Tag Archives: disability rights

Recommended Reading for November 30, 2010

Jessica Pauline Ogilvie for the Los Angeles Times: Stuttering: Working to free the words

An estimated 3 million American adults have a stutter that didn’t resolve in childhood, according to the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation of America. As kids, many dealt with the giggles of classmates and confusion of teachers; as adults, they often deal with uncertain glances and the impatience of strangers. They’ve long sought comfort from each other, sharing their experiences at conferences and advocacy groups.

Eli Clare at eliclare.com/blog: Disability Pride (from a few months ago, but definitely worth a read!)

Disability Pride calls for celebration, hope, rebellion. We take shame, fear, and isolation, turn them around, and forge wholeness. Pride refuses to let the daily grind of ableism, discrimination, exclusion, violence, and patronizing define who we are. Pride knows our history, joyfully insists upon our present, and stretches into our future.

Wheelchair Dancer at cripwheels: disability is a feminist issue

By using disability as she does, she makes herself smaller, less objectionable to the man; she dismisses herself and undervalues herself. She does her best to dodge what might be a harsh remark
about her intellectual capacities. She does disability in the old way, a way in which the value of our diverse minds and bodies is not acknowledged. Her disability is a weakness that separates her from an actively feminist goal of being an equal partner in the conversation and the game.

Brittany-Ann at A Bookish Beemer: A Glimpse of an Employed Epileptic

I know. I’m saying it’s wrong. I’m saying that the hoops one has to jump through, if neurologically atypical as I am, just to ensure you’re not fired because of being neurologically atypical, is ridiculous. That I should first have to reveal my medical history (which is private) to my managers, then explain to them what epilepsy is, THEN explain how it affects me, to finally say that it might prevent me from coming into work someday in the future, maybe, is ridiculous.

WHEELIE cATHOLIC: Dear Illegal Parker

As I passed the half a dozen handicap spots, I noticed that your car didn’t even have a placard or plate. I wondered why even on Thanksgiving at a senior housing complex, someone would illegally park in an accessible spot. I suppose you didn’t think someone in a wheelchair might really need that spot.

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.

Quick Hit: The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) at 20

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the date the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law. This landmark piece of legislation resulted in tremendous gains for people with disabilities in the United States, but it’s important to remember that we have a long way to go; I’ve read a string of articles this morning treating ableism and disability discrimination as things of the past that occurred in the dark days before the ADA in the United States, celebrating the ADA as a comprehensive victory for people with disabilities.

It was a victory, but it was not a comprehensive one. The ADA created a legislative framework for identifying and addressing specific discrimination issues, but as any person with disabilities in the United States can tell you, we continue to face discrimination, including flagrant violations of the ADA itself justified with claims that it’s ‘too expensive’ or ‘there aren’t enough of you people to make it worth it anyway.’

You can’t legislate ableism away. Antidiscrimination laws are excellent, but they are not the final answer. We still face tremendous economic and social disparities, are more likely to go to bed hungry, to live in poverty, to be assaulted and abused, to be unemployed, to be excluded.

As we continue to fight not only for our rights, but for our lives, and for full and equal integration into society, I’d like to celebrate gains like the ADA, while also looking ahead to not only future legislation, but future shifts in social attitudes.

Writing about the ADA today, Senator Tom Harkin, who introduced the bill initially, says:

Every individual with a disability deserves a chance “to live in the world” – to hold a job, start a business, pay taxes and reside with family or in the community.

Despite the great progress, our work is far from complete. For example, millions of people with disabilities – including young people – are housed in institutional settings like nursing homes. With appropriate community-based services and supports, they can have the option of living with family and friends — not strangers. The new health reform law makes some progress on this, but we need to do even more.

Here’s to another 20 years of progress, to disability rights, to disability justice, to equality for all.

The battle isn’t over, not in the United States, and not in the rest of the world.