Recommended Reading 26 November 2010

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post and links are provided as topics of interest and exploration only. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.
National Times: Why I’m not in the queue for the disabled loo

Occupational Health and Safety regulations and social inclusion and participation don’t even belong in the same sentence, yet the words are more closely linked than people know or want to acknowledge. What annoys and frustrates me is that the disability system has a “no lift policy” and, as yet, makes no attempt to modify public toilets to make them truly accessible for everyone. Regulations designed to protect support workers — and yes, the people they support also — are understandable. However, regulations that for many people mean not being able to use bathroom facilities outside of their home is a loss of human dignity.

Most public toilets do not have lifting hoists in them, but, unfortunately this is not part of the law. Yet it could easily be something corporate venues include. For people with physical disabilities who cannot weight bear, the lack of hoists, means wearing continence briefs, which cannot be removed until one is at home.

Pharmacy News: Pharmacists negative about schizophrenia

The survey, which was sent to 750 community pharmacies in the US to assess pharmacists’ attitudes towards mental illness and their willingness to provide services to patients, revealed pharmacists were more open to counselling customers with depression or schizophrenia if they had less negative thoughts about mental health disorders.

“Compared with physicians, pharmacists perceived themselves as having less negative attitudes towards those with depression, but greater negative attitudes towards individuals with schizophrenia.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Passengers ‘left on planes and forced off flights’

The disability commissioner, Graeme Innes, says people have been left on planes for 45 minutes until cleaners have found them because staff have failed to assist them to disembark. Others have been lost in terminals or bumped at check-in because of limits on assistance dogs per flight.

Mr Innes blamed staff cutbacks and called for the government to step in and regulate to stop airlines ignoring the needs of disabled passengers.

Airlines were breaching the Disability Discrimination Act, Mr Innes said, and called for tougher aviation safety laws.

”I don’t think airlines are taking this stuff seriously enough. I think that the government needs to regulate … They have had 17 years to get this stuff right, but they are still not getting it right,” he told the Herald.

Jetstar caused an uproar last year when it forced the Paralympian Kurt Fearnley to check in his wheelchair as luggage, leaving him to crawl through Brisbane Airport in protest at the unsuitable alternative wheelchair offered to him.

NPR: Finding Support for Children With Disabilities

Al Etmanski is a veteran community activist, and after his daughter Liz was born with Down syndrome, he turned his attention to the needs of those with disabilities and their families. Etmanski was feeling pretty good about the work he was doing in Vancouver, British Columbia, until he was approached by three men at a party. All were in their 70s and had children with disabilities.

Etmanski says the men told him they were pleased with his work helping younger parents. But they asked: “What about us?”

Etmanski wasn’t sure precisely what they meant.

The men told him their adult children were OK now, but they were worried about what would happen to their children in the future. Existing programs and services wouldn’t keep their children safe, they said.

Etmanski says the older parents told him: “We want people to be our eyes and ears and arms and legs when we are not around. We do all kinds of things that paid staff don’t do. And who is going to look after our kids when we are gone?”

Oregon Live: A year after civil-rights complaint filed, Hilsboro county boy with Autism continues classes without his service dog

In January, a story in The Oregonianabout Scooter received international attention, landing Wendy Givens and Madison on shows such as CNN’s“Nancy Grace.” Commenters online debated for days the pros and cons of allowing service animals in schools for kids with disabilities such as autism. Service dogs commonly assist people who are sight or hearing impaired.

The issue between the school district and the Givenses is more complex, pitting special education law against the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Scooter, whose given name is Jordan, is prone to violent “meltdowns,” especially when startled. Sometimes the 5-foot tall, 150-pound boy runs flailing at people, including classmates. Earlier this week, he ran across the room and punched a student, Givens said.

When he’s with Madison, Scooter wears a belt that is attached to a harness on the shepherd. When Scooter tries to bolt, the dog sits or digs his claws into the ground and pulls back, stopping the boy.

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note if you would like to be credited, and under what name/site.

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