Recommended Reading for 08 November 2010

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 and links are provided as topics of interest and exploration only. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

abledbody: Five Tips for Disabled Job Seekers

The federal government has stepped up efforts to help the disabled find jobs. President Obama has called for 100,000 people with disabilities to be hired in the federal workforce in five years, and now requires federal contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative action and open employment to people with a disability including disabled veterans. Consider a federal job or a job with a company that does business with the government. The federal Office of Personnel Management has job listings.

BBC — Ouch!: Wheelchair wedding, fun, and love

We wanted a place with enough crip loos and space to accommodate over 150 people, many of them wheelies. When we asked venues if they were wheelchair accessible, most of them assumed we meant for our grandparents, not one of the brides. And as for their definitions of ‘access’: “No problem! Just come in through the kitchen and we’ll find two strapping young waiters to carry you upstairs to the lift…”.

Donna Jodan: Barriers to recreational sports

I am not sure if these barriers could be overcome but they can definitely be made easier to deal with.  How so?  We need to enlist the assistance of the sighted world.  We need to make our requests and ask for help.  We need to convince the sighted world that there is a definite benefit to making recreational sports available to the blind and sight impaired.  A few months ago, I attended a Ski for Light event in Utah and what an experience it was.  I invite you now to visit this website and see for yourself.

Women and Hollywood: I am an actor. I am also deaf: Guest Post by Shoshannah Stern

I am an actor. I am also deaf.

I have played roles written for deaf actors and roles written for hearing actors, when I was lucky enough to have people who believed in me enough to rewrite them to suit me. I am very grateful to have been in this industry for eight years.  During that time, I’ve experienced challenges, triumphs and changes – some relating to being deaf, but most related to being an actor in Hollywood searching for the right parts at the right time. I always try to learn what I can with every experience I encounter and hope at the end of the day, that I have done my best to overcome them.  It is my sincerest hope with all that I have learned and been fortunate enough to do, I will continue to do everything I can to accept strong roles and positively represent the deaf community on and off the screen.

Two Links, One Topic Bonus!’s Health Blog: IRS Does Not Consider Breastfeeding To Be Medical Care

Ask any pregnant woman or mother, and she’ll be able to recount the numerous health benefits of breast feeding. It can pass along mom’s antibodies, imparting important immune defenses that can prevent sickness and even death in newborns. It’s the most complete form of nutrition for a baby, far exceeding formula. And breastfeeding may even help mom’s health; research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.

Yet that’s not good enough for the Internal Revenue Service, who won’t allow nursing mothers to use their tax-sheltered health care accounts to pay for breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies. As reported in today’s New York Times, this is because the IRS ruled that breast-feeding “does not have enough health benefits to qualify as a form of medical care.”

From the Women’s Rights blog: IRS Denies Breastfeeding Qualifies as Medical Care

Yet as Brie Cadman writes on the Health blog, the IRS has decided that breastfeeding “does not have enough health benefits to qualify as a form of medical care,” and thus cannot be included in the tax-sheltered health care accounts that many companies offer their employees. But support hose? Totally qualifies.

Breastfeeding equipment can tally up to $1000 a year, which isn’t anything to sniff at. Yet the only way a woman can get tax breaks on this expense is to secure a doctor’s note calling breastfeeding a medical necessity in her case. This deters women from breastfeeding, despite its host of medical benefits, passing on immunities to the baby and reducing the risk of certain breast and ovarian cancers in mom. The idea that a woman needs to secure a doctor’s note calling her individual case of breastfeeding medically necessary is absurd: while breastfeeding is not the sole option for women, it is without a doubt medically beneficial for just about any mother to decide on, and certainly as necessary as pimple cream.

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note if you would like to be credited, and under what name/site.

About Ouyang Dan

is an extremely proggy-liberal, formerly single mommy, Native American, invisibly disabled, U.S. Navy Veteran, social justice activist and aspiring freelance writer currently living in South Korea on Uncle Sam's dime. She has a super human tolerance for caffeine and chocolate and believes she should use those powers for good. She said should. She is not a concise person, and sometimes comes on a little aggressively in comments. Sometimes her right arm still twitches when military brass walks past her, but she would rather be reading YA Lit or pwning n00bs. She can be found being cliche about music, overthinking pop culture, and grumbling about whatever else suits her fancy at her personal website, random babble.... She also writes about military issues for's Women's Rights blog. If you have something interesting to say email her at ouyangdan [at] disabledfeminists [dot] com. Lawyers in Italy looking to hold lottery winnings in her bank account may wait longer for reply.

One thought on “Recommended Reading for 08 November 2010

  1. Just as a neuroscience geek I’d like to point out a glaring omission in the lists of health benefits regarding breast feeding: When a woman’s nipples are suckled it releases oxytocin which is one of the most important chemicals in the human body responsible for pair-bonding. It also seems to be very important in nurturing behavior.

    That’s why a woman’s body is positively flooded with oxytocin following cervical dilation following childbirth. It’s very important that the mother imprint on the newborn child and that flood of oxytocin is of critical importance… which is also a very strong argument against the current practice of removing the baby following childbirth… and also a very strong argument for having the baby’s other parent in the room during the childbirth as the imprinting that oxytocin promotes is not very selective and having a strong parental partnership is always good for young children.

    The oxytocin release during breastfeeding further solidifies the imprinting from childbirth.

    Of course, the modern practice of removing the baby to “clean it up” following childbirth combined with baby formula really goes a long way of depriving the child and the mother of this bonding.

    I think it actually speaks a lot towards the way we view women and nurturing in general that this was omitted from the list of health benefits.

    PS: oxytocin is also released during orgasm which is one of the reasons why sex strengthens partnerships! This stuff is so cool…

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