Recommended Reading for February 4th

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. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

Knox Leader: Talks over parking for disabled in Boronia

…are in talks to put a much-needed “disabled” car parking space in front of the school after a mother was forced to park in a no-go zone and fined for it. A Wantirna mum is livid at Knox Council for having no “disabled” spot at her daughter’s school and then fining her $117 for parking in a school safety zone. But she said she had no choice because there was no “disabled” parking outside the school. Her daughter, 5, who has a disability, has just started at the school. […]

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development spokesman Nick Higgins said when a child with a disability was enrolled at a mainstream school, the needs of the child were assessed and catered for through the department’s integration program. Where possible the department also advocated for indented parallel car parking spaces outside school grounds. But Mr Higgins put the onus for “disabled” parking on the council.

The Lariat Online (Baylor University): Faculty Senate focuses on Disabilities, BU bookstore

Faculty members have recently been looking into concerns about how far to go to accommodate disabled students. Dae Vasek, director of the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation for Baylor, addressed some of the concerns of the faculty at the meeting.

Dr. Dennis Myers, chair of Faculty Senate, said an example concern was if a student with a disability is required to follow the same attendance policy as other students.

Vasek said the answer was yes. Myers said faculty members were also concerned about students who might disrupt class, such as students who have panic attacks. “It is not permissible, whatever the accommodation for the student, for the student’s behavior to be disruptive to the class,” Myers said.

Students who have disabilities that may be disruptive are asked to sit in the back of class.

Edmonton Journal: NDP MP’s bill seeks to outlaw genetic discrimination

Increased use of genetic testing is leaving Canadians more vulnerable to discrimination on the basis of their genetic characteristics, a Winnipeg MP says.

“We’re starting to hear about people who are actually losing job opportunities, employment opportunities because of (their) genetic characteristics. So it’s a real issue,” Judy Wasylycia-Leis told a news conference Thursday, flanked by members of the newly created Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness.

Assiya at For a Fairer Today: Time

Sometimes when people ask me what activities I do, I jokingly include my health as an activity. I either say, “I get sick a lot” or “and I have chronic health problems” or something like that. Often it’s kind of awkward and I make a mental note to never say that again (until the next time of course). But here’s the thing: being ill, or disabled, or whatever label you want to afix, takes a LOT of time.

Nilesh Singit at Disability News Wolrdwide: The Right to Learn

Universal primary education by 2015: this is the second of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed by every country in the world in 2000. Yet this mission will only succeed if it reaches all children, including those with disabilities. Today more than 80% of all children in developing countries are enrolled in primary school, but up to 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school.

Panel at The Guardian: A matter of life, death and assisted dying

After two high-profile court cases reignited the arguments around assisted deaths last week, Observer policy editor Anushka Asthana brought together five of the most outspoken figures in this controversial debate and put to them the most challenging questions raised by these cases.

See also:

Madeleine Teahan at The Guardian: A welcome message for the weak

BBC Daily View: Assisted suicide law clarification

Clair Lewis at The Independent: Disabled people need assistance to live, not die

Dominic Lawson at The Independent: Who are we to decide that a dependent life is a pointless life?

[NB: These latter links are purely for your information. I request that you take discussions of the pros and cons of euthanasia/assisted suicide elsewhere. Thanks. ~L]

7 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for February 4th

  1. I commented at the Time spot, but that sentiment needs to repeated a million times and posted in every hospital and doctor’s office and disability office. Sometimes I’m too tired.

    My mom is convinced I should take a walk and my pain will be better! (for a bit) Mom, I have homework. I have class. I have my routine. And I’m tired. I just want to flop.

    That post, along with the one that inspired it, should be part of a ableism/disability 101 round up. For why, even if I “just” have X, I just want to fall on the couch and watch Shahid dance for 3 hours.

    We can blame the Puritans for this too, I like blaming them. Calvinism gives me a headache.

  2. The Chair of Baylor’s Faculty Senate is quoted in that article as saying, “The struggle comes with how much you accommodate, and in doing so, change or alter the learning process,” Myers said. “Where is that balance between learning and accommodation?”

    It’s a revealing quote, I think, in the way that he sets up relationships and potential conflict/struggle:
    accommodate people with disabilities=change or alter the learning process (for people who don’t have them)
    accommodation vs. learning

    Myers shows little familiarity with principals of Universal Design and seems to view the issue of accommodations in terms of a tipping point where making room for people with disabilities could mean removing opportunities for learning for people without disabilities.

    Disappointing to see it still framed that way.

  3. Check the date on the post….unless you have a time machine and didn’t tell me!

  4. Another aspect that doesn’t get enough coverage – having a disability or chronic illness is psychically exhausting. (Is that the right word? emotionally, mentally, whatever. You may have energy, but your brain wants a break.)

    They just put the posters up for the French film festival in a couple weeks. I can’t wait, I have to punish my friend for saying hey let’s go see this scary French movie and then NOT COMING last semester. (Peur(s) du Noir – terrifying!!!!)

    Anyways, I saw the poster and the dates and just felt tired already, thinking of going out each night – would it interfere with homework, relaxation, PT?

    Or maybe I let myself get overwhelmed too easily.

  5. Re: Baylor University

    … I’m one of those students who’s disability “might disrupt class” no matter WHERE in the room I sit and therefore apparently shouldn’t have a right to an education.


    And here I was being a model student…

  6. Dates aren’t my strong point, either. I think I just caught this one because I really hate typing “February” so I was kind of glad the month was over. …Oh, hey, that’s the first time I’ve gotten that right without spellcheck in a while. Yay!

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