Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekly Reading List

Illustration of a stack of books of different colors.
A selection 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.”

Associated Press, New York Times - July 12, 2015

“Disability Pride” parades seem like such a natural that I am surprised that they are only now starting to happen. One of the hardest things about having a disability, for so many of us, is that lingering feeling of not wanting to be seen. Having a parade where we literally put ourselves on display, but together, on our own terms, with pride and joy, not angling for sympathy, has got to be a transformative experience for a lot of disabled people.

Andrew Imparato, Disability Blog - July 2, 2015

Andrew Imparato calls for people who still hide or downplay “non apparent” disabilities to be “out” about them and embrace them. He makes an excellent argument for this approach to disability. It’s good for he individual soul, of course, but being open and clear about our disabilities also helps reduce the stigma of all disabilities, including those that can’t be hidden or easily ignored.

By the way, do read the comments. If you are like me, you’ll be discouraged and baffled at first. The post is so positive and important, and yet so many of the comments are sad, angry, and very personal … deep in the intricate weeds of very individual problems. But it’s important to hear these stories, too, even if they don’t mesh well with our deep thoughts about “what it means” to be disabled.

Tiffiny Carlson, The Mobility Resource - August 2, 2013

Okay, it’s an old article, and and the 10 points are all things we have heard and read before in some fashion. But they are all spot-on, for kids, and I think for non-disabled people of all ages. Some aspects of disability awareness are really pretty simple, no matter how hard we try to overthink them!

Lori Plyler, The Mighty - July 8, 2015

We need more blog posts and articles like this, written by parents who have disabilities themselves. I especially appreciated how an expression of love and acceptance from her son helped her process very old wounds from childhood teasing and bullying. While it’s certainly possible to live too much in our past traumas, in general, I think more of us with disabilities whistle past them without really dealing with them, and I don’t think that’s such a good idea in the long run. Anyway, it’s a lovely article. I must say, too, that although I generally resist any kind of “inspirational” stuff to do with disabilities, The Mighty is one of the few publications that strikes a nice balance and manages to do inspiration without being syrupy.

Arthur Delaney, The Huffington Post - July 10, 2015

There is a lot to unpack in this article on the coming funding shortfall for Social Security Disability. That’s because the issues are legitimately complex and shot through with ideological biases from all sides. Paul Ryan is correct that there are disabled people who want to work, who can be limited by the structural disincentives of Social Security. However, that’s almost completely unrelated to the funding problem. On the other side of the coin, we have an interesting argument that while many disabled people do want to work, the number who might realistically succeed in the workplace, even without disincentives, may be much smaller than we disability activists like to admit. I think the key is to keep the long-term issue of reform separate from the short-term funding problem, but I don’t see it working out that way. I fear we will go through what the UK has gone through over the last several years … “reforms” that look good and optimistic on paper, but are really motivated by a combination of cheapness and an ideological opposition to social spending, period.


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