Tag Archives: legislation

Recommended Reading for 19 November, 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?

little light at Questioning Transphobia: clamavi ad te. Please note that the post discusses suicide, abuse, and murder of trans people. If you think you can handle it, though, it is powerful reading, as is everything little light writes.

When you have been told you are less than human–less than sacred–less than beautiful–your community has failed you. When you believe it, it is because your community has failed you. I do not intend to mince words. … You deserve better. Because you are not the problem. You are not broken. You are not worthless. You are not a problem and you are not a mistake.

Liz at Dis/Embody: Thoughts on World Usability Day:

Now, of course, usability is not the same as accessibility; it is focused on ease of general use, for a mass audience. And, usability doesn’t always incorporate a universal design perspective in which the needs of those who face the most challenges are centered, with the understanding that products designed for that group may also be more usable by others.

That said, usability and communication is an interesting theme, as it seems to implicitly tie back to media accessibility in particular.

Interviews conducted by Meena Bakhtash at the BBC: Voices: Disability and the Hajj to Mecca:

The annual Hajj pilgrimage – a religious duty that every adult Muslim is expected to do once in their lives – can be a tough challenge.

But the obstacles are infinitely greater for Muslims with disabilities, who choose to take the journey.

Melissa Jenkins at the Sydney Morning Herald: Disability package gets tick:

The Victorian government is taking the right approach by directing the majority of its disability package towards early intervention, advocacy groups and unions say.

Kirsty Whalley at This is Local London: Disabled girl from Norbury a “health and safety risk”, says school

A disabled 11-year-old girl has been rejected by an academy school because she poses a “health and safety risk” to other children.

That’s all for this time. Send your links to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com. Let us know if/how you want to be credited.

Action Alert: United States: Support The Keeping All Students Safe Act

On September 29th, 2010, Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced bipartisan legislation to establish federal minimum standards to limit the use of restraint and seclusion in schools.

The Keeping All Students Safe Act (S. 3895) is the Senate companion to H.R. 4247, passed with overwhelming support by the House of Representatives on March 3, 2010, and is a modified version of the previously-introduced Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act (S. 2860).  This bipartisan bill contains strong protections against the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, as well as a number of investments in preventive techniques and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.  There is still a chance this bill could passage in the lame duck session if it receives more bipartisan support.

At the link, a letter you can send your Senators!

Inappropriate seclusion and restraint are weaponised against students across the United States every day in a variety of settings. It’s time for tougher regulations on handling of disabled students, with a focus on preventing escalation of situations to the point where educators think restraint is ‘necessary.’

An open letter to non-disabled people who use disabled parking spaces

Dear abled/non-disabled people without disabled parking placards who use disabled parking spaces anyway,

I don’t care if you want to use the space “because it’s so convenient.”

I don’t care if you only “need” to use the space “just for a minute.”

I especially don’t care if you back up your illegal use of said disabled parking space with some bizarre justification like, “But some people FAKE being disabled to get these permits, so what’s the difference?” or “Well, if a person in a car with a blue placard shows up, I’ll move” or “But there isn’t anyone disabled who needs to use the space here right now, so what’s the harm?”

The harm is that I or other disabled people are so often witnesses to your saying these things, and we are presumably expected to not react at all to your taking advantage of something that is not for you. I personally do not own a motor vehicle, so while I don’t need a disabled parking permit, I also don’t need your entitlement complex and your basically telling me — a person with disabilities — that some of the regulations intended to benefit me and people like me are rules that can be bent by you if it’s the most convenient option for you, an able(d) person.

Just don’t do it. It’s illegal and carries penalty of a possible fine for a reason.

This sort of legislation? Is not intended to benefit you, or be a convenient thing that you can take advantage of when you feel like it. Most of the world is already set up for you. These “convenient” parking spaces don’t have to be set up for your use, too.

Recommended Reading for Wednesday, 28 July 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.

Chantal Petitclerc and Warren Spires, two people wearing 'right to play' shirts and sitting next to what appears to be an ice skating rink. One of the people, Chantal, is in a wheelchair.

Warren Spires is the president of Right to Play Canada, and the organizer of the Right to Play charity Skate. Chantal Petitclerc is a disabled athlete, one of Right to Play’s ambassadors. (Photo by Flickr user NailaJ, Creative Commons License)

RMJ at Deeply Problematic: Reminder: Disability Carnival!

The original due date was yesterday, but I’m going to extend my call for submissions to the day of the carnival, Thursday July 29, at 9 am EST!

Amy Cohen Efron at Deaf World As Eye See It: HR3101 Passed Unanimously!

As of 3:35pm – A tweet from Pratik Patel (@ppatel) who is a New York entrepreneur, running a business, working at University, and a passionate advocate for the blind and other causes, with a huge announcement!

This is fantastic. #HR3101 passes with a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives.

UNANIMOUS???? No opposing vote? It is voice vote that was passed today at the House of Representative with no one opposing. Not even one “nay” been voiced! Pratik Patel witnessed it on C-SPAN channel today at around 3:35pm.

(HR 3101 is the Twenty First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, designed to make communications more accessible for people with disabilities! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to get this bill passed.)

Lisa Factora-Borchers at My Ecdysis: Dear Sister Anthology

Call For Submission

Dear Sister is an anthology of letters and other works created for survivors of sexual violence from other survivors and allies. It is a collection of hope and strength through words and art.

Kathji Wolfe at The Washington Blade: Get to know a queer crip (via Media dis&dat)

One in five Americans (51.2 million) has a disability and from three to five million people are LGBTQ and have disabilities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. I am one of many who are disabled in the queer community. We are of all races, classes, ages, genders and occupations. Reclaiming the pejorative terms “queer” and “cripple,” increasing numbers of us proudly call ourselves “queer crips.”

Yet our presence isn’t well known or always welcomed in the LGBTQ community. Many places (from bars to shops) and events (such as conferences) in the queer community aren’t accessible to folks with disabilities. My friend, Hugh Gallagher, used a wheelchair. Gallagher, the author of “FDR’s Splendid Deception,” worked on Capitol Hill. “I can only get into one gay bar [in Washington, D.C.],” he told me in 2004, the year he died.

NASA: Astronaut Caldwell Dyson Sends Sign Language Message From Space Station (via @MarleeMatlin, be advised, there’s a bit of patronisation)

The International Space Station has had guests from all over the world, representing myriad languages. But until NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson came aboard, one language was still not represented. Said to be the fourth most commonly used language in the United States, American Sign Language, or ASL, made its debut on the space station in a special video recorded by Caldwell Dyson.

Transcript below the fold.

Continue reading Recommended Reading for Wednesday, 28 July 2010

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.