Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Revisiting "The Man He Became": Part One

Cover of the book "The Man He Became" by James Tobin with photo of Franklin Roosevelt
This Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I’m taking a break from regular blogging, and instead re-run my three-part review of James Tobin’s book, “The Man He Became,” about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s bout with Polio, his rehabilitation, and his return to politics as a disabled man.

Here is a sample, then a link to Part One:

"'The Man He Became' is fascinating and emotionally engaging. I thought I would learn things I didn’t know before. I sensed that I would agree with some of Tobin’s new conclusions. What I didn’t expect was to feel so personally close to Franklin Roosevelt as he went through his bout with Polio. And I didn’t expect to recognize so many of the social habits, irritations, and forces that FDR had to contend with. The way the story is shaping up, it really does seem like FDR was a forerunner of today’s “social model” of disability, whether or not he knew it or Intended to be."

January 25, 2014


Saturday, June 27, 2015

What’s The Next Big Victory for the Disability Community?

Victory! in capital letters, row of raised fists of different colors below

The Supreme Court’s decision affirming gay marriage nationwide has me wondering whether there are remaining unresolved issues that are as significant for disabled people as gay marriage is for the LGBTQ community.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 qualifies. So does the Olmstead Supreme Court decision that came out of the law later. Although full implementation is very slow and ongoing, those are milestones of our past. What big items are on the disability community's "To Do List?"

Some of my Twitter friends and fellow disability bloggers are noting that many disabled people still can't marry, for legal and bureaucratic reasons. For example:

@POTUS next step is to remove the penalty so people with disabilities can keep needed services and still get marry http://t.co/TKYXHdSYAb

This tweet referrs to “marriage penalties” built into Social Security and other income support programs that make it practically impossible for many of us to marry. Then there are the developmental disability support programs and "group homes" that discourage or outright prohibit marriage and cohabitation.

In both cases, it's not that marriage is illegal for disabled people, it's more like an official disincentive, sometimes an extremely powerful one, that makes marriage a practical impossibility. IF you choose to get married or live together as a couple, THEN we will reduce or stop your support services.

In both cases, it’s also entirely possible to fix the situation by passing laws to address the problem directly. A law could make it illegal for developmental disability programs to refuse service to clients/consumers who decide to marry or live together. A law could specifically affirm cohabitation rights in any sort of long term care facility, including “group homes.” A change in law or regulations could make it so individual Social Security benefit amounts and eligibility for other programs wouldn’t change when recipients marry.

As potential victories go, these are bit wonkish and hard to explain. They aren't as emotionally resonant as yesterday's marriage equality victory, but they probably should be.

A few other longstanding disability issues come to mind.

Ending developmental disability exceptions to minimum wage would be another major victory for the disability community, and possibly more feasible than closing all sheltered workshops. Decisively undoing work disincentives would be fantastic, too, but probably complicated and hard to achieve in a political environment where lawmakers think we are paying out too much in disability benefits. Progress there may have to come piece by piece, one careful legislation at a time.

“Entitlement” is a dirty word these days, both politically an socially. But we might want to rethink that, an explore whether disabled people should have an absolute entitlement to certain key assets … health care, higher education, a drivable car. Solidifying a right to any one these would be a major victory and game-changer for disabled people.

Most of the rest of our problems are either social, and not responsive to legislation … like everyday ableism and workaday bureaucracy, or related to existing laws that suffer from partial enforcement … like the accessibility provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead Supreme Court decision.

Aside from dealing with marriage penalties and barriers, and aside from better ADA and Olmstead enforcement, what new disability rights milestones are on the horizon? What major, specific changes do we want to celebrate in the next few years?


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Friday, June 26, 2015

TED Talk On Autism History

I haven’t seen this TED Talk posted very much on Facebook or referred to on other social media. I’m surprised. Autism is a pretty intense topic, with fully-formed ideas and ideologies from at least two or three different perspectives. The speaker seems to come from a neurodiversity point of view, though he only hints at how deep the divide can be between, for instance, Autism Speaks supporters and autistic bloggers. The value here is the history, which helps explain how all the different paradigms of autism got to be the way they are. If nothing else, it’s helpful to know that autism has always been controversial, and our understanding of it has always been at least as ideological as scientific.

I also think there are insights here that can help increase understanding in both of the main camps. People with the more medical-model view that autism is a public health disaster get more evidence that it is so much more and different than a disease in the typical sense of the word. Plus, neurodiversity advocates might gain some understanding of why so many parents are resistant to different concepts of autism, which are often expressed as passionate criticism of what parents do with autism ... since parents, and particularly women, were previously all-out blamed for autism. I can even understand a little more why some parents don't care what science tells them about, say, vaccines, since they can point to how wrong about autism experts have been over the years.

If I'm missing important points about this video, I would love to hear about it.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Illustration of the time machine from the film "Time Machine"
Two years ago in Disability Thinking: NBC Looks At “Sheltered Workshops”.

I’m not sure, but it feels like we are a lot closer to the end of Sheltered Workshops than we were two years ago. Maybe not the end, but a situation where they are quite rare seen as weird, not the standard employment program for developmentally disabled people. For more on this: “Serfdom” and Ending Sheltered Workshops: It Can Work.


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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We Are The Enemy

Tom Jackman, Washington Post - June 23, 2015

(Via Eschaton)

I feel like this is another example of something disabled people encounter a lot from the medical profession … an underlying, mostly unstated belief that patients are the enemy.

We are stupid. We delude ourselves. We just want drugs. We crave attention. We whine and whimper and we should learn to suck it up. There’s always a “real story” we’re not telling. We lie.

I think this is part of medical culture, and it affects everyone. But disabled people experience it more often, because by definition we are harder to treat and figure out. It takes more effort to treat us, and almost nobody really likes having to work harder on the job. Plus, if our symptoms and complaints don’t match up with familiar patterns, it must be because we’re not telling things right, or maybe it’s all in our heads.
"The doctors then discussed “misleading and avoiding” the man after he awoke, and Shah reportedly told an assistant to convince the man that he had spoken with Shah and “you just don’t remember it.” Ingham suggested Shah receive an urgent “fake page” and said, “I’ve done the fake page before,” the complaint states. “Round and round we go. Wheel of annoying patients we go. Where it’ll land, nobody knows,” Ingham reportedly said."
I’m not saying that everyone in the medical profession thinks or acts the way the people in the article did. Most doctors and nurses are better than this, most of the time. But I think everyone in the profession recognizes the attitude. Other than outright greed, it is the medical profession’s principal dark side … seeing patients as obstacles or enemies to be overcome or outwitted.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Disability.TV - Ep. 25 - Girls: Jessa & Beedie

In this episode, we focus not on a whole TV series, but a short storyline within a series … the Jessa and Beedie story on HBO’s “Girls.” It starts off as an assisted suicide story, but doesn’t quite end that way.

“Girls" … IMDB.
Editorial on Assisted Suicide … By Marilyn Golden of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.
Season 3, Episode 12 Two Plane Rides and Season 4, Episode 1 Iowa … “Girls” HBO Episode Summaries.
Disability.TV Star Ratings Google Doc … Star ratings for every show reviewed on the Disability.TV Podcast.



Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekly Reading List

Illustration of a stack of books of different colors.
A collection of disability-related articles and blog posts I read last week, but didn’t have a chance to link to or discuss. It’s an opportunity to catch up with some of the good stuff that’s out there, but doesn’t fit neatly into the week's “big stories.”

Dr. Peter Rosenbaum, Bloom - June 18, 2015

Cheryl M. Jorgensen, Swiftalk - November 10, 2014

Rachel Kassenbrock, The Mighty - May 16, 2015

Three straight-up advice lists, all from writers who I am pretty sure don’t have disabilities. Ordinarily I would be skeptical, and I was at first, but these articles all include good ideas worth reading.

Beth Parker, KTTV Los Angeles - June 18, 2015

Stuff like this will continue to happen much more frequently than can be explained by pure happenstance. These are unfortunate omissions, not deliberate exclusions. But they happen more often because people continue to treat disability concerns as “special” issues and afterthoughts. My guess is that someone thought of accessibility the night before, called the company, and the company said “no” because nobody had asked them about it earlier. Or, someone at the company originally said, “of course we’ll accommodate a wheelchair user,” but kinda forgot to write it into the contract or work order or whatever. Plan it all out, then, if you remember, ask about accessibility. That’s the way things happen, and it does say loud and clear where disabled people come on most peoples’ and organizations’ priority lists.

Ari Ne’eman, Autistic Self Advocacy Network - June 18, 2015

No offense to our many great leaders, but I wish the disability rights movement as a whole had a few more leaders as eloquent as Ari Ne’eman is for the autistic community. It’s a real bonus that he often includes the broader disability community in his statements of principle.


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What Does The President Think?

Old-fashioned microphone with American flag behind
This morning I listened to the interview with President Barack Obama on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast. I enjoyed it. I didn’t hear any potential headlines, (Ooops, forgot about this), but it was interesting to hear President Obama discuss how he manages to remain calm in the face of constant annoyances and disappointments. He certainly convinced me that his supposed “aloofness” isn't because he’s never annoyed and disappointed.

The most interesting moment was probably unplanned. Marc asked the President what about him irritates the  First Lady, Michelle. He cited the habit of being late. And then he explained that Michelle is a stickler for being on time or early for things because her father had Multiple Sclerosis, and always had to get ready for things well in advance. He had to get up hours before most people, just to get dressed on time, and he always arrived at big events, like a basketball game, long before start time because of how long it would take him to get to his seat. President Obama name checked the Americans with Disabilities Act, too, suggesting that this kind of advanced prep was even more necessary before the ADA improved accessibility.

It was a nice moment, where disability was mentioned as both a personal and a systemic issue, but casually, without making a big deal out of it, and seemingly off the cuff.

I would still love to hear President Obama talk at length and in detail about how he views the broad scope and direction of disability issues. I don’t even know if he has personal views on disability policy, beyond the  positions and endorsements we expect from a moderate Democrat in high public office. Maybe it should be a goal for our community … for President Obama to make a major disability policy and vision address before he leaves office.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Catching Up On "Ouch"

BBC Ouch: Disability Talk logo
A couple of evenings ago, I decided to catch up on a backlog of podcast episodes of Ouch: Disability Talk, the BBC's program dedicated to disability issues and culture. I keep forgetting how good the show is.

The hosts seem to have similar beliefs about disability as the activist disability bloggers I read, but they sound like they don't have to try as hard to express those beliefs.

They are casual and breezy ... aware, but not angry.

They are plain spoken, and steer clear of insider jargon.

They don't reject so-called Political Correctness, but they seem less anxious about it than one might expect.

Ouch gives equal voice to a broad spectrum of disabled people, including some with beliefs and ways of talking about disability that I don't like, that make me uncomfortable. Everyone gets a fair chance to say their piece. Meanwhile, the hosts ask probing questions, but don't pass judgment.

Of course they are British, and I like the way they say things, one minute funny:
"I was like, shuffling around like a granny, even more than I usually do."
The next, insightful:
“I think it’s true that people do want to get diversity. But it’s almost as if people want the “easy” disabilities ... I put that in very marked quotation marks … but you know they don’t want to deal with complex disabilities where lots of changes have to be made."
Ouch's hosts and guests often state flat-out some things we often think, but struggle to express:
Interviewer Kate Monaghan: "Surely all parents just want the best for their child?"
Guest Tracey Abbott: "Ah, all parents want their child to be as safe as they can be, and happy. That doesn’t necessarily equate to them going out and getting a job."
It's worth noting that later in the same show, Ms. Abbott says some pretty ignorant, borderline hateful things about what does and doesn't constitute a "real disability," which prompted a good deal of polite but sharp discussion among the hosts and guests.

And who could resist a show on disability with episode titles like:

“You walk funny"
Losing a leg, and being mugged
Who can use accessible loos?

I will be listening to Ouch more regularly.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Disability Blogger Link-Up

The word Blog surrounded by word cloud
Time for another weekend Disability Blogger Link-Up. As always, you can post anything you like, as long as it's related to disability.

Technical note: To make the links easier to identify, in the “Your name” blank, type the title of the article. In the "Your URL" blank, paste the address of the item you are posting.

Then click the "Enter" button. That's it!

Have fun posting and reading! This Link-Up will close at Midnight Eastern on Sunday. Look for the next regular Disability Blogger Link-Up Friday, July 3, 2015.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Illustration of the time machine from the film "Time Machine"
Two years ago in Disability Thinking: Site Work ….

Right. So. The big, full-service website thing didn’t really work out. Basically, in addition to being difficult and expensive to pull off, it was probably unnecessary. An old-style forum or message board would certainly be antiquated and pointless. I can't see one ever filling up with comments from dozens of regulars.

I still hope at some point to have a real “home page” with matching links to take visitors to the Blog or the Podcast, but for now, the Blog will do for a landing point, and I will rely on menu tabs and things for better navigation.

I welcome suggestions though!


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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Must Read on Two Kinds Of Disabled People

Close up picture of a computer keyboard key with a thumbs up symbol on it
Cara Liebowitz, That Crazy Crippled Chick - June 17, 2015

This article is way too great to leave for my weekend Weekly Reading List post.

First of all, I am “Ugly Disabled” as Cara defines it here. Which is to say that because of my disabilities, I mostly don't fit mainstream standards of physical attractiveness. Which is not to say that I hate how I look, or that there’s nothing physically attractive about me. It’s just that, like Cara and so many other disabled people, I don’t look “normal except for …” So, I relate to this very personally. I get where she’s coming from.

Second, I wholeheartedly second the part about how people who are “Pretty Disabled” seem to have a bit of a social edge on us, even in a community that’s all about inclusion and equality. When I first started working in Independent Living, and for the first time found myself in rooms filled with fellow disabled people of all kinds, I admired the ones who looked really slick and put-together in their cool, quiet, lightweight manual wheelchairs. And, I am ashamed to say, I felt less than fully comfortable around the disabled people "who rock and flap and whose speech is sometimes not fluent.” I got over both the hero-worship and the internalized ableism ... mostly ... but the distinctions are still there in my mind.

Finally, I would like to point out how beautifully and precisely Cara describes her disability, in a neutral, non-melodramatic tone, and with concrete terms anyone can understand. I don’t know whether it was therapeutic or revelatory for her, but I have sometimes found it helpful to write a description like this of my own disabilities. I wonder if that would be a good exercise for teenagers growing up with disabilities, to help them explore what disability means to them, as opposed to whatever they have been taught to think about it?

Please do follow the link and read the post. It is important and a pleasure to read.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Diagramming Disability Issues

Angelia Davis, Greenville Online - June 16, 2015

The issue discussed in this article isn’t very important, but it got me thinking about how we classify disability advocacy issues. I would like to offer a model.

I think that one way to look at any disability issue is to ask two questions:

1. Is it about rights or benefits?


2. How high or low are the stakes?

Let’s get really nerdy about it and draw a diagram:
Now let’s add some of the more familiar disability issues:
Free Airport Parking seems like a fairly Low Stakes issue, though not extremely low because some disabled people probably do travel a lot, and suddenly having to pay for parking will probably affect them quite a bit. It is also pretty firmly a Benefits issue, and only a matter of Rights if you believe that inexpensive parking is a right that disabled people should definitely have. Personally, I think the answer is, or should be, a qualified “no.” In the same quadrant but a bit lower stakes I placed Special Event Discounts … those discounts often given out at theme parks and county fairs and such. They are almost more like charity than rights, and of little real consequence to the disabled community. Whether you think they are nice gestures or whiff of condescension, either way they don’t change anyone’s lives.

To me, Accessible Parking belongs in the Rights / Low Stakes quadrant … clearly a Right, and of comparatively low importance. However, I would place it close to the High Stakes area. It’s important to some of us, on some occasions, and when we need it, Accessible Parking is very important indeed. But it’s probably not as important as the outrage and publicity surrounding it, especially generated from non-disabeld people. For some reason, it’s the one issue they consistently want to advocate for on our behalf.

Minimum Wage and Social Security Disability funding belong in the lower right quadrant, as they both mainly concern Benefits, (i.e., money), and directly affect disabled peoples’ ability to live independently and prosper in the community. There are Rights elements to both issues, though Minimum Wage is somewhat more about Rights than Social Security. Minimum Wage should be a Right, whether or not it amounts to a whole lot of money for any particular disabled person.

Finally, take a look at the High Stakes, Rights area. Home Care Funding is mostly a Rights issue, but also very much about monetary Benefits. It is also very clearly a High Stakes matter, as for many of us, Home Care is the keystone of our entire way of life. Without it, we can’t live where we live, and can’t do anything we usually do. Loss of Home Care can even shorten our lives. Stakes don’t get higher than that. Building Accessibility is even more of a pure Rights issue, not really a Benefit at all. And it’s important, but perhaps not always as High Stakes as a life-and-death issue like Home Care.

These are all personal judgment calls. It’s not an exact science. But figuring out the “location” of various disability issues might help us understand them better.

Also note that this model doesn’t include cultural issues, like “Inspiration Porn," or interpersonal issues, such as the terms people use to refer to disabled people. Maybe sometime I’ll try making a diagram of some sort for those.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Good TV

Is it possible for a TV show to be too progressive?

It’s a wonderful thing to come across a new TV show to love, entirely by accident. That happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled upon the Australian series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. It’s like Downton Abbey on cocaine, and with more sex and murder.

Another aspect that caught me by surprise is that at least two of the episodes available on Netflix include characters with disabilities.

Season 1, Episode 12, “Murder in the Dark,” involves one of lead character Phryne Fisher’s adult cousins, who appears to have Cerebral Palsy. His portrayal is a mixed bag. In some ways he is treated like a great big child, and he seems to have internalized this, as he sort of acts like one. On the other hand, he isn’t hidden away and Phryne treats him with respect and affection pretty much the same as any close cousins of around the same age. He ends up seeming like a person who is cognitively impaired, but probably "smarter" than most people give him credit for.

Season 2, Episode 8, “The Blood of Juana the Mad,” takes place at a University, and involves a graduate student I am positive we are supposed to understand is autistic. Although she is a little on the stereotypical side, he is interesting partly because autism hadn’t been identified in the mid 1920s, which is when this show takes place. In this case, most people around her treat her like a “madwoman.” But Phryne and, following her lead, the other people on her team, just roll with the woman’s “quirks” and “obsessions," which immediately makes her seem less odd and allows a working relationship to develop.

One thing I haven’t quite decided yet is whether Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is too progressive for a period piece. Many of the episodes deal with one social justice issue or another, not just disability. It sometimes seems like Miss Fisher has been sent back in time from 2015. It’s hard to imagine someone like her, in her, era having the liberal, open-minded views she has. All of her opinions are awesome. Just once I’d like to see her have a realistic 1920s prejudice about something ... a bit of highbrow anti-semitism, a conventional view of Aboriginals, or some other unpleasant but unsurprising attitude she could maybe struggle to overcome. Still, her easy progressivism does feel earned most of the time. Phryne is meant to be a free spirit and a non-conformist, who both fits into and clashes with her upper class upbringing. The best thing about this is that because people can't help liking her, they tend to find themselves adopting her ideas, sometimes much to their surprise. The progressivism on the show is a bit anachronistic, but it works.

This is something I think about a lot when it comes to disability on TV. Which is more important ... sending progressive messages about disability for today's audience, or accurately depicting how disabled people are treated in the eras and settings in which they are depicted? Seeing ableism on-screen can be upsetting, but the lack of it can make an otherwise good show feel like a nursery school lesson. I guess the key is finding the right balance.

I’ll probably have more to say about this question, and this great TV show, in an upcoming Disability.TV Podcast.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Weekly Reading List

Illustration of a stack of books of different colors.
A collection of disability-related articles and blog posts I read last week, but didn’t have a chance to link to or discuss. It’s an opportunity to catch up with some of the good stuff that’s out there, but doesn’t fit neatly into the week's “big stories.”

I had a busy week of Actual Life activities, so my blogging, tweeting, and browsing were on the low side.

Olivia Shivas, AttitudeLive - June 5, 2015\

I have almost reached the saturation point on discussing “Inspiration Porn,” and I’m not sure how effective we are at explaining it to he average non-disabled observer. This article does a pretty good job of it, focusing on the idea that disabled people simply being in media isn’t enough. It makes a difference how we appear and what the messages are.

Rob Stein, National Public Radio - June 9, 2015

This kind of situation complicates how many disabled people view advances in technology and treatment of disabilities. A better prosthetic hand, or a more effective hand transplant, can be a real tool for greater independence. On the other hand, these improvements are too often seen and portrayed as cure-alls for stigma and low self-esteem, rather than actual impairments. In any case, it is heartbreaking to read another story of a disabled person growing up with such intense self-loathing. I know it’s very common, and it deserves to be acknowledged and discussed, but somehow these articles rarely question the stigma and loathing themselves. They take for granted that the disabilities are, objectively, horrible and loathsome. How about an article about a kid born without a hand who grows up hating how he looks, and later accepting it and building self-worth … without an awesome new device or miracle surgery?

Lydia DePillis, Washington Post - June 10, 2015

Alice Wong, Making Contact - June 11, 2015

Here are two very different articles, covering the same basic topic from two very different angles. It’s interesting how disable people who rely for everyday assistance on paid caregivers have a much more detailed understanding of the ins and outs and, the ethics and the strategies of hiring and managing “domestic employees.” Granted, most disabled people don’t have much say in what their aides are paid, but they can decide on other ways to treat them with respect and show appreciation. And then there are the disabled people and families who do hire care providers with their own money. It is a relationship where the rules, both formal and informal, are still forming, still in flux.


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Weekly Wrap-Up

Illustration of a calendar with a red pin in it
A busy week for me, but not for the blog!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Wednesday, June 11, 2015


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Thursday, June 11, 2015

How Many?

3 d illustration of a red question mark lying on it's side, with a white stick figure sitting on it, scratching head
- How many disabled people despise sentimental “Inspiration Porn?" How many think inspiring stories about people overcoming disabilities are pretty cool and encouraging?

- How many disabled people refer to themselves as “disabled,” how many use Person First language, ("person with a disability"), and how many prefer terms like, “physically challenged,” “differently-abled,” or “special needs?"

- How many disabled people actively hope their disability will be cured someday? How many aren't interested or would turn down a cure?

- How many disabled people consciously or unconsciously try to hide some aspect of their disability from public view or knowledge?

- How many disabled people view themselves positively as disabled people, and how many mainly think in terms of making the best of a bad situation?

Believe it or not, I think about questions like this while waiting to fall asleep. You could say the questions "keep me up at night."

The question is, are there credible answers to these questions? If not, how could we find them?


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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Short Break

3-D white stick figure sitting on the floor working on a laptop computer
Blogging will be paused for the next few days. I have grant writing work to do. One of these days, I should blog about writing grants for disability-related programs and organizations.

If you want to do stuff here, I recommend:

Listening to the Disability.TV podcast on Red Band Society with Amputee OT, creator of the Lego Leg video.

Browsing the "favorite disability websites" contributed on last weekend's Disability Blogger Linkup.

Taking the Visitor Survey.

Supporting my blogging and podcasting by making a Patreon contribution, shopping at Amazon, or signing up for a free trial of Audible.com ... links to both found halfway down the right side of the blog.

I'll probably be back with new blogging later in the week.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekly Reading List

Illustration of a colorful stack of books

A collection of disability-related articles and blog posts I read last week, but didn’t have a chance to link to or discuss. It’s an opportunity to catch up with some of the good stuff that’s out there, but doesn’t fit neatly into the week's “big stories.”

I usually post this list on Sundays. Sorry it’s late!

Joanna Rothkopf, Salon.com - June 3, 2015

I am completely comfortable saying that I oppose the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide. It is bad, dangerous policy, with great potential for abuse … where abuse means involuntary death of human beings. The enduring problem with this issue is that almost everyone else in the world other than significantly disabled people see this entirely as an issue of personal choice. Therefore, many disabled people say that they are in favor, at least for themselves, as Stephen Hawking does here. I think it is also worth noting that while Prof. Hawking is a brilliant physicist, he’s not necessarily any more savvy about social policy than anyone else. Some people have minds for politics and policy, some don’t.

Honestly, there is no theme - May 7, 2015

This is a lovely, simple answer to a particular form of “Inspiration Porn,” the kind surrounding proms and dating and non-disabled people in relationships with disabled people. It’s also good once in awhile to hear really great stuff about disability from people without disabilities, and who are not experts with credentials. It’s a valuable reminder that some non-disabled people don’t need to be “educated” … they just get it on their own.

John Meagher, The Montreal Gazette - June 6, 2015

The language in this article is horrible. The story itself isn’t bad. My question is, how do journalists determine what kinds of personal stories about disabled people are newsworthy? Not to take anything away from this new graduate, but it isn’t nearly as rare and remarkable for severely disabled people to graduate from high school as it used to be. At some point, won’t it become the expected thing, praiseworthy, but not enough for a big-city newspaper article?

Cripperella - June 2, 2015

I occasionally have to contend with people not just offering, but pushing help on me. Trust me, and trust “Cripperella,” it’s not always enough to just be polite in return. Some Good Samaritans need to be told … in words, flat, curt voices, or glares … to back off.

Mobility International USA - May 28, 2015

Here is a “feel good” disability story that works, that isn’t gross and sickly sweet. Just report the facts, and then let disabled people say what those facts mean to them.


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Disability.TV Ep. 24 - Red Band Society

Disability.TV Red Band Society Ep. 24 Guests Christina Stephens, Amputee OT and Adrian Crutchfield
What happens when a new TV show you’re looking forward to turns out not to be quite the show you were expecting. That’s what happened when I watched the short-lived, cancelled new series, "Red Band Society.” In this episode, We talk about what the show got right and what it got wrong about disability, and how we felt about the show overall, with Christina Stephens, known on YouTube as Amputee OT, and creator of the Lego Leg. Plus, her friend Adrian chimed in with his perspective on the show.

Amputee OT (YouTube Channel)

Star Ratings for Red Band Society

Andrew - 2 1/2 stars
Christina - 3 1/2 stars
Adrian - 3 1/4 stars

Disability.TV Podcast