122 posts tagged with Disability.
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The Curb-Cut Effect

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.
posted by sciatrix on Aug 11, 2015 - 60 comments

The promise and the peril of the exoskeleton.

"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.
posted by Stacey on Aug 7, 2015 - 37 comments

Both children were punished for behavior related to their disabilities.

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]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 4, 2015 - 39 comments

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law 25 years ago today

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Jul 26, 2015 - 18 comments

Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

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.
posted by Drinky Die on Jul 26, 2015 - 4 comments

"NEVER touch or move a wheelchair without permission."

Tips for first-time wheelchair pushers.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 13, 2015 - 47 comments

"Her body is never a plot point. It is simply allowed to be."

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]
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 30, 2015 - 82 comments

Being Disabled Means No Marriage Equality For Many People

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?"
posted by stoneweaver on Jun 29, 2015 - 51 comments

Dads are supposed to be heroes

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.
posted by RedOrGreen on Jun 21, 2015 - 9 comments

And Holland Has Tulips

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]
posted by magstheaxe on Apr 25, 2015 - 9 comments

The Whole Helen Keller

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]
posted by batbat on Apr 5, 2015 - 31 comments

Canada announces new thalidomide compensation

Canada, long considered a "global outlier" on compensation for thalidomide survivors, has announced new lump sum compensation payments. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Mar 6, 2015 - 3 comments

"Why do you have that thing?"

A taste of the harassment and scrutiny experienced by one young disabled woman. [more inside]
posted by terretu on Mar 5, 2015 - 66 comments

Sex, Lives, and Disability

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.)
posted by Stacey on Mar 3, 2015 - 7 comments

Being Deaf in Prison

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]
posted by Conspire on Mar 3, 2015 - 5 comments

A sudden urge overtakes her to help mankind.

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!
posted by kaibutsu on Jan 15, 2015 - 12 comments

First on the list: Cut the disabled people

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]
posted by stbalbach on Jan 13, 2015 - 130 comments

"Because you are a superhero."

"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]
posted by quin on Dec 23, 2014 - 10 comments

Lead a rich and messy life

Writer, comedian, and disability activist, Stella Young has died, age 32. [more inside]
posted by misfish on Dec 8, 2014 - 20 comments

I scared people in Walmart and got popular. No Excuses

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]
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 31, 2014 - 40 comments

I’m not broken and neither are you.

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.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 15, 2014 - 62 comments

memes that demean

"Having influential figures like George Takei publishing a meme that reinforces disabled=fake is incredibly damaging to disabled people." [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 13, 2014 - 137 comments

James Brady

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".
posted by josher71 on Aug 9, 2014 - 47 comments

Surprise lap dances are not cool.

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]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 4, 2014 - 37 comments

We are disabled by the built environment

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.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 2, 2014 - 102 comments

"This is business, not charity."

"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]
posted by Lexica on Jul 18, 2014 - 32 comments

Greater Access for Down Syndrome Information

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).
posted by plinth on Jul 18, 2014 - 91 comments

Designs for sitting

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]
posted by Lexica on Jul 14, 2014 - 10 comments

"Je suis très, très fier"

Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome. A father reflects on his son's search for employment.
posted by zarq on May 27, 2014 - 53 comments

End the awkward

SCOPE assists you in dealing with your awkward.
posted by latkes on May 17, 2014 - 49 comments

What shall I do without Euridice?

In a new production of Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice (Orpheus and Eurydice) in Vienna, the part of Euridice is shared between the soprano Christiane Karg, who sings from the stage, and Karin Anna Giselbrecht, a young woman in a persistent vegetative state, who lies in a nearby hospital. "The music is played to her and video cameras relay her image to the stage." [From the opera blog Intermezzo.] [more inside]
posted by Orinda on May 13, 2014 - 9 comments

Open your mind or YCKMA!

“Beyond Appearances – The diversity song” is a series of portraits of supposed outcasts, and aligns wrong first impressions – because you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Open your mind or… you can kiss my ass! (NSFW, SLYT] [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Apr 30, 2014 - 5 comments

They endured.

The Men of Atalissa
PBS's POV collaborates with the New York Times on a 35-minute documentary about the intellectually disabled men exploited for thirty-five years by Henry's Turkey Service in Atalissa, Iowa. (The documentary at the NYT or embedded in a Q&A with the journalists at PBS's POV.) [more inside]
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich on Mar 8, 2014 - 11 comments

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MEDIA

In the wake of recent debates about the responsibility of journalists to their subjects, this essay from TampaBay.com, about a woman suffering from a rare disorder, and the writer's relationship with her before and after the story is being written, has been hearalded as a good counterexample of "a journalist analyzing her actions ferociously," and doing a more ethical job of dealing with "suffering, suicide and a journalist's responsibility".
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 19, 2014 - 5 comments

Made by Brad

Made by Brad Brad can't read or talk, but he can put together complex furniture. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jan 17, 2014 - 51 comments

Without A Leg to Stand On

John Bell Hood’s Leg — "This marked Hood’s third major combat injury; he had suffered an arrow through the hand while fighting Comanche Indians in 1857, and had lost the function of his left arm after being struck by shell fragments at Gettysburg. Hood was a famous general, but he now faced an outlook shared by hundreds of thousands of other soldiers who were likewise injured during the war. He became dependent on the kindness of strangers, like the Little family, in order to start his long road to recovery in the midst of a realization that he would live the rest of his life as a disabled man." By Brian Craig Miller, New York Times, December 20, 2013.
posted by cenoxo on Dec 21, 2013 - 10 comments

Mannequins and the peculiar morgue between Paris and Rome

Because who is perfect? Disabled mannequins will be eliciting astonished looks from passers-by on Zurich's Bahnhofstrasse today. Between the perfect mannequins, there will be figures with scoliosis or brittle bone disease modelling the latest fashions. One will have shortened limbs; the other a malformed spine. The campaign has been devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organisation for the disabled.

Busty Mannequins and an Inflated Sense of Beauty in Venezuela In Venezuela, women are confronted with a culture of increasingly enhanced physiques fueled by beauty pageants and plastic surgery. - The New York Times [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 5, 2013 - 26 comments

Lee Reid wrote Musink with his feet

What could be more impressive than learning to program, and then writing a complete new music notation program? Doing it with your feet.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Nov 18, 2013 - 9 comments

“Hi Avonte, it’s mom. Come to the flashing lights, Avonte."

Two weeks ago, 14 year-old Avonte Oquendo was last seen running out the door of his school in Long Island City, New York. Because Avonte has autism and is non-verbal, he was supposed to have one-on-one supervision at all times. Now, an unprecedented citywide search for the boy that includes searching commuter trains and subways and playing his mother's voice out of emergency response vehicles remains underway. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 18, 2013 - 47 comments

Guest Assistance

Following a media report (and subsequent investigation) last May that wealthy guests of Disneyland and the Walt Disney World resort were abusing the Guest Assistance Card system, Disney announced this week that it will replace the card with a new Disability Access Service Card, beginning October 9th. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 24, 2013 - 76 comments

"I know it’s happened to someone else."

Kelli Stapleton kept a candid blog about the struggles of raising Issy, a teenager with autism who suffers frequent violent episodes. A newspaper profile from earlier this spring detailed the family's trouble accessing the professional help Issy requires. Kelli admitted in her most recent blog post on September 3rd: "I have to admit that I’m suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue." Later that day, [Kelli's husband] received a message from Kelli that police described as "despondent". Kelli Stapleton is now under arrest on charges of attempted murder and Issy remains hospitalized after what appears to be a failed murder/suicide. Bloggers from the national autism community have responded.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Sep 7, 2013 - 190 comments

Capturing America

In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment. There are location challenges, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 8, 2013 - 16 comments

I cry all the time thinking of my child

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit yesterday (after a long investigation) against the state of Florida alleging the state is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in its administration of its service system for children with significant medical needs. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 23, 2013 - 50 comments

"I didn’t die?"

A Life-Or-Death Situation. "As a bioethicist, Margaret "Peggy" Pabst Battin fought for the right of people to end their own lives. After her husband’s cycling accident, her field of study turned unbearably personal." Via.
posted by zarq on Jul 19, 2013 - 26 comments

"Oddly enough, ...in most of my dreams, I'm not disabled."

Seeking Sexual Surrogates is a short (5:28) documentary by NYT's Stefania Rousselle looking at sexual surrogacy for the disabled in France, where the practice is illegal. And continues, regardless. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Jul 11, 2013 - 13 comments

Examined Life - Judith Butler & Sunaura Taylor

Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor went for a walk and engaged in a terrific conversation about disability as not merely some physical status but largely a social status, and that is also true for so called "able-bodied" persons. (14:23) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jul 5, 2013 - 16 comments

"If it were up to her, our every last dollar would go to her brother."

"A quarter of U.S. households have a member with special needs. More than 8% of kids under 15 have a disability, and half of those are deemed severe. What we share in common with the parents of all those special-needs children is that our kids have almost nothing in common [...] "Saying you study autism is like saying you study the world of non-elephant animals." Special-needs parents do share one thing: the eviscerating cost of our children." Paying for a Special Needs Child. [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen on Jun 27, 2013 - 53 comments

Bret, Unbroken

After a receiving a poor prognosis after suffering severe head/body trauma as a six-year-old, Bret Dunbar is now a 39-year-old who runs marathons. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on May 13, 2013 - 19 comments

"You don’t like it? Find another place to live."

"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools." Also see: A District Divided. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 24, 2013 - 168 comments

Photographer Takes boy with Muscular Dystrophy on an Imaginary Adventure

Photographer Matej Pelhjan collaborates with 12 year old Luka to create pictures of Luka enjoying activities that his Muscular Dystrophy make impossible in real life. "Slovenia-based photographer Matej Peljhan recently teamed up with a 12-year-named Luka who suffers from muscular dystrophy, to create a wildly imaginative series of photos depicting the boy doing things he is simply unable to do because of his degenerative condition. While he can still use his fingers to drive a wheelchair and to draw, things like skateboarding and swimming are simply not possible." [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams on Apr 19, 2013 - 22 comments

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