Category Archives: recommended reading

Recommended Reading for Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hello Wednesday my old friend. Why I can’t remember that it’s Wednesday until late in the day (at least in my time zone), I will never know.

I was going to link an article about a showcase of artwork by Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing artists, and then when I re-read the article realised the only artist the article highlighted was a person who is neither d/Deaf nor hard of hearing, but wanted to show art in support of the project. I find that a really…. interesting…. way of framing a show that’s supposed to be about highlighting the work of artists with disabilities.

Instead, I’ll point your attention towards a presentation that Deaf photographer Stacy Lawrence gave to the Rochester School for the Deaf.

Katie at Muni Diaries: My Disability on Muni

I get on the train in the Sunset/Parkside district and ride it all the way in. My disability is largely invisible unless I’m barefoot or wearing a skirt that exposes my scar-covered right leg. I get dirty looks from older riders when I don’t get up to allow them a seat; I look like a perfectly healthy 22-year-old woman. I sit in the seat, repeat to myself “you’re handicapped and have a right to sit here” and stare at my foot-and-a-half while clutching my cane with white knuckles.

Jail no place for FASD offenders, ministers told

Citizens with FASD make up only 1% of the Canadian population but account for an estimated 40% to 50% of all prisoners. People born with FASD have difficulty learning new behaviours and controlling behavioural impulses.

Theatre Blog: How captions stopped plays being seen and not heard

Captioning is offered on a regular basis by major subsidised and commercial theatres all over the country. You’ll see “CAP” or “STAGETEXT” in the flyers. Stagetext is the name of a charity that made captioning happen big time. Over the past 10 years they have delivered captioned shows, and trained theatres in how to provide captioning in-house. Captioning has meant a big growth in deaf or hard of hearing theatregoers, for whom theatre is accessible like never before. Stagetext also offers deaf and access awareness training to theatre staff, including front of house staff, to help make a theatre visit more enjoyable and less stressful for deaf people. Clear communication and a friendly face work wonders. It’s great to see deaf and hard of hearing people talking passionately about shows with family and friends, and even daring to say what utter rubbish they’ve just seen.

Minister Responsible for Disability has Inaccessible Office Diane Finley, you are driving me up the wall.

Yes she piloted the Registered Disabilities Saving Plan through Parliament. That helps the children of upper-middle class Canadians save for the time when the parents have passed on. Those lucky few children with disabilities, then adults, face the bleak future of struggling to exist in Canada’s disability wasteland. The program is useless for most Canadians with disabilities who are struggling to survive. Where are they going to find disposable income to save for their childrens’ income?

Canadians with disabilities who can no longer work are subject to the worst conditions of poverty of any group. They form the largest number of people in Canada on social assistance.

The only Federal income program that helps them is the Canada Pension Disability which maxes out at $13,000 annually. Most Canadians on disabilities and CPP are receiving less than $10,000 a year. It doesn’t take an economist to understand survival on $10,000 is punishing poverty.

[Don has a RDSP. Don is also the child of upper-middle class parents. It’s also really really firmly designed with parents of children with disabilities in mind, much like the Registered Education Savings Plans. For example, our bank refused to allow Don to manage his RDSP over the phone, through ebanking, or anything else except in person. The bank building is only “wheelchair accessible” in certain areas, which doesn’t include the areas you need enter in order to manage your RDSP in person. Other banks have different policies, of course, but there’s nothing quite like being told an investment is “for you” when you can’t even get into the building to manage it.]

Mariness: Body scanners and pat downs

With the body scanner, however, you have to be able to stand still. Since I can’t do this without at the very least wobbling and swaying, I now have to do the patdown in my wheelchair.

Smackie the Frog:My TSA Experience

This got me to thinking, though. Am I going to always be subjected to the “enhanced pat down” because of my medical device? I don’t even so much object to the backscatter x-ray machines, and I don’t have any problem with them doing the swab on the device. So I did some research and talked to other people with the insulin pumps who have also flown, and they have had to deal with the same thing I did. One lady was even told by a TSA supervisor that if you have a medical device like an insulin pump, you have to go through the “enhanced pat down”. No choice.

American Coalition of Amputees: ACA calls for Improved Screening Procedures for TSA

“I had just been put in the Plexiglas screening booth,” said Peggy. “My 4-year-old son was made to sit across from me, crying because they would not let him touch me. Everyone was looking at us. Then the TSA agent asked for my prosthetic leg. I knew they could wand my leg, but he insisted on taking it from me. And if that wasn’t humiliating enough, he asked for the liner sock that covers my residual limb, saying I had to give it to him. I felt pressured to give him my liner even though it is critical to keep it sanitary. I was embarrassed to have my residual limb exposed in public.”

There have been several news stories about how the changes in the TSA in the US have affected passengers with disabilities. Here is only a sample, I assure you:

Bladder Cancer Survivor Recounts Humiliating TSA Screening See Also: TSA pat-down leaves traveler covered in urine

Teen says TSA Screener opened sterile equipment, put life in danger

TSA makes Cancer Victim Remove Prosthetic Breast

Recommended Reading for November 23, 2010

miss_invisible at Take a little look… (DW): Origins

I often find myself wondering when, exactly, everything started. Have I always been dealing with mental illness? Have I always been, to greater or lesser degrees, disabled? At times the wondering borders on obsession, the inability of my anxious mind to let things go making me turn the thought over and over in my mind. Maybe part of me thinks that if I knew when it started, if I could find some moment and say, “This is when it began,” then maybe I could master it. I could understand it, I could control it, I could fix it. Ridiculous, obviously, but a lot what goes on in my head has fairly little to do with logic.

Shoshie at Catalytic Reactions: Afraid to Fly (trigger warning)

I particularly worry about flying the day before Thanksgiving.  The flights are so full, the airlines are looking for any excuse to boot people.  And now, there’s the added stress of the body scanners/grope searching.  I don’t want to go through the body scanners.  I don’t want someone to see my naked body.  I’m not ashamed, but I haven’t done anything wrong.  They have no right.

Lene Anderson at The Seated View: Everyday Hero

The click in my mind that connected that to the undertone of amazement that a person with a disability would adapt and go on with their life. It’s as if there’s a sense of awe that someone would face difficulty or pain without being curled up in a corner, gibbering in fear and how this bestows upon the person a regard as being a role model. Because it is apparently inconceivable to the able-bodied that it is possible to have a life while not being able to move your body the way the Abs do. Inconceivable to the point that there is this weird sense that disability conveys an alienness, an otherworldly not quite personhood.

BenefitScroungingScum at The Broken of Britain: Clare’s Story

I’ve been exhausted for as long as I can remember. I remember walking along in a kind of dream state when I was 7 or 8. I never went out anywhere as a teenager, I didn’t have the energy. At 19 I went to Germany to be an au-pair and remember the exhaustion of that. When I returned I went straight to University to study German. In a summer job in a museum in Munich I used to imagine making a den in the coaches that were part of the exhibit. I started to forget words. A nightmare for a linguist. That’s when it got worse. In my year out, I developed an allergy and was prescribed a high dose of antihistamines. I just slept through the rest of that year. The next year I developed a flu that didn’t go away and slept through my final year too.

Shari Roan for the Los Angeles Times: Sensory stimulation could prevent brain damage from stroke

Imagine a safe, inexpensive and drug-free way to prevent the long-term brain damage that often follows a stroke. No such treatment exists, but a new study involving rats suggests it might not take much to prime the brain to repair itself in the immediate aftermath of a stroke. For the rats, the simple act of tickling a whisker was enough to allow the animals to regain full cognitive function after a severe stroke — as long as the treatment was given within two hours.

Harriet Hall at Science-Based Medicine: Chronic pain: A disease in its own right

Herself a victim of chronic pain, [author Melanie Thernstrom] brings a personal perspective to the subject and also includes informative vignettes of doctors and patients she encountered at the many pain clinics she visited in her investigations. She shows that medical treatment of pain is suboptimal because most doctors have not yet incorporated recent scientific discoveries into their thinking, discoveries indicating that chronic pain is a disease in its own right, a state of pathological pain sensitivity.

Recommended Reading for 22 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.

The first two links sent to me by Sharon Wachsler:

Listen To Our Stories: Words, Pictures, and Songs by Young People With Disabilities

These pages offer you the opportunity to step into the lives of some thirty young adults and children with disabilities. Here you will find poetry, essays, interviews, songs, journal writing, letters, and pictures; each tells a story about something essential — some kernel of meaning — in its young author’s life.

Warning: This next story has some very problematic and all around triggering language, but I, as Sharon did, feel that it has quite a bit to say. Please read with care, and if discussion about how “little old ladies are destroying medical care” is going to hurt you, please do not click through.

The Globe and Mail: Little old ladies are crashing the system

You’d think this problem would be easy to fix. More home care! People have been saying this for 20 years, but it never happens. Dr. Sloan has been involved in the start-up of no fewer than four potential government-funded programs to provide genuinely comprehensive care and support for elderly people at home, and every one has collapsed. Why? He thinks that, at bottom, it’s our individual reluctance to let go of the “prevention and cure” approach to care, even when it’s disastrous.

Media dis&dat: Concerts become accessible to deaf community through St. Louis sign language interpreters who specialize in music

Over the course of her career, Freeman’s gotten to play guitar with the Barenaked Ladies, dance with Tim McGraw (the only time, she reports, she’s ever forgotten how to sign) and sign obscenities with Rob Zombie. (“He wanted to see what the sign-language lady would do. I’m glad my daughters weren’t there.”)

The best part, though, is watching her audience.

KXAN.com: Disabled vets hit the ice (video with approximate transcript at the link)

The video is of a news segment about military veterans in Austin (I am assuming Texas) who play sled hockey. The video includes footage of people playing sled hockey, ice hockey played on small runner sleighs with two small hockey sticks that are used to propel the player forward and also used for controlling and manipulating the puck.

One player who’s a two-time Paralympian says he searched for a while before he fell in love with the sport.

“I was injured 26 years ago and played around with different sports. Basketball, wheelchair tennis, what have you. Finally I tried sled hockey and it’s the best disabled sport out there,” said one player.

medGadget: Touchscreen Gaming for Cerebral Palsy Rehab

Researchers from the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have adapted a Microsoft Surface to help kids with cerebral palsy get some valuable, fun therapy. Some kids with the disease were invited to Children’s Hospital Boston to try out the system.

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.


Recommended Reading for 19 November, 2010

Gentle reader, be cautioned: comments sections on mainstream media sites tend to not be safe and we here at FWD/Forward don’t necessarily endorse all the opinions in these pieces. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

little light at Questioning Transphobia: clamavi ad te. Please note that the post discusses suicide, abuse, and murder of trans people. If you think you can handle it, though, it is powerful reading, as is everything little light writes.

When you have been told you are less than human–less than sacred–less than beautiful–your community has failed you. When you believe it, it is because your community has failed you. I do not intend to mince words. … You deserve better. Because you are not the problem. You are not broken. You are not worthless. You are not a problem and you are not a mistake.

Liz at Dis/Embody: Thoughts on World Usability Day:

Now, of course, usability is not the same as accessibility; it is focused on ease of general use, for a mass audience. And, usability doesn’t always incorporate a universal design perspective in which the needs of those who face the most challenges are centered, with the understanding that products designed for that group may also be more usable by others.

That said, usability and communication is an interesting theme, as it seems to implicitly tie back to media accessibility in particular.

Interviews conducted by Meena Bakhtash at the BBC: Voices: Disability and the Hajj to Mecca:

The annual Hajj pilgrimage – a religious duty that every adult Muslim is expected to do once in their lives – can be a tough challenge.

But the obstacles are infinitely greater for Muslims with disabilities, who choose to take the journey.

Melissa Jenkins at the Sydney Morning Herald: Disability package gets tick:

The Victorian government is taking the right approach by directing the majority of its disability package towards early intervention, advocacy groups and unions say.

Kirsty Whalley at This is Local London: Disabled girl from Norbury a “health and safety risk”, says school

A disabled 11-year-old girl has been rejected by an academy school because she poses a “health and safety risk” to other children.

That’s all for this time. Send your links to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com. Let us know if/how you want to be credited.

Recommended Reading for 18 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.
Inclusion Europe: Czech District Court rules on full restoration of legal capacity

A court in the Czech Republic has ordered that a woman with intellectual disabilities should have all her legal rights restored.

This is important because this is the first time that a Czech court based its decision on the concept of supported decision making.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that people with disabilities must be able to live an equal basis with others in all ways.

The woman, Renata, lived in an institution but with the help of a support person is capable of living an independent in the community.

Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology: Quality of Captioning, Exemptions & News Captioning Rules Up for Refresh by FCC

On October 25, 2010, the FCC issued a new Public Notice seeking comment on the closed captioning rules that have been in place for the last twelve years. While the FCC has received over a thousand comments and petitions to address these older rules, they now intend to refresh and likely issue updated or modernized captioning rules. Comments are due by November 24, 2010, with Reply Comments due December 9, 2010. The dockets are CG Docket No. 05-231 and ET Docket No. 99-254.

Access Tourism NZ: New USA Laws Affect Tourism and Travel for People with Disabilities

The law will make it easier for people who are deaf, blind or have low vision to access the Internet, smart phones, television programming and other communications and video technologies. It will also make sure that emergency information is accessible to individuals who are blind or have low vision. In addition, $10 mil lion per year will be allocated from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Fund for equipment used by individuals who are deaf-blind.   The law also applies to on-board entertainment in airline travel, which hasn’t been captioned for deaf travellers as of yet, despite the fact that all movies and TV shows must be captioned (the airlines actually remove them). “Finally, 30 million Americans with hearing loss will be equal to the rest”, writes Kennedy.  Meanwhile a new website called “Fix the Web” has launched in the U.K. which allows people to report inaccessible web sites after which volunteers will report complaints back to site owners.

CBC News: Chinese court endorses HIV discrimination

A Chinese court ruled Friday against a man who filed the country’s first lawsuit over employment discrimination against people who are HIV-positive, the man’s lawyer said.

The man, identified only by the nickname Little Wu, brought the suit in the eastern city of Anqing after being refused a teaching job because he tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS.

ABC Capricornia: Disability to PossAbility: Expo a hit

She says the expo aims not only to make people aware of the services offered, but to not become complacent with what is available.

“It’s encouraging people to not accept what is currently there, look at what we can use that is existing in the current community but how we can tweak it a little bit so that it’s more inclusive for all people,” says Jenni.

Rockhampton Manager for the Endeavour Foundation Lyn York says the expo is long overdue and the event has grown out of frustration.

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.


Recommended Reading for November 17, 2010

Your friendly neighbourhood Anna is out of town at the moment. Please enjoy this recommended reading post from the future.

Lindsay at Autist’s Corner: Doubly Deviant: On Being Queer and Autistic

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: This is a very long, rambly autobiographical post about being bisexual and being autistic: it compares my experiences coming to terms with both of these facts (always knowing about the autism, vs. having to figure out the sexual orientation; and also, doubting the possibility that I could *have* a sexual orientation because I thought autistic people didn’t date or have sex, or even want to do either of those things) with those of Amanda Forest Vivian, who is a lesbian, and autistic, and has written about those things at some length at her own blog. I also discuss the ways being autistic has complicated being gay for me — besides my initial difficulty realizing that what I felt about girls was, in fact, sexual desire, there was also a profound isolation from the larger Gay Community, which I never felt like I could (or would want to) join.

Have we linked to High Functioning yet?

A list of different ways people use the word “high-functioning” about people with developmental disabilities; an attempt to figure out what it actually is supposed to mean.

Interested humans–people with disabilities, staff, family members, allies, and people who are more than one of those things–are invited to share different ways they have heard the term “high-functioning” be used.

Amanda Forest Vivian at I’m Somewhere Else: 12. Bird Brains

The classic example of impaired “social skills” in people with “Asperger’s” is a person who constantly talks about their favorite subject, and doesn’t notice other people’s boredom or discomfort. I will explore this by presenting two people who like to talk differently.

Shiva at Biodiverse Resistance: Call for Papers – * Critical Autism Seminar Day * Tuesday, 18th January 2011 (UK)

Keynote speaker: Anne McGuire* (Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Canada). Anne’s doctoral research analyses the social significance and productive effects of cultural representations of autism produced and circulated by individuals and collectives engaged in autism advocacy in the contemporary West.

Our aim is for this conference to be as inclusive as possible. We welcome activists, undergraduate and postgraduate students, practitioners and academics to join us.

Melissa Mitchell at Service Dogs: A Way of Life: Book Review: MAKING THE MOVE TO MANAGING YOUR OWN PERSONAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES (PAS): A Toolkit for Youth With Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood

(includes PDF link to download of book)

This in-depth 69 page guide covers this ins and outs of personal assistants for youth with disabilities utilizing the stories of youth with disabilities to illustrate topics related to utilizing, hiring, and selecting personal assistants. Pages 10-12 talk about Service Dogs and an option for meeting personal care and assistant needs. The section is clear, honest and bringsup many good points people who are new to dogs often don’t realize.

US: National Federation of the Blind: Penn State Discriminates Against Blind Students and Faculty

Baltimore, Maryland (November 12, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people, announced today that it has filed a complaint with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, requesting an investigation of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) for violating the civil rights of blind students and faculty. The NFB filed the complaint because a variety of computer- and technology-based services and Web sites at Penn State are inaccessible to blind students and faculty. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires public state universities to offer equal access to their programs and services.

This is being discussed as well at the Chronicle of Higher Education: Penn State Accused of Discriminating Against Blind Students. Please be aware that the comments are… Well, they’re internet comments in a place that isn’t exactly disability-friendly, although there are many people pointing out that blind students would like to be able to get classroom material as well.

Anyway, I have just realised that I am actually writing this from the past – I always get confused when I travel if I’ve gone forward or backward in time.

Recommended Reading for November 16, 2010

Peggy Orenstein for the New York Times Magazine: The code-words of breast cancer awareness

Fast-forward to today, when, especially during October, everything from toilet paper to buckets of fried chicken to the chin straps of N.F.L. players look as if they have been steeped in Pepto. If the goal was “awareness,” that has surely been met — largely, you could argue, because corporations recognized that with virtually no effort (and often minimal monetary contribution), going pink made them a lot of green.

But a funny thing happened on the way to destigmatization. The experience of actual women with cancer, women like Rollin, Black, Ford and Rockefeller — women like me — got lost. Rather than truly breaking silences, acceptable narratives of coping emerged, each tied up with a pretty pink bow.

Ally at Every Crooked Step Forward: Where I Write About (Not) Coming Out

I could have lied. But I couldn’t lie. I didn’t know asexual was anything, then, so I just said no, and then was forced to sit through all the speculation. They didn’t know, and I didn’t know enough to argue with them. People assumed I was undesirable, because of the CP, and I didn’t argue with them, though I wanted to because the assumption hurt, but the hurt was hard to explain, under the circumstances. People assumed I was too brain damaged to understand sex, and I couldn’t explain otherwise, because simply having no desire was enough to tell sexuals I didn’t understand.

Lisa at Sociological Images: Illustrating a “Normal” Life Course

By organizing birth control needs according to age, the slide show teaches viewers a socially-approved timeline for our sexual, marital, and reproductive lives.   Teen sex is invisible, having children in your 30s is ideal, and the end of a relationship is an option but, as Corina points out, not having children is not.

Wheelchair Dancer at cripwheels: Broken

Regardless of the state of Tommy’s mind and body, it is we who are broken.  It is we who drink in glorifications of war and heroism in the movies and kill the political systemic message of such poetry by treating it as individual expression.  It is we who refuse to provide support and systems of support to help our veterans; it is we who shame and silence them into a stiff upper lip.  We are the ones who both stare and look away.  Homelessness doesn’t respond to swelling music and huge parades.  PTSD isn’t best treated by ignoring it.

Crazy Mermaid at Bipolar: Crazy Mermaid’s Blog: NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Unlike Breast Cancer with their irascible pink color, and Heart Disease with their “wearing red” campaign, Mental Illness doesn’t have the awareness in the public eye that those campaigns and others such as Multiple Sclerosis or other equivalent organizations.  Why is that?

David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine: Homeopathy for fibromyalgia: The Huffington Post bombs again

As you might be able to guess, because fibromyalgia is a syndrome of unclear etiology with a wide variety of physical complaints, widely varying severity, and a clinical course that waxes and wanes, it is a woo magnet. Indeed, many conditions that scientists do not yet understand well and/or for which we do not yet have particularly good treatments are woo magnets.

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.

Recommended Reading for 15 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.

Wired Chronicle: ADA Compliance is a ‘Major Vulnerability’ for Online Programs

Campuses often lack formal policies to ensure that their online courses comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, says the report about online-education management, sponsored by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications and the Campus Computing Project.

In a survey of 183 colleges and universities, one-third of respondents said responsibility for complying with the ADA rests with individual professors who teach online. Almost a quarter reported that responsibility falls to academic programs or departments. Only 16 percent said their college has a central office that reviews every course for compliance.

Scott Puckett at AbleGamers: AbleGamers takes Forza Motosport 3 on a Test Drive

While Forza 3 improves on some accessibility elements from Forza 2, the developers made a critical accessibility error in using voice-over tracks in the game without providing closed captioning or an option to enable subtitles. With that noted, let’s see what other options Forza 3 offers gamers with accessibility concerns.

Astrid: Dissociative Identity Disorder in DSM-V

The reason an experience of possession is mentioned in criterion A, is to make DID a more globally acceptable diagnosis, replacing dissociative trance disorder and possession in DSM-IV. The reason self-reported disruptions in identity, memory, etc. are accepted, is to lessen the diagnosis of DDNOS. I do not like it that an inability to rcall traumatic events will suffice for meeting criterion B, because there is a lot of controversy associated with the idea that one can repress traumatic memories at all.

Sharon Wachsler at After Gadget: A Year Ago: Re-Post, in Memorium

But this blog is not about numbers. It’s about surviving a devastating loss that most people are very sympathetic to, yet few really understand – the loss of a service dog.

It’s about a dog who liked to chase squirrels, slam doors, and let himself out when he wasn’t supposed to. He loved stinky things like cheese and liver — and long-dead carrion! — and me. We shared a fierce, deep, quiet love.

It’s about celebrating him, mourning him, finding ways to live without his love and without his practical assistance. It’s about the emotional and physical journey of grieving a star of a service dog while beginning the raising of a new pup. It’s a place for others who have, or will, experience a similar loss to find comfort and joy.

Media dis&dat: Human Rights Tribunal will hear case of Canadian school district not stopping bullying, homophobic slurs against disabled girl

In its response to the allegations, the district’s legal team says there is no continuing contravention where there is a significant gap in time between separate sets of allegations.

The district further argues the allegations respecting T being hit on the head with a music stand could not, if proven, constitute a contravention of the code.

However, Tyshynski writes, if it can be proven that it was one of the students who repeatedly bullied T who intentionally hit her with the music stand, it could amount to a contravention of the code.

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.

Recommended Reading for 12 November, 2010

Gentle reader, be cautioned: comments sections on mainstream media sites tend to not be safe and we here at FWD/Forward don’t necessarily endorse all the opinions in these pieces. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Sydney Morning Herald: Why I’m not in the queue for the disabled loo by Liz Ellis.

There was a debate over policy and procedure but ultimately it came down to human conscience, something that I am incredibly appreciative of. But should I really have to rely on human conscience overriding policy and procedure?

The Globe and Mail: The sound (and sight and feel) of music for the deaf by Jill Mahoney.

Frank Russo helps make music for the deaf.

Working with a team of researchers, the Ryerson psychology professor invented a chair that allows deaf people to feel music through vibrations. He also works with both deaf and hearing musicians to compose music that focuses on vibrations and vision rather than sound.

The Los Angeles Times: Mentally ill prisoners get a second chance by Lee Romney.

Mental health courts are operating in 29 California counties, helping offenders and reducing crime in their communities.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m writing for the NSW Don’t DIS My ABILITY campaign at present. Here, have some tacky self-promotion!

…and I’m feeling good

This will be a bit of a shock if you’re invested in disabled bodies as broken and horrible and unlovable, so brace yourself.

I love mine.

Who Gets to Speak?

I’ve been thinking about this man ever since, and the way he read me as abled. But mostly I’ve been thinking about assumptions about the kinds of people who do disability advocacy. Namely, there’s a strong perception amongst the abled public that people with disabilities are unable to advocate for ourselves. Supposedly, our abled family and friends do it all for us.

That’s all for this time. Send your links to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com. Let us know if/how you want to be credited.

Recommended Reading for November 11, 2010

Wheelchair Dancer: Wheelchair Shawty

How can we go there, again, without looking at the work of black disabled artists? Why is this move/dance a trend in the clubs and why not the moves of actual disabled artists? Don’t know who is out there? If you want to get started, check out the work of Leroy Moore. His Krip Hop Nation is one of the places where black disabled hip hop artists can be found not depicted as isolated individuals doing their thing, but, rightly, as powerful artists who have a culture, tradition, history, and place in the world.

Call For Submissions: It’s All In Her Head

I am seeking first-person, literary non-fiction essays from established writers and talented emerging voices detailing your experience with a mental health issue, and how you’ve learned to make peace with it. Although your essay may (and should) reveal the truth about what it is/was like to live with your particular challenge, I’m looking for contributions that have a positive and/or hopeful tone (humor is more than welcome), with concrete examples of how you’ve managed to be productive, successful, satisfied, and yes, happy–or at least content. It’s All in Her Head will both acknowledge the severity of treated and untreated mental concerns and also share women’s strategies for taking care of themselves and restoring themselves, given the tools at their disposal, from pharmaceuticals to meditation, and everything in between…the winning cocktail that gives them some measure of mastery over their lives.

Dave Hingsburger at Rolling Around In My Head: Service Interrupted

Purposeful exclusion,’ I said, ‘there is no way anyone could design this, approve this and build this, without knowing that people with disabilities will never be able to use it. That makes it purposeful. The fact that only certain people can now use it make it exclusion.’

‘I’m sorry,’ she said but I interrupted.

‘This is bigotry in concrete, this is prejudice made of steel and glass, this is how builders and designers and hotel managers spit in the face of those with disabilities. They knew, they didn’t care, they did it anyways.’

Lene Anderson at The Seated View: Old Game New Name

I know two people who have loved each other for a long time and who want to get married. They’re both capable adults, both single, nothing stands in their way. Well, except for the fact that they both have a disability. Because in Ontario – as well as any other province and country I know of – if you are in receipt of public assistance because you are what they so wonderfully called “unemployable” due to a disability, you lose your assistance if you get married or move in with your love. Social assistance also comes with coverage for medication and equipment, such as wheelchairs. Even if you could get a job despite the barriers in education and employment that are huge contribution to the upwards of 85% unemployment rate among people with disabilities, you’d need a very wellpaying job to be able to afford not just the regular expenses of living, but things like medication and equipment (a wheelchair cost $12,000, three quarters of which I paid myself) and all the other expenses that come with having a disability. Essentially, you’re forced to stay on assistance even though you’d rather be working. And that means that you’re forced to be financially dependent on someone, either the state or your spouse. Everyone can marry here in Canada, even same-sex couples. But people with disabilities are in effect not allowed to marry.

Anna Huebner at Access Tourism New Zealand: How A German Town Improved Access and Revitalised Itself

A wide range of facilities in Dahme now grant free ‘Accessibility for All’. Amongst other such facilities, a barrier-free swimmer’s pool was opened last year, the tourist information centre moved into the town hall (now providing a barrier-free entrance), a hotel in the city offers a large number of accessible rooms, access has been created to major city sites (e.g. to the castle ruins and the abbey), the town sports-centre upgraded its tennis court, and dropped kerbs have been created.

The regional tourism marketing advisor, Ursel Ochs, highlights the advantages: “accessibility means quality of life for all population groups. Older and disabled people, young families with buggies and younger children, and also cyclists profit from barrier-free facilities – it has become a market segment”. Future projects are already in planning. In 2011, for example, the main street is to be reconstructed, providing opportunity to develop barrier-free entrances to the shops along the road.