10-year-old Emma had never had a doll that looked like her, until A Step Ahead Prosthetics made her dream come true in the weepiest video (alternate YT link) you will watch today. [more inside]
In Beep Baseball (length 4:48), there are two bases, the pitcher is with the hitting team, batters are allowed 4 strikes, and the ball beeps. Oh, and all of the hitters are visually impaired. [more inside]
"Rise Up" (Inspiration Version): The emotional new music video from Grammy-nominated soul singer Andra Day was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. No ghosts or twist endings, just a love story. [more inside]
Tattoos and Disability: "I’m not myself without this body, and you know what? I like myself. I’m not supposed to, and getting here was scary and took a long time but now that I am, I don’t plan on leaving. [...] Putting this art on my body, setting it apart even further from others, made me realize that disability is nothing if not queer. Think broadly: curious, odd, different, outside of our norms. Disability will do that to your body, orientation be damned."
Access Together crowdsources accessibility information about businesses and other venues. The site is relatively new, and coverage outside of NYC is sparse, but contributing is easy.
Nkosinathi Maphumulo is a South African musician better known as Black Coffee. He has been devoted to making music since an early age, and even though he lost the use of his left arm in a car crash while growing up in a poor township, he has gone on to become a superstar in South African music. More than a marathon-session DJ (going so far as to DJ for 60 hours), he created a multimedia stadium show, where he played with a 24 piece orchestra and additional live percussion, keyboards and singers, who all spoke with love for the unique South African experience they created. [more inside]
I think I’d gotten it into my head that disability is always, on some level, supposed to feel bad. Like if I fought myself all the time, I was somehow doing it right. And then I got tired.[...] I didn’t want to do battle every time I got dressed anymore.
The Present is a short animation by Jacob Frey, about a boy who would rather spend his time playing video games instead of discovering what's outside. One day his mom brings him a little surprise which makes it hard for him to concentrate on his games.
Like to apply for the position of the head of an organization dedicated to advocating for the disabled? Better not be disabled yourself. [more inside]
Gwen Hartley's two daughters, now 9 and 14, were born with severe microcephaly. In the United States, microcephaly isn't unheard of but relatively rare with an estimated 25,000 diagnoses per year. But with many of us unfamiliar with the risks associated with the Zika virus, the Hartleys' blog gives a valuable look at how this plays out in a middle-class family in the American Midwest. [more inside]
The state said a 19-year-old with an intellectual disability wasn’t equipped to look after her baby and whisked the newborn off to another family just after birth—a decision the mother was ready to fight. But how smart do you have to be to raise a child?[more inside]
Jake Roper from Vsauce3 talks about the frustration of recovery, creativity, and limitations. [more inside]
What would have happened if Harry Potter had been a squib? How might the story of the books gone differently? Well. Perhaps Arabella Figg noticed something first.
At Philosop-her, Meena Krishnamurthy invites women in philosophy to introduce themselves and their work. For example, Elizabeth Barnes, "Confessions of a Bitter Cripple": "I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island ... I have been told that, while it isn't bad for me to exist, it would've been better if my mother could've had a non-disabled child instead ... And these things weren't said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument ... They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it's the uncontroversial part of your talk." [more inside]
"[If] his story were true – and even if it were not – the faceless intruder of his imagination had to have had a black face." Jacqueline Rose carefully disentangles the threads of gender, disability, and race (yes, race) in the Oscar Pistorius trial.
Awesome gender-queer Michon Neal address intersectionality and poly relationships. "There are some deeply ingrained myths about non-monogamy that actually exclude many people with varied experiences – especially those of us who have intersecting marginalized identities (minorities of minorities, as I like to call myself)."
Stop Paying Lip Service to Diversity D'Arcee Charington Neal writes about dating while gay and visibly disabled.
Our hero, one of the few surviving, is someone like me. An individual who you’d think would be the first gone — not last surviving — due to physical disability. Here was a game presenting Max and saying "He survives." The subtle message, vital message that goes unsaid is the next part: "And so can you".Tauriq Moosa at Polygon writes about representation of physical disability in the new Mad Max video game.
For the second time, Memorial University professor Ranee Panjabi refuses to wear an FM transmitter that will allow a hearing-impaired student to hear her lectures. The student, history major William Sears, is forced to drop out of her History of Espionage course. Now Memorial University has discovered an agreement that it signed with Panjabi nearly 20 years ago that allows her to refuse to wear the transmitter on religious grounds.
Sara Hendren talks at the Eyeo Festival about how she, as an artist, came to work at an engineering college. Hendren teaches at Olin College in Needham, MA and runs the site Abler, a site about "art, adaptive technologies and prosthetics, the future of human bodies in the built environment, and related ideas." Hendren's talk name-checks the artist Claire Pentecost, who has elaborated idea of the artist as "public amateur": the learner who is motivated by love or by personal attachment, and in this case, who consents to learn in public so that the very conditions of knowledge production can be interrogated. [via Text Patterns]
You probably haven't thought about curb cuts recently, but you've almost certainly used one. Curb cuts were originally introduced to benefit mobility impaired people in wheelchairs, but they're used by nearly everyone. This is an example of the curb cut effect: accommodations are often initially developed for disabled people but prove to make everyone's lives a little easier. The philosophy of inclusive design incorporates building accommodation for disabilities into products and architecture as a way to improve the product for everyone who might use it.
"The tension, the promise, and the peril of the exoskeleton: It is great for some, but in the gusto for technological solutions, for stories that “inspire” and for devices that pull people into the “normal” world, people can lose sight of a future that could be much better. " Rose Eveleth at The Atlantic writes about exoskeletons and other forms of assistive technology for people with disabilities, the life-changing things they can do, and the possibility that they are blinding us to other ways to look at disability, accessibility, and infrastructure. This is part of Remaking the Bodies, a series on how science and technology are re-engineering the human body.
Yesterday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Kentucky in the case S.R. v. Kenton County Sheriff's Office on behalf of two elementary school children, aged eight and nine, who were restrained in handcuffs because of behavior related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a history of trauma. Video footage (trigger warning) [more inside]
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. [more inside]
Jamaal Charles, star running back for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, offers an inspiring speech at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics. He discusses the influence competing in the Special Olympics had on his own life as he struggled with a learning disability as a boy.
I am just about the biggest advocate for “representation matters” there is, but as a white woman I never really felt it applied to me all that much. Watching Fury Road, I realized how wrong I was. I’ve been this way my entire life and I’ve never felt “handicapped.” I’m disabled, yes – there’s shit I just can’t do, but an invalid I am not. For the most part I’ve always approached life with a “figure out how to do it and just get it done” attitude; I am loathe to admit I can’t do anything and I never give up without exhausting all the possibilities available to me. Watching Fury Road, I felt like I was watching my own struggle brought to life (albeit in a very fantastical setting), and I don’t think I ever realized how truly profound that could be for me.Laura Vaugh talks about her response to seeing a kick-ass woman with the same disability as her on the silver screen. [more inside]
Getting married means losing life saving services for many people with disabilities. "How do you tell a person to choose between having food to eat and getting married? How do you tell a person to choose between their medication or their therapy or their wheelchair or their program that helps them to be more independent and self-sufficient and getting married?"
Bob Moran ("BOB"), the political cartoonist for the Saturday and Sunday Telegraph (e.g., 1, 2, more) had an unexpected journey into fatherhood. A beautiful and touching animated memoir for Father's day.
What It’s Like to Have Down Syndrome—and Care for a Sister With Disabilities While the initial focus was to portray Alyssa as just another member of her family, the project changed slightly when Carly began to lose neurological ability. Although Carly’s condition is still undiagnosed, Lois needed to continue to work in order to keep everyone under the same roof. As a result, Alyssa became one of Carly’s primary caregivers. [more inside]
Helen Keller's lesser known work as a lefty socialist: Helen Keller was famous for flourishing as a deaf and blind woman. She was well known for her work advocating for the physically disabled. As she discovered that those who are poor were more likely to be disabled, she began her journey towards a leftist, socialist ideology. Much of her political and social activism has been erased from history. This article offers a more complete look at her body of work. [more inside]
Canada, long considered a "global outlier" on compensation for thalidomide survivors, has announced new lump sum compensation payments. [more inside]
Most debates around sex and disabled people in the mainstream press mirror those of medical ethicists, by focusing on whether disabled people have the ‘right’ to pay for sex. But this is just one small part of the overall picture. Disabled academics and activists paint on a much larger canvas, writing about issues such as consent around mental capacity, the forced sterilisation of disabled people, the rights of disabled people in institutions to have sex and be free from sexual abuse, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) disabled people."Sex, Lives, and Disability", from Mosaic Science, covers a lot of ground on many issues relating to including history of disability rights movements, what role sex workers may play in the lives of some people with disabilities, barriers often faced by LGBT people with disabilities, rethinking definitions of sex, and consent when verbal consent may not be possible. In sidebar videos, journalist and disability activist Mik Scarlet tackles Ten Myths about Sex and Disability and Alternate Erogenous Zones. Mik also co-authors The Love Lounge, an advice column focusing on love, sex, and relationship advice for people with disabilities. (Links contain possibly nsfw images and video, depending on your workplace. Clicker beware.)
What rights can a Deaf person who has been incarcerated expect? The National Association of the Deaf has a list of rights that correctional facilities must issue to Deaf people. However, a three-part documentary series done by HEARD (Helping to Advance the Rights of the Deaf) in conjunction with Al Jeezera (originally aired in December 2013) reveals that the actual experiences of Deaf prisoners diverge vastly from that of what they are entitled on on paper (trailer). [more inside]
Be My Eyes is an app which connects blind people needing assistance with a sighted person who can help them by providing a description of what they're seeing. You can be Amelie!
On the first day of the new Congress, a Texas Republican is leading an effort to make deep cuts in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to take effect within about a year. Democrats appear to have little recourse due to the recent election results. Fraud in SSDI is not a major problem despite Republican claims and mythmaking by NPR and 60 Minutes. The inspector general found only about 0.4 percent of cases were approved by fraudulent judges. [more inside]
"How One Man's Trip to Toys 'R' Us Brought Mobility to Hundreds of Disabled Kids". Dr. Cole Galloway started the Go Baby Go project to provide inexpensive mobility to special needs children, offering them a fantastic new way to get around. [more inside]
You're Nick Santonastasso, you got an ...interesting... sense of humour so you team up with uber prankster Vitaly Zdorovetskiy to scare the shit out of people, making full use of the fact that thanks to Hanhart syndrome you only have one arm and no legs by playing a dismembered viction of a chainsaw wielding maniac. [more inside]
The thing about ableism is that it’s everywhere, and it’s incredibly common, and we don’t even realize it. It’s in the books we read, and in our daily lives. Ableism is that belief that everyone who is able-bodied is “normal” and everyone else is abnormal. Abelism is probably one of the most common kinds of –ism’s, and it rarely gets talked about.The language of disability and why it matters.
"Having influential figures like George Takei publishing a meme that reinforces disabled=fake is incredibly damaging to disabled people." [more inside]
In an unprecedented move, former United States press secretary James Brady's death has been ruled a homicide, 33 years after he was shot by John Hinckley Jr. Some history of the incident at the Washington Hilton and a sweet rememberance of "Bear".
Stephanie Woodward is a 26 year-old Floridian woman who blogs about dating. Ms Woodward is an attorney who happens to have spina bifida. [more inside]
City resources are lavished on gentrification and bicycle infrastructure, but few are invested in our public transit system and structures that support working class people (whom are disproportionately people with disabilities and QTPOC). Fares have gone up, incentives to park and ride have phased out, and there are endless stories of transit cops harassing riders. Bus routes run infrequently enough to be standing room only in my part of town.While Portland, Oregon prides itself on its progressive bicycle policies Rory Judah Blank's experiences show it's far less progressive when it comes to helping people with disabilities.
"We haven't found a disability we can't employ."
"Let me tell you a story,” says Randy Lewis, former senior vice-president at US retailer Walgreens, in a Texan drawl. And it’s quite a story. It’s the tale of how a man who led logistics at America’s largest drug-store chain, supporting it as it grew from 1,600 to 8,000 outlets with the most advanced logistics network in its sector, did so while giving job opportunities to thousands of disabled people. In Walgreens’ distribution centres today, an average 35% of the workforce comprises people with disabilities, and it has set targets to make sure one in every 10 in-store hires is also disabled.[more inside]
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is expected to sign Chloe's Law. Chloe's Law, or the Down Syndrome Prenatal Education Act, requires medical practitioners to provide up-to-date and accurate information about Down syndrome with the accompanying diagnosis. Similar laws were passed in Massachusetts and Kentucky. Why is this necessary? Ask a parent or two and you find out how most doctors aren't up to the task. Fortunately, there are parents who will help them out (if they would listen).
The exhibit Fashion Follows Form: Designs for Sitting, at the Royal Ontario Museum through January 25, 2015, showcases the work of designer Izzy Camilleri, whose company IZAdaptive features chic, stylish, comfortable clothing — all of it designed for seated people who use wheelchairs. [more inside]
Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome. A father reflects on his son's search for employment.