Recommended Reading for December 28

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* ACTION ITEM for USAns: Corina Becker at No Stereotypes Here – Neurodiversity activist blog: Youngest Autistic Nominee on National Council on Disability

Not too long ago I posted the Press Release from the White House announcing that Ari Ne’eman of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network has been nominated by President Obama to the National Council on Disability. […] If you haven’t gathered from all the ruckus that’s being made across the Internet, this is a big deal, for two reasons:

The first is that he is the first openly autistic appointee, breaking the unsaid barriers keeping autistic people from being a part of the decision process regarding, well, everything about our lives. This marks a major step in the inclusion of autistic people as a part of society, not just in terms of social inclusion, but also on the political and governmental level, and recognizes us as citizens of the countries we live in, with the rights, freedoms and responsibilities that being a citizen includes. […]

Yet, because he doesn’t see autism and disabilities as an automatically negative element, but instead as a person’s difference that can result in unique challenges and difficulties in a setting that is ill-suited to accommodate and support individuals, there are groups out there who would rather Ari not be a member of the NCD. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement; they are venomously against Ari and the neurodiversity movement of thought.

But of course, for returning readers of this blog, this really should not be a surprise. And of course, these people are exercising their right of free speech and protestation to encourage people to write to their Senators, stating that they are against Ari.

Now, this is up to each of you, but I would ask people who support Ari, even marginally, to contact their Senators and give them a balanced view on this, in that there are members of the autistic and cross-disability community who support Ari.

Sarah at Cat in a Dog’s World: On Failing Girlhood: Thoughts on Gender & Disability

My own pale legs bore thick, dark hair well into my teens until someone informed me that my body’s natural hair was in fact repulsive and needed to be removed from sight. My mother said I looked like a European woman, and I’m still not sure how that is entirely a bad thing. Of course, all methods of removing said body hair involved unpleasant sensory input and required that I pay more attention to such things than I felt at all inclined to do.

io9: 20 Science Fiction Characters Who Got Their Legs Back

Chances are, you’ve come across lots of SF stories where a disabled person regains the ability to walk in some fantastical way. Usually it’s a guy, and his ability to stand up on his two legs is portrayed as a reclaiming of his virility and power. Often times, the disabled hero regains full mobility along the way towards becoming super-powered — or as part of a package of superpowers. Outrage at £250 Tax on Mobility Scooters

CAMPAIGNERS are today launching a fresh attempt to reverse a £250 EU tax which puts mobility scooters in the same class as Formula One racing cars. […]

Equipment for the ­disabled is normally exempt from tax.

Spearheading the latest attempt to overturn a tax that classes scooters as ­leisure vehicles like racing cars and so attract a 10 per cent import duty, is Scottish Parliament MP Bill Wilson.

Denver Post: Greene: Colo. funding decision stymies disabled supermom

At 38, she’s deaf and legally blind, though you’d never know it. She has a progressive neuromuscular disease that requires her to use a ventilator to breathe and a wheelchair to get around. She’s a talented lawyer and leading advocate for disabled parents in Colorado. She has adopted three daughters of her own, all with disabilities. And she’s raising a 15-year-old foster child who faced adolescence institutionalized until Lucas brought her home to Windsor, where she’s now thriving. […]

Lucas, no doubt, will cringe at being described in such superlatives, the embodiment of the untiring supercrip. Getting to work, getting things done and getting home each day are her life, real life, however rewarding or difficult. It’s what she does, just like the rest of us.

The state apparently takes a different view.

On Dec. 3, Lucas underwent surgery to insert a tracheotomy in her neck. The tubing gets blocked and disconnected, especially when she’s sleeping. Before the trach, Medicaid had paid $7,762 a month for an aide 12 hours a day who helps Lucas bathe and dress, tend to her health care needs and run her busy household. The state agreed to boost her allocation to about $15,000 to pay for the 24-hour care she now needs to make sure air is pushing into her lungs. But officials wouldn’t authorize payment, seeking instead to place her in a nursing home indefinitely.

Voice Of America: Sailors With Disabilities Ready to Tackle Classic Australian Yacht Race

Blind and paraplegic sailors as well as others with physical disabilities will crew a boat in one of the world’s great ocean events, the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race. The race, which starts on Saturday, is one of the toughest competitions of its kind anywhere.

Berkeley Daily Planet: Caltrans Settles Class Action Disability Access Lawsuit

In a landmark achievement, Caltrans announced Tuesday a billion dollar settlement agreement with disability rights advocates to improve sidewalk access.

5 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for December 28

  1. The Express website is an extremely unreliable source of news. They are mainly concerned with stirring up popular animosity to Europe, immigrants and a few other pet hates. The “£250 scooter tax” is alleged to be an EU tax, so it’s “now Europe’s picking on the disabled”. They and the Daily Mail are well-known for twisting the facts of stories to suit their own agenda (the Express more crudely than the Mail). Unless there is another source, it shouldn’t be considered authentic.

  2. io9 missed where later on (the end of Pegasus in Space) Peter got actual movement back thanks to to unwitting help of a microtalented young girl.

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