Recommended Reading for December 18

*’s The Big Picture, 2009 in Photos:

Daoud, a five-year-old visually impaired Palestinian boy, reacts to light after a teacher opened the window

Photo shows Wadee Daoud, a five-year-old Palestinian boy with a visual impairment, at the Helen Keller Center for blind and visually impaired children in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, September 10, 2009. Wadee is reacting to light after a teacher opened window blinds. He is wearing glasses with thick lenses and perfectly round frames. His eyes are very wide, echoing the circle of the frame. His hands are pressed to his face in seeming delight.

* Raising My Boychick: “A study in endurance and ableism”

I am in a Pathology lecture at massage school, listening to my life described with words like “unbearable” and “debilitating”. Tonight the class is supposedly studying “Mental/Emotional Conditions”; I am studying endurance and ableism, the grain of the table, the depth of my cheek before I chew through to a vascular layer and taste the copper tang of blood.

The juxtaposition of an article whose subtitle calls depression “This Debilitating Condition” and whose first paragraph says “the stigma that this disorder once carried no longer stings” is almost unbearable.

* Winnipeg Free Press: Groups say Alberta government cutting programs for the disabled to save money

Alberta’s plan to cut about $12 million from its People with Developmental Disabilities program is scaring disabled people and their families. […]

Groups affected include People with Developmental Disabilities, Calgary Society for People with Disabilities, Springboard Centre for Adults with Disabilities and the Alberta Association for Community Living.

Wendy McDonald, president of the association, said Premier Ed Stelmach’s government is going after the most vulnerable people in Alberta and their families. McDonald noted that just last month Stelmach promised to look after such groups. She called on the government to reconsider.