Recommended Reading for May 17, 2010

A large number of crutches of multiple sizes leaning against a wall
Description: a large number of crutches of multiple sizes leaning against a wall.
“Disabling Art”, by tomswift46, creative commons license.

Childhood, Disability, and Public Space

But adults with severe cognitive disabilities, like children and the elderly, often behave in ways that challenge non-disabled adults’ beliefs about how people should behave, particularly their beliefs about how people should behave in public spaces. The ways in which I’ve seen people be made uncomfortable by children in some ways mirror the ways in which I’ve seen people be made uncomfortable by people with disabilities.

The Questionable Privilege of being med-free

As a person who lived for two years without psychiatric medication apart from a PRN tranquilizer, I have experienced the relative privilege people who don’t use medication are awarded. It is subtle, in the comments people make. “Oh, that’s good for you,” people said when I told them I wasn’t on any medication. When, at the introduction to mental health recovery I attended, one of the speakers informed the audeince that she was med-free, everyone also either cheered as if it was the greatest goal to achieve, or mumbled in sorrow that they could never achieve that. Fortunately, the speaker made it quite clear that this was her personal choice and it was not in any way meant as advice to anyone else. But it’s not just patients who do this; I repeatedly caught the ward psychiatrist in compliments on the fact that I managed without meds. Yet whether a person is or is not on psychiatric drugs, may have little to do with how well they manage.

SDS 2010 conference is upon us! attend and/or follow via web 2.0

The Society for Disability Studies’ annual conference, “Disability in the Geo-Political Imagination,” kicks off Wednesday, June 2, on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This year’s will be the largest SDS conference ever, with a day-long inclusive education preconference on June 2, and five concurrent streams of papers, as well as a film festival in a dedicated theater, running Thursday, June 3 through Saturday, June 5.

To all you mothers, in every sense of the word

Even when it’s Mother’s Day, the ableists are out. They are folks who, among other things, are bound and determined to treat people with disabilities badly because they think they can.

I felt sorry for my mother when we ran into a waitress who acted as if I wasn’t capable of ordering my own meal yesterday. I watched as her eyes filled with tears when I was insulted in front of her.

I pushed back. That’s what advocates do, even on Mother’s Day. Maybe particularly on Mother’s Day. I believe I did it for all the mothers out there, in every sense of the word.

Shame, Medication and Mental Illness

Every month when my amitriptyline starts running low, I have the hardest time remembering to call it in. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t remember on my own and if I don’t remember I’ll run out and could miss days of my medication. I missed more than a week last summer and ended up high for days and days as my body readjusted.

So every month I pick up a pen hold it to my hand and debate what reminder to write there. I don’t want to write “MEDS,” right there in big letters where everyone can see it, but that seems to be my only option. My friends suggest coining a codeword. I try faces, check marks, exclamation points and stars. Nothing works — except “MEDS.” Every time I try something else I somehow forget and end up missing a dose.

Science Fiction Writing Contest [More details at the link]

Open to Native, First Nations, Indigenous, and Aboriginal students currently enrolled part-time or full-time in any accredited university, college, or high school.

This year’s Judge: Acclaimed SF, experimental fiction, and horror writer Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet), author of The Fast Red Road—A Plainsong, The Bird Is Gone—A Manifesto, Ledfeather, and much more.

Entrants should submit a personal statement (one paragraph) containing affiliation or descent, student status (the where, the when, the why, and the how much more), and goals for their sf writing, along with the previously unpublished writing sample.

“Canadians are most certainly welcomed! Canadians, Australians–all “indigenous” types from wherever they reside.”


Three men charged for hate crime

FARMINGTON — The three men who allegedly branded a swastika on the arm of a mentally challenged man and who face hate crime charges for the incident were arraigned Monday in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Yet city and Navajo officials claim race relations in Farmington have improved dramatically during the last decade.