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.”

Quoted: bell hooks

Cultural criticism can be an agent for change, educating for critical consciousness in liberatory ways, only if we start with a mind-set and a progressive politics that is fundamentally anti-colonialist, that negates cultural imperialism in all its manifestations [...] In many ways progressive cultural revolution can happen only as we learn how to do everything differently.

–From “The Heartbeat of Cultural Revolution,” introduction to Outlaw Culture, 1994

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