Recommended Reading for January 20th

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A brief obituary at Life as a Hospice Patient, the blog of Judi Chamberlin, psychiatric survivor and rights activist. The comments include tributes from friends, readers, and fellow activists. [via Disability Studies, Temple U]

With deep sadness we want to let you know that Judi died late last night [Saturday]. […]

If you want to mark Judi’s memory in some tangible way, it was her wish that contributions be made to either:

* The National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organizations
Checks can be made out to: NEC [National Empowerment Center]. Note on the check that it is “for NCMHCSO in honor of Judi Chamberlin. Checks can be mailed to: National Empowerment Center, 599 Canal Street, Lawrence, MA 01840
* Visiting Nurse and Community Health
[Checks can be made out to VNCH. Note on the check that it is for “Hospice in honor of Judi Chamberlin”] and can be mailed to:
Visiting Nurse and Community Health, Donations, 37 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Arlington, MA 02474
Or on line.

More about Judi Chamberlin at NPR: Advocate For People With Mental Illnesses Dies

Judi Chamberlin, who died this weekend at age 65, was a civil rights hero from a civil rights movement you may have never heard of. […] Chamberlin’s book [On Our Own] became a manifesto for other patients. But it influenced lots of people in the mental health establishment, too. Today, notes Oaks, it’s common for people with mental illness to have a say. “Most U.S. states now have an office of mental health consumer affairs or something to hear the voice of mental health clients,” says Oaks. “And it certainly is people like Judi that did that.”

Smart Bitches Trashy Books: GS vs. STA: Handicapped Heroines

Good Shit vs. Shit to Avoid is a recommendation thread devoted to books in a specific genre that feature a type of heroine, hero, plot, or locale that is often difficult to find, particularly when that feature is done right. Today, Heather, the awesome, from The Galaxy Express, is looking for handicapped heroines:

“When you have a chance, I’m hoping you can assist me with information about a particular type of romance heroine. I’m thinking my question might be eligible for your HaBO feature. A friend of mine and I were discussing how we’d like to read romances involving a handicapped heroine—one where the heroine gets the hero without any serious cop-outs.”

Delirious Hem: A Preview: This is What a Feminist [Poet] Looks Like Forum #2: This is not my beautiful house; this is not my beautiful wife. by Jennifer Bartlett

Sometimes, I feel like the community has forgotten us! Despite wonderful strides toward inclusion in many areas of feminism, disability is often the overlooked element. The issues of women with disabilities are among the most extreme cases of female abuse in the United States. So, it is shocking to that the pages of MS. Magazine are not full of issues such as forced sterilization or the fact that some women with disabilities have their children forcefully taken away at birth. Many people do still do not know about abusive institutions, such as Willowbrook, which were the norm as late as the 1980’s. The unemployment rate for women with disabilities remains at a steady 70% or more. […]

On a more mundane note, women with disabilities are consistently absent from women-only poetry conferences, journals, and anthologies that champion diversity. When popular feminist journals do write about people with disabilities, they often use outdated, offensive language; confined to a wheelchair, wheelchair bound, and, my personal favorite, ‘the disabled.’ Nevermind Healthcare – Should Visitability be a Federal Law?

What is Visitability?

“It defies logic to build new homes that block people out when it’s so easy and cheap to build new homes that let people in.” — Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D. -IL)

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires access for people with disabilities for all new multi-family dwellings and a small percentage (5%) of single-family homes constructed using public funds. This law obviously does not address the vast majority of single-family housing in the United States. Visitability seeks to make new housing accessible by having it meet three basic conditions: one zero-step entrance with a wheelchair approachable route, hallways and doorways wide enough for safe navigation by wheelchairs, and one wheelchair-accessible bathroom on the main floor. […]

In March 2009, Representative Jan Schakowsky re-introduced the Inclusive Home Design Act (HR 1408) to Congress. For new homes built with federal assistance, this bill supplements the existing 5% requirement of fully accessible units by mandating visitability in all of the other units. If this bill becomes law, it will make subtle, but substantial changes in how America constructs new homes.

L.A. Times: Families of autistic kids sue over therapy’s elimination

Families of autistic children in eastern Los Angeles County filed a class-action lawsuit today against the nonprofit agency that provides them with state-funded services, alleging that it had illegally discontinued their therapy for the disorder.

The agency, the Eastern Los Angeles County Regional Center, informed more than 100 families late last summer that the therapy — known as the DIR model, or “developmental, individual difference, relationship-based” — was being eliminated for their children because of state budget cuts.

One thought on “Recommended Reading for January 20th

  1. Thanks for posting this … the piece on the homebuilding standards was of interest to me because I’m working on a case study for a new green development. I’m going to look more into this, and talk to the rest of my team about adding visitability (a new word for me) as one of our goals for the dwelling units.

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