to anyone who actually understands what DID is. It’s a lazy way to make a joke about a “bizarre” or “outlandish” mental illness without even taking time to understand the diagnosis being thrown around so cavalierly. For me, it reads as a shorthand “hahaha saying the name of a mental illness is funny isn’t that funny??”
I can’t imagine how this use of DID as shorthand for “exotic and hilarious mental illness” must affect people who actually experience DID. Given that the second google link when I searched for “multiple personality disorder” is to a site discussing whether MPD or DID actually exist or whether they are made-up movie illnesses, I imagine there’s an extraordinary stigma experienced by people with DID and an overwhelming tendency to doubt and discount their experiences at best, and to mock and ridicule them at worst. These kind of “jokes” only add to those issues. And they should not be tolerated.