Category Archives: recommended reading

Recommended Reading for December 21, 2010

James S. Fell for the Los Angeles Times: Holistic nutrition is weak on science, strong on selling supplements

You may not know the term, but you’ve surely heard its claims. Among other things, holistic nutritionists (or HNs, as they call themselves) may teach that fluoride and pesticides are lethal, that most diseases and detrimental behaviors are diet-related and that many people would benefit from taking numerous supplements. I’ve read plenty of articles by HNs in which they assert that they are disparaged by mainstream medicine and warn you not to trust modern medicine.

Gina Kolata for the New York Times: Tests detect Alzheimer’s risks, but should patients be told?

It is a quandary that is emblematic of major changes in the practice of medicine, affecting not just Alzheimer’s patients. Modern medicine has produced new diagnostic tools, from scanners to genetic tests, that can find diseases or predict disease risk decades before people would notice any symptoms.

Kathryn Roethel for the San Francisco Chronicle: Chronic migraines: When pain is all in the head

After Robertson’s headaches began, she started wearing sunglasses to school because the migraines made her sensitive to light. Then she gave up fencing – a sport she’d competed in for seven years. She cut school to half time, then had to quit altogether.

In their Potrero Hill home, Robertson’s family put in skylights because the light bulbs were too bright for her. They stopped cooking with garlic and onions because the scents made her nauseous. On the rare occasions when she is well enough to eat meals at the dinner table, her mother lowers the lights and everyone speaks calmly and softly.

David Sirota at Truthout: Why the “Lazy Jobless” Myth Persists

First, there’s what psychologists call the Just-World Fallacy — the tendency to believe the world is inherently fair. This delusion is embedded in our pervasive up-by-the-bootstraps, everyone-can-be-a-millionaire catechism. The myth of the lazy unemployed can seem to make sense because it connects those ancient fables to current news, effectively alleging that today’s jobless deserve their plight.

Crazy Mermaid at Bipolar: Crazy Mermaid’s Blog: Mental Illness: Brain Function Impairment

Re-branding the current term “mental illness” to the more accurate description “brain functioning impairment”, will go a long way towards solving our stigma problem. We can reposition the impairment term as the politically correct term, and phase out the awful connotations of the old term. At a minimum, rebranding will go a long way toward forcing the general public to change its perception of people with BFI.

Recommended Reading for Monday, December 20

Oh, happy day. They were testing the fire alarms in my building. For two hours. Yes, they work. I have no idea how Don slept through them.

Also, this is going to be a bit of a massive edition of Recommended Reading because I have open many many tabs and want to close them.

Bipolar Burble: I Can’t Remember Not Being Depressed: Emotion and Memory

When I am depressed I can’t remember what it’s like not to be depressed. It’s an interesting phenomenon, actually. Although I, logically, can state that I have spent massive chunks of my life out of major depression, when I’m depressed I feel that’s not true. I literally can’t remember what non-depressed feels like. Logic ceases to be convincing. I understand there’s a high statistical likelihood that depression will pass. But I just can’t believe it when depressed.

Learning Disability Bulletin: Disability Living Allowance Discourages Work? I don’t think so

The facts about learning disability and employment are stark. The latest statistics suggest that in Scotland only 4.3% of people who have learning disabilities are employed in the open workplace. That is a shocking statistic. However, for the Department of Work and Pensions to suggest a causal relationship between Disability Living Allowance and unemployment is at best naive and at worst cynical.

Many people who have learning disabilities would love to have the opportunity to work. However, there are numerous barriers standing in their way. For many, there has been an incorrect assumption that they would be unable to work throughout their school or college lives and as such they have not been encouraged to understand the importance of having a job. ENABLE Scotland is supporting schools, colleges and people who have learning disabilities across Scotland to change some of these assumptions.

The Emperor Has No Toque: One Block: a Tale of Two Caregivers

In most health care institutions, there is institutional stigma regarding mental illness. Rarely are MH patients treated with warmth, or mutual respect, but usually treated like opposing forces. Very few more facilities are newer, up to date or maintained as well as the physical health side of the coin. Mental Health care even though it serves a large and diverse population is usually the recipient of hand me down facilities and equipment. And yes some hospital staff offer different levels of care for mental health and physical health patients.

Gazza, The Rebuttal: The Last Post (via The Abundance of my Heart)

But we deafies that need to watch movies with captions are a fragile lot. So instead of rolling out captioning they have decided to proceed with caution for our own good. “We didn’t know people would get sick!” they claim. “It’s not our fault that the technology has let us down!” they proclaim. That most movies released are 2D and that sickness watching 3D movies is nothing new is not something that the cinema bosses highlight. And let’s not forget our Blind and vision impaired friends! Presumably they get sick listening to 3D movies through audio description so we have to delay the roll out of that too. Bottom line is that the excuse the cinemas are spouting to delay and water down the rollout of captions to cinemas is POPPYCOCK. It’s an excuse! They are throwing their toys out of the pram because they had their hands forced when nearly 500 people let the Australian Human Rights Commission know that what the cinemas were offering was pathetic and that they wanted more. And for once the Australian Human Rights Commission showed some teeth and told the cinemas that what they were offering was an insult and that they needed to do MORE! Now all of this seems to have been to no avail.

Latte Republic: Disability, Work, Income, and Benefits

There are approximately 38,000 Washington residents who depend on the Disability Lifeline program. I challenge readers to live on $450 a month (cash grant plus food stamps). That’s $5,400 a year. The stress from the financial hardship alone is enough to kill a person. No matter how you look at it – it’s inhumane to treat the disabled this badly. We should be ashamed of ourselves as a nation and a state.

Disability Lifeline program enrollees can not accept financial assistance from churches or relatives. If they receive more than the cash grant in any month, they are removed from the program. In 1995, Welfare reform removed the penalties that prevented recipients from working. It’s time to remove those barriers for the disabled. Many disabled citizens could work part time or in their homes, if the prohibition against work was lifted. We should encourage worker re-training and vocational education and allow recipients to accept financial assistance from churches and family members.

Benefits Helped Turn My Life Around (via Forthwritten)

As soon as I was discharged with a punishing regime of psychiatric medication to control my condition, I was advised to find a job. It would give me something to do and besides, living with my employed boyfriend, I wasn’t entitled to benefits. Despite being noticeably manic, with difficulty caring for myself and a tenuous grasp on reality, I looked for employment. In between my grandiose applications for gym instructor roles, I found a job with the help of a friend. I was barely able to wake up in the morning due to the sedating effects of my antipsychotic medication, which gave me embarrassingly noticeable hand tremors. I slurred my speech, and was routinely asked at work if I had been drinking. Though I had disclosed my illness to my employers, I was unable to get time off for psychiatric appointments. Bereft of that support and barely able to take medication because of the adverse effect it had on my work, I became ill again.

NZ: Tasers Used in Mental Health Cases

A new study shows that police tasers are more than twice as likely to be used at mental health emergencies than criminal arrests.

Canada: New Coalition Calls For Completely Accessible Broadcasting System

“While current regulatory trends mean that sight- and hearing-impaired Canadians will only obtain complete access to television in thirty years, Access 2020’s goal is to achieve fully captioned and described television content within the next decade,” said Beverley Milligan, on behalf of Media Access Canada which is leading the Coalition. “We will be inviting the CRTC to empower Canada’s accessibility organizations to research, test, develop and monitor the implementation of modern, multi-platform digital accessibility standards.”

Recommended Reading for 17 December, 2010

Gentle reader, be cautioned: comments sections on mainstream media sites tend to not be safe and we here at FWD/Forward don’t necessarily endorse all the opinions in these pieces. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

United States: Tampa’s ‘Sensitive Santa’ allows children with autism to get photographs, too by Shelley Rossetter at the St Petersburg Times:

The mall’s owner, Glimcher Realty Trust of Ohio, started Sensitive Santa in some malls nationwide two years ago and extended the idea to all its properties this year, said Kristy Genna, marketing director for WestShore Plaza.

Ireland: Deaf man can sit on jury, says judge by Eithne Donnellan at the Irish Times:

A HIGH Court Judge has ruled for the first time that a deaf person can sit on a jury in the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Justice Paul Carney yesterday ruled that profoundly deaf teacher Senan Dunne could sit on a trial jury with the aid of a sign language interpreter. He said objections to having a “13th person in the jury room” in the form of a sign language interpreter could be met by the signer taking an oath of confidentiality and the jury foreman ensuring that she or he was confined to translating what went on.

Just updating you on the situation in Sierra Leone (see RR for 3 December): In Sierra Leone, Disability Congress Writes President Koroma by Abdul Karim Fonti Kabia at the Awareness Times:

The NDC highlighted that persons with disabilities remain severely under-represented in political and decision-making positions; disabled hold only 0.01% of parliamentary seats, and; the current representation of disable persons in cabinet is at 0.0%.

Indonesia: City to Soon Issue Bylaw on Disabilities at BeritaJakarta.com

As form of its attention to the disabled, Jakarta capital city government plans to implement local regulations on building facilities and accessibility for the disabled, including the sanctions for the violators. At present, there are approximately 35 thousand disabled people in five administrative areas of Jakarta.

Australia: ‘Warringah Council is seeking feedback on design concepts for the Collaroy Disability Tourism Precinct,’ something you can read about in Disability precinct design feedback wanted at the Manly Daily. Also see Windfall for disabled, also by Brenton Cherry at the Manly Daily:

The vision is to create a holiday destination for people with disabilities and their carers as well as a specialist economic business hub for Collaroy.

It would be a place where not only access to the beach, including to the water using an amphibious wheelchair, is possible, but also restaurants, public transport, accommodation and entertainment facilities.

Here’s the page on the Warringah Council website. Collaroy is a beautiful place on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. I am so excited to hear about this proposal, and hope that more people will be able to enjoy that stunning beach!

Send your links to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com. Let us know if/how you want to be credited. And have yourself a fabulous weekend.

Recommended Reading for 16 December, 2010

Talulah Mankiller at Life Under a Rock: Just the Facts, Ma’am (via Kiri) (post mentions domestic violence but doesn’t describe)

Even when I was very sick and had no idea what was wrong, I always had two versions of reality in my head: what I logically knew was actually probably going on, and what I emotionally understood was happening. The two rarely matched up, but that doesn’t mean that they weren’t both there. For years, various people made futile efforts to help me “grow up” and “learn to deal with things” by trying to get those two versions of reality to overlap as much as possible, but the fact of the matter is that they were never going to. Because those kind people, those lovely people, thought if I just understood that another, less emotionally volatile reality existed, then I would just magically walk right over there and everything would be fine.

Problem was, I’d been well aware of that reality the whole time. I just couldn’t reach it. Because, you know, MY BRAIN CHEMISTRY IS FUCKED.

Kiriamaya: “Why aren’t you angry?”

Because I’m fucking exhausted, that’s why. Depression means I don’t have much energy to begin with, and I have to use most of what I do have for school, work and social situations, which doesn’t leave much over to do activism or to be angry about shit. Oh, and I’m also trans, which means I have to constantly fight just to be seen as human (and usually fail). And I try to squeeze creative projects in amidst all this because that’s how I keep from killing myself.

Old Kentish Sign Language Put On the Worldwide Endangered List

A centuries-old sign language thought to have been spread throughout America by Kentish settlers is on the worldwide endangered list.

Evidence of the use of Old Kentish Sign Language dates back as far as the mid-1600s, but is now thought to be extinct thanks to the rise of British Sign Language in its place.

It is also thought to be one of the forerunners of American Sign Language, as a number of 17th century settlers on the island of Martha’s Vineyard near Massachusetts – the majority of whom knew how to sign – migrated from the Kentish Weald.

Disability Scoop: Violent Crime Odds Double for People With Disabilities

The findings come in a report released Thursday by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics that looked at 730,000 nonfatal violent crimes during 2008 in which the victim had a disability. Overall, those with disabilities age 12 and older experienced crime at a rate of 40 cases out of 1,000. During the same period those without a disability were affected at a far lower rate of 21 per 1,000, the findings indicate.

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): Inside an isolated world

There are more than 300,000 Australians who are deafblind and an Access Economics report is predicting that with an ageing population that figure will top one million by 2050. The 7.30 Report’s Natasha Johnson spent a day with a woman who is deafblind to witness the many challenges she faces.

Recommended Reading for 15 December, 2010

Jody McIntyre: Student Protests, Part Three

From the corner of my eye, I spotted one of the policemen from the earlier incident. He recognised me immediately. Officer KF936 came charging towards me. Tipping the wheelchair to the side, he pushed me onto the concrete, before grabbing my arms and dragging me across the road. The crowd of 200 ran and surrounded him. I got back up and stood in front of the horses.

When I finally got home at 5am, exhausted but pleased at what can only be seen as a victory, I found that the picture of me being pulled from my wheelchair had been creating a bit of a storm online. But I am not the real victim. The real victims of yesterday are people like Alfie Meadows; a 20 year-old student who was rushed to hospital for emergency brain surgery after internal bleeding caused by police truncheons.

Abuses Reported at Mexico’s Institutions for the Disabled

MEXICO CITY — Ten years ago, a human rights group released a scathing, groundbreaking report on abusive, decrepit conditions in Mexican institutions for the mentally and physically disabled, moving the country to promise change and to take the lead in writing international agreements to protect the disabled.

But in a new report released Tuesday, the group, Disability Rights International, working with a Mexican human rights organization, said a yearlong investigation revealed “atrocious and abusive conditions” that included lobotomies performed without consent, children missing from orphanages, widespread filth and squalor, and a lack of medical care.

Making the Case for Irish Sign Language in Education

“As we say to parents at this stage, don’t think about your child at five . . . think about your child at 10, at 15 and at 25. Where is he or she going to be at 25? You know, part of a deaf community or a hearing community, but hopefully a mix of the two. And sign language is a critical aspect of that.”

NPR is doing an investigative report called Home or Nursing Home

People ages 31 to 64 now make up the fastest-rising proportion of nursing home residents. One reason: As states face record budget gaps, the programs that help people live at home are being cut.

Muscular Dystrophy Org: Disabled children hit by Residential Education Transport cuts [This link has a moving image on the top that makes me dizzy to look at]

In a move condemned by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, when changes to mobility support claimed through the Disability Living Allowance come into force in October 2012, families with a disabled child in a residential school will immediately lose access to either adapted vehicles used to transport their children or the £49.85 a week allowance available to assist with the higher costs of accessible transport.

Recommended Reading for December 14, 2010

K__ at Feminists with FSD: Notes on MTV’s True Life: I Can’t Have Sex

Actual, proper terminology was used throughout the show. Chronic pelvic pain conditions were named, but some conditions that overlap were not mentioned at all (interstitial cystitis, for example, was not explored in this episode. This is a shame – interstitial cystitis is another misunderstood condition which would benefit from careful media coverage.) This episode focused on the impact of chronic pelvic pain on the women’s sex lives. And that means that while you could learn a little about life with chronic pelvic pain from this episode, for a clinical discussion and details on specific conditions and available treatments, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Carol at Aspieadvocate: I’m an Embarrassment

Yeah, I know some parents of autistic kids worry about the kids embarrassing the rest of the family in public with their unusual behavior. But for me it’s the other way around. I never shut up about autism, mine or his, and while I have every right to out myself, I’m making decisions about him that should really be his to make. Except even if he’s made different decisions about disclosure than I have, he’s not (yet) verbal enough to tell anyone.

David Gorksi at Science-Based Medicine: Death by “alternative” medicine: Who’s to blame? [trigger warning]

Of course, the implication of “Secret” thinking is that, if you don’t get what you want, it’s your fault, an idea that also resonates with so much “alternative” medicine, where a frequent excuse for failure is that the patient either didn’t follow the regimen closely enough or didn’t want it badly enough. Basically, The Secret is what inspired Kim Tinkham to eschew all conventional therapy for her breast cancer and pursue “alternative” therapies, which is what she has done since 2007. Before I discuss her case in more detail, I’m going to cut to the chase, though.

This weekend, I learned that Kim Tinkham’s cancer has recurred and that she is dying.

Arwyn at Raising My Boychick: How far I’ve come

Eight years ago I was withdrawing from college. Again. I’d started medication, divalproex sodium, and that was going to cure me; we’d packed up our possessions, bought furniture in flat boxes, and drove it most of the way across the country to this town with one redeeming feature: the college from which I had just withdrawn because it was better than flunking out from chronic absences. I did not know who I was, what good I was, if I could not do college, be a student. I could not see a future, and mostly did not believe I had one.

Linsay at Autist’s Corner: Autism-related gene spotlight: CNTNAP2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: CNTNAP2 is a large gene near the end of chromosome 7 that encodes a cell-adhesion protein involved in distributing ion channels along axons (the long tails of nerve cells) and in attaching the fatty cells making up the myelin sheath to the surface of the axon. DIsruptions in this gene have been associated with autism, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Variations at certain points within the gene that don’t alter or disrupt its expression have also been associated with an increased likelihood of autism.

Recommended Reading for 13 December, 2010

You are Here: Safety Haiku: Automatic Captions

This is the reason why you should not send me breathless, excited emails about the wonders of automated speech-to-text. You see the “CC” button and you think you and I will both enjoy the same media. This is what I actually get. (On the other hand, in a black turtleneck and beret, with bongos in the background, this little poem could actually be kind of cool.)

Where’s the Benefit: Demolition of the Case for DLA Reform

In fact, though the report claims that there exists a “perception of disability permanently precluding work is prevalent among individuals with disabilities not already in employment”, there is no evidence cited in the report that suggests DLA could be a barrier to work. The section and all references to it in the consultation paper could be interpreted as an attempt to misdirect, and should be removed forthwith. Further, it should be noted that the consultation commits the statistical crime of confusing correlation with causation. Whilst RR No. 648 does provide evidence that low employment is correlated with claiming of DLA, this in no way implies that one causes the other.

Guest Post at MarfMom: Jennifer’s Birth Story #2

Jennifer Levesque, 38
Diagnosed with Marfan at age 12 -inherited from father
Mother of two
Methuen, MA

Boing Boing: Universal Subtitles: add subtitles to any video on the web

For video creators, this is a dead simple way to increase the audience for your work — especially since there’s a full-text search coming shortly. For subtitlers, the upcoming workflow management and collaboration tools will make volunteer efforts even easier to run.

Both Mozilla and Wikipedia will be including the Universal Subtitles tool for their videos — and the tool itself is free/open source software, which means that the community can be sure that it won’t be orphaned and that the tool can always be improved.

Trigger Warning for violence against disabled people: Damn Interesting: Howard Dully’s Lobotomy

Howard Dully was brought in for the procedure because his stepmother described him as “unbelievably defiant,” saying among other things: “He objects to going to bed but then sleeps well. He does a good deal of daydreaming and when asked about it he says ‘I don’t know.’ He turns the room’s lights on when there is broad sunlight outside.” After Howard’s stepmother visited with Dr. Freeman, he suggested that “the family should consider the possibility of changing Howard’s personality by means of transorbital lobotomy.”

Recommended Reading for 10 December, 2010

Well, if it isn’t Friday again. I suppose it is for you, readers of the future, but I am writing this from Tuesday, in the past! Such is the power of the blog’s scheduling function.

Gentle reader, be cautioned: comments sections on mainstream media sites tend to not be safe and we here at FWD/Forward don’t necessarily endorse all the opinions in these pieces. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

An Actor Finds Truth & Power Negotiating her Vision Loss by Marilee Talkington guest posting at Brains of Minerva. Extremely relevant to this disabled actor’s interests, and a pretty wonderful piece in any case.

So I decided I wouldn’t tell the directors or anyone on the casting end that I was visually impaired. Which always felt like a betrayal. And I would show up as early as I needed to to re-write the entire script by hand in large print.  I hadn’t learned how to vocally advocate for myself yet in a way that didn’t feel angry or demanding, so at times I flat out lied. I remember calling an audition hotline once using a different name and asked if someone who was visually impaired could get the script ahead of time to memorize.  I was told that they couldn’t because it would pose an unfair advantage over the other actors.

Why CART in Government? by Martha Galindo at CCAC In Action:

1. Good government leads the way for all its citizens by setting best standards for equality and inclusion.

2. To reduce discriminatory gaps which now still exclude many able citizens (who happen to be deaf, deafened, or have a hearing loss, or who need quality text for many other good reasons) from regular and important government meetings, workshops, rallies, advisory committees, and public input to city, state, or federal bodies.

Lene Anderson at The Seated View: Disability Time

So there I am, sitting in the waiting room a full hour and half before my appointment and although I had a book, I was annoyed, so instead I started thinking about Disability Time. You don’t find it mentioned much in Google in the way it’s used in the disability world, but maybe some day, it’ll make its way into search engines. Disability Time refers to the way in which most things take much longer when you have a disability. There is personal Disability Time, as in it probably takes me double the time to make a cup of hot water in the microwave that it would you and then there is the Disability Time that’s imposed by others and there are a couple of those.

Donna Jodham: Out of sight out of mind

A few months ago I had a meeting with some officials of a financial institute to discuss making more financial planning services available to blind and sight impaired persons and at that time I raised the issue of making information available in alternate formats such as Braille, large print, and electronic text. To my chagrin but not to my surprise, the officials admitted that they had never thought of doing so. I also had a similar meeting with a major supermarket chain in Toronto to discuss making their weekly specials more available to their blind and sight impaired customers either online or through a phone service and again, I was told that this had not been thought of up until now.

Claudia Dreyfus for the New York Times: A conversation with Julian L. Seifter, Nephrologist and Patient. It’s an interesting interview with a physician, Dr. Julian Seifter, who just cowrote a book on living with chronic illness.

Q. Has being a patient helped you be a doctor?
A. I’ve certainly learned things I’ve brought back to the clinic. I have a retinopathy, for instance, which can be a complication of diabetes. I don’t have good vision in my right eye, as a result. When this first happened, I said to my ophthalmologist, “I can’t lose vision. I need to read.” And he said, “Any vision is better than no vision.”
That was important. I started thinking, “Concentrate on things you still can do and develop some new things.” I’ve since started gardening, which doesn’t require the most acute vision. It’s something I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. I counsel my patients to replace what they’ve lost with something new.

Send your links to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com. Let us know if/how you want to be credited. And have yourself a fabulous weekend.

Recommended Reading for Thursday, December 8, 2010

I hate this time of year because I live in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s dark really early. At least we’ve been avoiding the snow-dumps I hear are all over central Canada, but it’s only a matter of time.

Civil Rights Now!: Civil Rights Now! speech at Dec10 CLAS Forum on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

As my lawyer friends say there’s no right without a remedy; because most BC voters with disabilities cannot afford a good lawyer their rights have very little meaning because they have no way to enforce them. And that’s why our governments, Health Authorities, businesses, School Boards, service providers and unions can do anything to you if you are a voter with a disability.

That’s why Civil Rights Now! believes BC voters with disabilities need:

  • Law which gives the equality provision of the Canadian Charter practical force and effect in their daily lives.
  • Law which gives them truly-portable, sufficiently-funded, consumer-driven Individualized Funding.
  • Law which gives them funding for test cases involving their civil rights.
  • Civil Rights Now! launched a campaign this year to persuade BC politicians to commit that whichever of them wins the next election they will enact such laws. By so doing they will fulfill the intent of the Convention and, more importantly, the equality provision of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, many decades after it became the supreme law of our country.

Urocyon: Disability and UK fuel poverty

I felt pretty bad, because until I started reading about the extent of problems this winter, I hadn’t considered just how bad the situation is. (Bit of a shame this is another thing that it apparently takes larger numbers of middle-class people being affected to draw more news attention.) This is in spite of having dealt with parental disability-related poverty and substandard heating for years, in a colder-winter climate not moderated by the Gulf Stream. This isn’t the coldest month, but it’s supposed to be 10°F/-12°C tonight back home–not unusual. It honestly didn’t seem that cold to me, even though I was aware that last winter was the harshest in 30 years for the UK, and this one is looking to be if anything worse. (Climate change? No…) But, even though it isn’t very cold in absolute terms, if you’re not used to its getting, much less staying, below freezing very often? That’s a pretty big problem.

Then I started thinking about how disabled people just weren’t getting mentioned much.

Anna Racoon: The Orwellian Present – Never Mind the Future.

No, he can’t, he has no access to the Mental Heath Tribunal – Autism isn’t a mental illness. This action isn’t being taken under the Mental Health Act – it is being taken under the Mental Capacity Act. Under the MCA he only has access to a ‘Best Interests Assessor’ – who is appointed on a consultancy basis, and paid, by…..the Local Authority.

He can be deprived of his liberty for up to a year, which period can be renewed indefinitely, for the purpose of ‘assessing’ him – see above – being sent to Wales to ‘assess’ why he is unhappy at being locked up.

Sharon Brennan at Comment is Free: It’s now officially ‘unsustainable’ to support disabled people

Let’s be clear: this increased DLA caseload is not because of fraud. DLA has one of the lowest fraud rates of any benefits. In fact, government figures published by the House of Commons work and pensions committee suggest that benefit fraud for DLA, carer’s and attendance allowance among others has reduced since 2001 from 2.2% to 0.8% between 2008-2009 (the most recent year for which statistics are available).

Diary of an NHS Buff: The Government is implicated in creating negative attitudes to disabled

Clearly there is a negative perception of disabled people in the UK, which can undoubtedly be attributed in part to right-wing media representation of the disabled. The Daily Mail is notorious for this. A recent front page screamed, “75% of claimants are fit to work”, and carried on: “Tough new benefits test weed out the workshy”.

You expect this kind of thing from the Daily Mail. But what shocked me is that the 75% figure came from a press release from the Department of Work and Pensions. And the figure is wrong. So it amounts to blatant Government propaganda.

Recommended Reading for Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My hearing has finally recovered! Now I know why I was sleeping so much – I couldn’t hear all the construction starting up at 7 a.m. *sigh*

Arbitrary Constant: DLA reform consultation: Great Expectations, Word Apprehensions

The coalition government today published its consultation on the reform of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). The headline is that DLA is going to be replaced by a “Personal Independence Payment” (PIP) from 2013/14.

DLA has been in the news a considerable amount since the emergency budget in June this year, primarily because it has been the main disability-focused benefit the government has looked to cut. I’ve blogged quite a lot on the topic: see here, here and all posts here.

As such, today’s consultation on the reform of DLA is of huge significance and interest because it provides far more detail and intent of what is planned for DLA. Below, I summarise what I think are the key issues. (Via delicious you can keep track of other reactions via my tag DLAreform.)

Where’s the Benefit: DLA Consultation: The Internet Responds

Other disability blogs and websites have already done some great posts on this subject, and I wanted to draw attention to some of what is being said around the interwebz on the reform proposals.

Include Me!

This site has information and ideas on how to include Self Advocates in conferences. There is information for people organising conferences and for Self Advocates going to conferences. The site is written in easy English.

What is a Self Advocate?
A Self Advocate is a person with an intellectual disability or an acquired brain injury who speaks up for themselves and the rights of others.

Bobby Cox at Deaf Echo: Hearing Privilege

I’m sitting down with a close hearing friend. A relative of mine calls my friend and asks her to relay a message to me. My relative had JUST met my friend for the first time the day before, and my relative uses text messaging with me all the time, and there was no reason my relative couldn’t have simply texted me.

So, in the space of one day, my relative was already ‘using’ my new friend to communicate with me. My relative was taking advantage of her hearing status (and advantages) to confer on my hearing friend the privilege of communication while simultaneously weakening me. I was denied the responsibility and control of handling communication.

Victoria Knobloch: The Secret Truth about Depression (via beautyofgrey, via amethystfirefly)

I wish someone had told me.
I wish someone had told me that I had a disease. This disease has no cure. This disease can be fatal. I will fight this disease until the day I die. Some days will feel healthier than others, but this disease will never fully go away. This disease is a disability that very few people will consider to be legitimate. No one ever said these things to me. Instead they told me at 13 years-old that I was depressed and prescribed me medication I do not believe I will ever stop taking.

UK Pushes for Improved Web Accessibility

BS 8878 aims to fill the current gap between site owners and developers by providing a wider scope of information and recommendations, which can be applied before, during, and after the development phase.

This video is subtitled and is presented in ASL. Transcription follows:

Splash: Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf

Title: It Gets Better….

Hello, my name is Michelle Bourgeois, and I am the Vice President of the Ontario Rainbow Alliance of the Deaf (ORAD).

ORAD would like to share a very important message with you… Yes, life does get better!

Many Deaf and Hard of Hearing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer people have had awful expeirences with bullying and harassment.

Imagine, coming out can be quite an ordeal. Then on top of that, searching for people who share the same language as you do can be quite the challenge.

That’s why ORAD hosts social events – for people to come and be with others who share the same language and not feel alone.

We know life does get better. We want to let those of us who are having a tough time that oh, yes, life actually gets better.

We also want to send a message out to those who bully.

STOP.

This has gone on long enough. We will not go away because of you. We will not stand down because of you. We will perservere and think positive.

Because we KNOW life WILL get better. We need love, support, and unity.

Life. Get. Better.

ORAD is hosting a Halloween social this Friday night at 8 pm at Zelda’s restaurant, 692 Yonge Street, in Toronto.

Come. Join us. Enjoy time amongst friends. Come and see how life can indeed get bteter… 🙂

See you there.

It Gets Better.

Want more info on the Hallowen Social? Go to www.orad.ca or see us on Facebook.

info@orad.ca