Tag Archives: movies

Recommended Reading for July 6, 2010

jadelennox (DW): How to fight ableism: some easy steps

So I thought it might be valuable to gather together some ways in which able-bodied people can do something about ableism in the world. Then, next time a person is feeling frustrated about ableism, and is thinking about doing some signal boosting of, say, some crappy thing the writers did on the latest episode of Glee, maybe that individual would have the option of committing to spending the same amount of time doing some more concrete fighting of ableism. Not that I’m critiquing the kind of signal boosting that a lot of us do on the blogosphere! But I’m assuming some people would find utility in hearing about other things they could do that might be useful.

Venus Speaks: Between the Lines

Today I realized something: How my disabilities shape the words I do, and more often don’t, say.

For instance: Whenever anyone uses the word “crippled”, I spot it from a mile away. Context doesn’t matter – it could be in anything – a novel, a newspaper article, a headline. “Recession cripples the American economy”, or “The onslaught cripples the meager defenses” or simply “crippling blow”.

Lauren McGuire at Sociological Images: On Disability and the Public Service Announcement [accessibility warning: embedded content lacks transcripts]

Disability-related PSAs cover a wide range of topics, but generally there are three main categories that the message falls into: how people with disabilities are viewed/treated by society, their value in the job market and society, and what their lives are like. Although these are pretty straightforward messages, there is a great deal of variety in the ways in which these basic messages are presented.

Michael Le at Racialicious: An Open Letter to Racebending.com Detractors

It’s easy to draw comparisons between the Airbender casting and an English actor playing an Irish one, or a Spanish actor playing an Italian actor. But it’s not really the same, and the reason is that Hollywood and media don’t consider whether an actor is Irish or Spanish or English. They think of that actor as “white.” The same is not true of actors who are Asian or Latino, who have to fight over the few roles specifically written for those ethnicities. And a lot of times, even when a role is steeped in Asian culture, even when a role is based on real-life individuals of Asian descent, those roles still go to white actors.

Garland Grey at Tiger Beatdown: CRAWLING OUT OF BED: Internalized Ableism and Privilege

In the two years since I have learned things about my own body. I have learned that once my knees start wobbling, GAME OVER. There is no powering through. There is no mystical internal light of determination that I can draw on – if I keep going my body will fail me. This has been a humiliating lesson to learn. But I can still walk. I can still exercise within limits and these limits expand the more I push them. I have also learned how much privilege I carry. I don’t have chronic insomnia like other members of my family. I’ve never lost a job because of being hospitalized, like my friends with Fibromyalgia. If I’m spending time with someone, and I don’t want to have to go into the whole story I can take an anti-inflammatory and ignore the pain, or blame it on fatigue.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief — The Special Thing About You

Percy Jackson, a pale young man in a grey t-shirt and jacket holds a lightening bolt in his hands in a New York City Background.Every now and then a movie comes out and I get super excited about it because it sparks something form my childhood or youth that I love.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians did that. I loved Greek mythology in High School (even if I went a little cross-eyed reading The Odyssey and The Illiad). Hollywood is trying to make mythology cool again, and I was stoked about that.

I so wanted to see this movie…and because I think I live under a rock sometimes, I hadn’t heard it was a book series *scribbles a wish list*.

And then we went to the theater.

***Spoilers Ahead. Turn Back Now!***

Last Chance to Avoid Spoilers! Continue reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief — The Special Thing About You

Film Review: Beyond Words

Beyond Words is an Australian short thriller directed by Armand De Saint-Salvy, one of 16 finalists for Tropfest 2009. (Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival, involving more than 600 filmmakers each year!)

The two main, unnamed characters in the film are a deaf woman1 (Charlotte Gregg) and a blind man (Gyton Grantley). The film alternates between their perspectives, which makes for interesting (and probably not absolutely fantastic, but I’ll get to that) viewing/listening. During the deaf character’s parts, the sound adjusts to fit her perspective, and during the blind character’s parts, the visuals adjust to his.

Before we even get to the tension/conflict of the piece, there’s some really well done setting up of PWD perspective. We begin in a gym, in a yoga class that doesn’t really accommodate either of the main characters, so they follow the instructions as best they can. It’s a really lovely centring of PWD without a sledgehammer. As the class finishes up, he tries to talk to her but of course she doesn’t hear him: the motif of communication difficulties has expanded to fit the conflicting communication styles between PWD themselves. He tries to go after her, and the cutting between perspectives is such that we only learn later that this is because she has left her car keys. I quite like that the source of the drama at this stage isn’t a result of the usual dynamic of “brave PWD tries to cope! in an abled world on abled terms! the brave little soul!” Instead, we’ve got a difference in the needs, communication methods and experiences between PWD. We proceed entirely without reference to abled experience, which is pretty novel.

On the way to her car, the woman is grabbed by a man who wants to steal the car. As she scrabbles in her bag to find the keys that aren’t there, our friend from yoga comes by, hearing noises that sound like sounds of struggle. During the struggle, there’s rapid switching between their two perspectives. For me, as a sighted and hearing viewer/listener, it was a fabulous way to heighten tension, a very good climax. Doubtless for some people that would be very confusing or disorientating, which I guess goes to show a limit of the film’s translatability to, you know, actual disabled people. The attacker runs off soon after our main male character makes a noise (so to speak!). It never quite gets the feel of vulnerable woman saved by a man – for me personally, at any rate – maybe because her assailant runs off of his own accord, after the protests of both main characters.

After the attacker runs off, the sound and visuals change again: we’ve got a gelling of the two perspectives, with sound and vision both coming on in a conventional film sort of way. Which is all good with the inter-disability harmony in a way and more accessible for sure. I’m also feeling slightly disappointed about this stage of the film because resolution and harmony seem to equal moving beyond a disabled perspective. That is, resolution comes with film techniques more aligned with an abled perspective. So: here the two find a way to communicate, with the woman speaking verbally, asking the man to show her his lips so she can lip read. They walk back to the gym to get her car keys, the end.

I must admit that I am wanting a yay!disability message here. There are messages other than “we have different experiences of the world, and now we are banding together” to be gained from this film. I am bothered, for example, by the idea that it is entirely possible to read this as “man tries to get attention of woman, who is then punished for not paying attention”.

And then. I know Gyton Grantley isn’t blind, and I’m pretty sure Charlotte Gregg isn’t deaf. (Not because I’ve got any particular evidence of her being hearing, more because I can’t find references to her deafness, which I think would have been emphasized in most references to her I could find!) I think they both do a pretty good job, but it would of course be nice if more disabled people featured in films. On the upside, they actually had consultants on the film, the deaf consultants being Caroline Conlon and Richard Aarden and the blind consultant Zak Nikolic.

I’d also be interested as to how accessible this film is. I myself have a promotional/freebie version from the paper which isn’t very. I’m sure it’d be quite disorienting to some PWD, and I’m wondering about subtitling and such in any official DVD releases and how the film was displayed at Tropfest itself. After all, positive messages about disability oughtn’t to just be for the reassurance of the abled folk!

It’s quite a good film, so do give it a go if you can.

  1. The film doesn’t make it clear whether the character prefers deaf or Deaf; I’m thinking deaf is the most appropriate usage for the purposes of this review and within context, which is why I’ve used it.

Some Thoughts on The Time Traveler’s Wife

This post contains spoilers for the book and the film.

The other day I went to see the film version of my favourite book, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. I was expecting a more gooey version of the book, and was a little apprehensive about the treatment of disability, but I wasn’t expecting what I got.

The time traveller of the title, Henry, travels due to a genetic condition called Chrono-Impairment. He experiences this as inconvenient and unpleasant: he is pulled out of his daily life and often to quite painful times in his past.

In the book, part of the way Henry convinces geneticist Dr Kendrick that his time travelling is real by giving the latter information about his son, who is soon to be born. One of these details is that the son, Colin, has Down Syndrome. And just about everything said about him is along the lines of what Henry says just after the birth: ‘I’m sorry about Colin. But you know, he’s really a wonderful boy.’ Dr Kendrick’s reaction to his son’s ‘abnormality’ is less pleasant.

But Colin doesn’t appear in the film. There’s a part of my mind that was glad we missed what would surely be a nasty mix of okay and fail. But with his exclusion, we also missed the presence of half the disabled characters in the novel. And I know you have to make changes for film adaptations, and that’s fine. Though it’s curious how all the queer characters and most of the non-white characters were taken out for the film version, too… (Which is, again, good on the one hand because you miss all the painful stereotypes, but bad on the other as, you know, there are few non-white or queer people.)

But I said half the disabled characters, so let’s address the other one: Henry.

In the book, Henry gets hypothermia when he ends up time travelling to a park in winter. He loses his feet and spends the rest of the novel in bed, then in a wheelchair. In the film, only one of Henry’s legs is affected, and he keeps it. Both Henry and Dr Kendrick emphasise that he’s not going to be in the wheelchair for long, If it had just been Henry saying that, I would have thought, okay, that’s a reference to his knowledge about his premature death. But as Dr Kendrick says the same, and as Henry never stops using the wheelchair until his death, there’s no point in saying it at all. Except to reassure the viewers that Henry is not one of “those people” and this is just a temporarily blip, that is. It’s okay, everyone, don’t panic; Henry isn’t disabled.

Henry learns about his upcoming death (oh, time travel) not long before getting hypothermia. I am not a fan of the emotional line formed here; to me the emotional message, if not the letter of the thing, is that disability is a stage in dying, that disability is a kind of pre-death. Which, come on. Henry isn’t dying up until he is killed. In the book at least the particular importance of Henry’s needing to be able to run is explained (it has often been a matter of survival when he is thrust about in time) (though it actually isn’t in any of his travels following the loss of his feet). In the film, we just have abled to disabled to dead. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

But what I found most strange in the discrepancy between the book and the film was Henry’s attitude. In the book, Henry is largely miserable once he loses his legs. In the film, Henry is a Good Cripple. It’s a pretty big contrast, and again the film takes out emotional complexity and loses the opportunity to highlight the marginal.

But now we come back to Henry’s time travel, and here we hit some more complexities. Can we call our chrono-impaired hero disabled? Within the world of the text(s), Henry doesn’t appear to treat it as such, as best I can recall from both texts. But irrespective of whether Henry or those around him understand him as disabled, as viewers and readers we can draw out a fair few messages about disability. There are all sorts of nebulous ideas in my head on time travel as impairment, and Henry’s search for a cure, and the issues with Clare and Henry having a baby. To be honest, I haven’t settled my feelings on this. But here are some ideas in Time Traveler’s that slot into popular ideas about disability…

  • Let’s make it a super power!
  • Long suffering partner
  • Should we have a kid with this condition? Or would that be unfair?

… and some of the difficulties Henry faces…

  • His impairment isn’t known about or dealt with in everyday society and he has to keep it a secret. In fact, he is scared for his job. Scary invisible disability?
  • He is repeatedly arrested because of a lack of understanding of his condition.
  • He struggles to find appropriate medical care.

What else can you think of?

So the novel and the film versions of The Time Traveler’s Wife have problems in different respects. But I’m finding the differences between the novel and the film the most interesting of all.

The Invisible Disability

Moderatrix Note: Originally posted at random babble… on 15 September 2009.  At the time the movie was just out over the previous summer.

Because of the new movie that is out I am currently re-reading Jodi Piccoult’s My Sister’s Keeper.  I read it about five years ago, but I read that the screenwriter for the movie changed the ending (why do we do these things, Hollywood?  The movie ending sounds awful, but more on that after I see it), so I thought I would brush up so that my memory is fresh when I see the movie.

There is one character in the book, Campbell Alexander, who is a lawyer who agrees to take Anna’s (the central protagonist) case for medical emancipation from her parents, pro bono.  Alexander has a service dog that assists him.  The need for the dog becomes something of a running joke throughout the book, because everyone assumes that if he has a service dog he must be blind, which he is not.  He cracks a series of jokes, including “I have an iron lung, and the dog keeps away from magnets” to avoid directly answering any questions.  It isn’t until the end of the book that you find out why he actually needs the dog (but re-reading this I find that there are many fairly blatant clues to the acute reader), and no I will not tell you, just in case it happens to be omitted from the movie. I am a jerk like that.  =)  While Campbell Alexander’s situation provides a good many of moments to laugh in a book that is incredibly tear jerking, his situation is all too familiar.

See, the reason Alexander feels the need to crack jokes and be sarcastic is because his need for the dog, named Judge (…ha ha!  I C wut U did there!) is constantly questioned.  Every time he walks into a restaurant, a hospital, a public building and despite the fact that Judge is described as wearing a service dog’s harness he is told that dogs are not allowed.  When he mentions that Judge is a service dog the common response is “But you aren’t blind!”.  Campbell Alexander’s reason for needing a service dog isn’t obvious to the casual person on the street, but his need, his disability, is just as real in the world created in the book.  But were he a real live person living in the world today his disability would be met w/ the same types of skepticism.

Even though it is becoming more common to be diagnosed with what were previously thought to not be real conditions the idea of an Invisible Disability is still foreign to most people.  People living with conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sarcoidosis, any number of non-neurotypical disorders, or Lupus, just to name a few, go through chunks of their lives never showing visible signs of the often constant and frequently overwhelming pain that sometimes limits their lives.  I know that when I am on the subway in Seoul I am given odd looks if I use a seat that is left open for PWDs, even though my joints and legs hurt so much that standing brings tears to my eyes, because no one can see my pain or know my need.

It is easy to assume looking at a person that they are completely able-bodied.  TAB has become the norm to society at large, and in order to be anything outside of the default you have to display physical signs of your difference.  That is what our society today demands.  A wheelchair.  A handicapped parking plate.  A cane or seeing-eye dog.  The lack of these markers can mean the difference between accessibility with independence, and limitation.  My need for accessibility isn’t obvious unless I point it out, but it is real.  It’s the reason I have to ask if the single’s lodging on a base has elevators or insist on staying in the main building which does.  It’s the reason that some people get angry when limited access forces them off of their scooter, in great pain, while standers by watch and assume that the person is faking in the first place.

The presumption that a disability must come with a big obvious sign so that other people can identify them is part of the problem to making the world outside our homes accessible to everyone.  It isn’t the job of PWDs to make their conditions obvious to you or to explain themselves to the AB-TAB crowd, but it should be the responsibility of the public and society to make sure that PWDs can access the rest of the world, which is a step, for many, to independent living.

Where Are All the People With Disabilities?

Crossposted at this ain’t livin’.

I would like you to imagine that you are a film producer, or perhaps a television producer. You are making something, and you have decided that since an estimated 20% of the population consists of people with disabilities, that maybe there should be some people with disabilities in your finished piece. So, you decide to include them. And you do your due diligence; you consult disability activists, you educate yourself about how they should be portrayed, you make sure that their characters are fully integrated into the story, that they aren’t tokens.

This already makes you a standout in the world of film and television production, because, as a general rule, the portrayal of people with disabilities in film and television is atrocious. Some independent films might be better, but mainstream media, for the most part, tokenizes people with disabilities when it deigns to include them, and often manages to be extremely offensive about it.

Now, I would like you to imagine that you are a casting director preparing casting calls for this wonderful new work in which people with disabilities will be portrayed. You’re doing writeups of the characters for release to send out to agencies, or maybe you’re even preparing an open casting call.

Are you going to actively request that actors with disabilities try out for the roles? Or is that not important to you?

Judging from the current portrayal of disability on television, I’m going to bet that our fictional casting director is not going to actively pursue actors with disabilities to play disabled characters. Instead, they’re going to go for the crip face. I was going to draw an analogy here, and ask: If you were a casting director casting a Black character, would you solicit Black actors? Or would that not be important to you? Except that I see blackface continues to be alive and well, so, apparently, the answer again is no, it’s not important that Asian actors play Asian characters, that Black actors play Black characters, that male actors play male characters, that disabled actors play characters with disabilities.

This is annoying.

It’s annoying, for one thing, because I would like to see more people with disabilities on my screen, and because I would like to see them specifically played by actors with disabilities. But no, it’s too hard to find disabled actors. Or, they’re too hard to work with. When an actual actor with a disability is allowed onto a television set playing a disabled character, it’s played like someone’s being done a huge favour, and aren’t we inclusive and progressive, casting a disabled actor to play this part!

I can think of only a handful of disabled characters I like. One is Bonnie on Jericho, played by Shoshannah Stern. Bonnie is Deaf, as is Shoshannah. One of the things that’s interesting about her character is that when Shoshannah tried out for the role, Bonnie was not written as Deaf. Apparently her reading was liked so much that they changed the character. And they did a pretty good job; Bonnie is a fully realized character, her Deafness is not a token, and in fact it proves to be an asset at times.

Bonnie shows how it’s possible to integrate a disabled character into a piece without making a big production out of it, without making it feel forced and fake, without being disrespectful. Her Deafness isn’t framed as a terrible tragedy or a magical special gift from God, it’s just a fact. It’s great to see other characters signing with her, instead of forcing her to read lips all the time, although it’s kind of unfortunate that the DP apparently thought it would be a good idea to not show the hands half the time during signing scenes. It’s great to see Bonnie saying “I’m Deaf, not stupid,” reminding people that she can read lips and that, therefore, it’s not a good idea to talk trash about her because you think she can’t understand you. (Aside from the fact in general that you shouldn’t be talking trash about people even when you know they aren’t around to understand.)

Deafness is part of what makes Bonnie Bonnie, and considering that the character wasn’t supposed to be Deaf at the start, I think that’s a pretty great accomplishment.

But…one disabled character does not a revolution make. Why is it so difficult to add characters with disabilities into the world of film and television, and once they’re there, why is it still acceptable to use temporarily able bodied actors in crip face to play them, rather than, you know, seeking out disabled actors?

There are a lot of superbly talented actors with disabilities out there who do great work when they are allowed to do it. Some of them actually work more in roles for able-bodied characters, because that’s all that’s out there. Some of them might actually enjoy being able to portray disabled characters, were they given a chance.

I want to see people like me when I look at the television. It’s why I watch, to escape into a magical world that I think I might be able to inhabit. And it’s easier for me, as a viewer, to place myself in that world when I see people like me. I think a lot of people feel like this. There’s a distance involved when you can’t connect with any of the characters, experientally.

And when the only people who are like me are introduced as tokens, figures for mockery or abuse, it makes me feel uncomfortable. It makes me not want to watch, because if I want to be tokenized, all I have to do is walk out the door.

Guest Post: “There’s something wrong with Esther”: Disability, deception, and Orphan

Tera lives in the American Midwest with her mother, five cats, two
parakeets and several imaginary friends. She is neurologically
atypical, a lover of cartoons and scary movies (equally), asexual, and
a gamer dork. Her Pokemon army is probably more awesome than yours.

Tera regularly blogs at Sweet Perdition.

Orphan movie poster: A young girl with her hair in pig tails is pictured.  She is wearing an old-fashioned gingham-style dress.  Her eyes are hidden in shadow, and she has a menacing appearance.  Across the top, it reads There's Something Wrong With Esther.  Across the bottom, it reads Can You Keep A Secret?  The image is meant to be very disturbing. - Description Text by Anna.'

WARNING: Major spoilers for the movie Orphan, including the twist.

Let’s play a game:

A little girl–five years old, maybe six–rushes out of a building. The sign above it says: “School for the Deaf.” She hugs her mother, who greets her in American Sign Language (“Hello, Max!”) They sign cheerfully about Max’s day; at bedtime, Max wants her mother to read her a story. It’s a picture book about a child whose baby sister “went to Heaven” before coming home from the hospital. (Max’s baby sister, Jessica, also went to Heaven before coming home from the hospital; her mother doesn’t want to read this story, but Max insists). Story finished, Max removes her hearing aid, turns off the light, and goes to sleep.

Max’s sister, Esther, is nine years old; the family adopted her just recently. Esther says she is “different.” She’s from Russia, but speaks perfect English with a slight accent. She cuts her food perfectly–so perfectly that brother Danny thinks it is “weird.” At school she wears gorgeous, old-fashioned dresses when other girls are wearing jeans and tee-shirts. She paints like a gifted adult. While taking baths, she sings a song that’s way before her time: “That’s the story of, that’s the glory of looooove!” She understands the word “fuck” as more than just a naughty word that adults say sometimes (“That’s what grownups do. They fuck.”), expertly loads a gun, puts on a black dress and make-up and tries to seduce her adoptive father. (“What are you doing, Esther!?”)

What is Max’s impairment? What is Esther’s? And why can we recognize Max’s within five seconds of meeting her, while it takes us nearly two hours to learn–pardon the phrase–what is “wrong with” Esther?

Continue reading Guest Post: “There’s something wrong with Esther”: Disability, deception, and Orphan

Recommended Reading for October 13, 2009

In the blogs:

The Ashley Treatment Yet Again:

I read as much as I can and try to keep abreast of any new developments. I do this because I remain deeply troubled by the larger implications of the Ashley Treatment, now referred to as growth attenuation by doctors. The change from the simple and easy to google Ashley Treatment to growth attenuation is not a matter of semantics. To me, this is a way for those that have relentlessly pushed this so-called treatment as a viable option to avoid publicity. Frankly, given the hysterical reaction by the mainstream media to the Ashley Treatment I cannot blame them too much. Nothing good came from the media’s pack mentality when the story broke in 2007. The doctors that advocated for the Ashley Treatment came across as arrogant and stuck their proverbial foot in their mouths multiple times. Disability activists were unable to articulate why the Ashley Treatment was so dangerous and were quickly type cast as stereotypically angry. Utterly lost in the furor was any nuanced discussion. Sadly, not much has changed and I remain distressed because I have just finished reading an article scheduled to appear in the American Journal of Bioethics entitled “Ashley Revisited: A Response to Critics” by Douglas Diekema and Norman Fost.

What Kind of Troll am I?:

If you are a reader of blogs about autism, you have seen your share of comments denouncing the views of self advocates around the web. Sometimes they are personal attacks on autistic people. Many rehash the same tired “Not Really Autistic” meme or promote urban myths about the causes of autism. Most feed pervasive stereotypes of one sort or another. Still others are so vile I won’t describe them even obliquely.

Most readers of this blog tend to be civil and capable of using reason to make their points. However, if you are someone who enjoys being abusive toward autistic self advocates and those who support their goals, you just might be wondering…What kind of troll am I? Here is a survey so scientifically valid, it is sure to be linked from AoA ASAP.

Pride & Prejudice:

Then, when I was 27, I was diagnosed with a mental illness. The doctor said to me (in effect), “You have a deeply flawed mind. It’s screwed up and you’ll have to take this medicine that slows your thinking and makes you forget everything. Learn to write it down.” Talk about a slap in the face. I ripped my clothes and dumped ashes on my head and whined long and loud to God about it. “Why me? Oh Woe Poor Poor Pitiful Me!” Then He said to me (in effect) “Deal with it. It’s what you are.” So I realized that I had no right to be proud of my mind anymore. It was kind of a release, because pride is a heavy burden, even when you’re used to bearing it. All of a sudden, I *wasn’t* better than everyone else, and it became easier to be patient and kind. Which turned into something kind of nice.

Freaks, Hercules and the Hydra [long]

Much has been written about the ambiguous nature of disabled people’s exploitation and/or free-willed participation in circuses in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and there are intersections with race and colonialism, among other things (some of which i touched on in this old post), and the film “Freaks” reflects that ambiguity, both from “within-story” and “external” perspectives – most of its cast were “real” circus performers, some of whom had already had long and celebrated careers before starring in it, and many scenes show the “freaks” performing parts of their acts, both in-context in the story and, more problematically, in other scenes that could be regarded as gratuitous (for example, the “Armless Wonder” drinking wine with her feet, or the completely limbless Prince Randian lighting a cigarette using only his tongue). Opinion has been divided over whether the film itself was an act of exploitation of its disabled performers – who were, as reported here, viciously excluded and discriminated against at the MGM studios – as well as whether its climatic scene represents a reversion to negative tropes of disabled people as monstrous and villainous, or a subversion of that trope (however IMO there is considerably more going on there – see below).

Breathtaking to behold: talking back to dismissal:

One of my biggest interests is the study of how oppression plays out, and how it is resisted, among communities that most people would consider minorities. (Note: Minority in amount of power, not in amount of numbers. So yes, women count.) Not some sort of study of victimhood the way some people would paint it, but rather how people resist becoming victims.

It is breathtaking to behold communities where enough people have worked out the way things work, that when they are hit with the usual forms of sexism, racism, ableism, heterosexism, etc., they are ready for it. They have answers to the usual bothersome questions and comments designed to disempower them. Even if the people attacking them don’t understand those answers, they at least are told a lot of the same things by a lot of people.

In the news:
Go, read this! It thrills me to no end.

CDC and disabled patients: ‘We’ll work on this together’ [US]

For many women, the inability to stay still prevents them from seeking regular breast cancer screening.

But a health education program is gearing up to encourage woman with physical disabilities to seek medical attention and get regular screenings.

“Women with disabilities are getting screened at a less regular rate because there are so many barriers with going to the doctor,” Egensteiner said.

The medical equipment used to perform mammograms also can prove a barrier for women with physical limitations.

Can you collect employee medical info to combat H1N1? [US] [Note: ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act]

Employer groups have been asking the Centers for Disease Control for guidance on whether privacy rules prevent HR from surveying employees about medical info designed to control the spread of swine flu. The CDC has responded, including an approved form for requesting certain types of info.

The CDC has issued a document – “ADA-Compliant Employer Preparedness For the H1N1 Flu Virus.”