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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

Unfit for Work: The startling rise of disability in America

"In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed. The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled. Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government." A multimedia story by Planet Money reporter Chana Joffe-Walt, also featured on This American Life this week.
posted by liketitanic on Mar 24, 2013 - 179 comments

"Now I know to keep my pants on.”

When Bill Met Shelly Bill Ott will always remember the moment he met Shelley Belgard. It was in spring 1988. He was 12 and sometimes shy. Into music, sports and, suddenly, girls.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Feb 8, 2013 - 27 comments

One Giant Bite

Today I am sharing a video of a woman with quadriplegia who has trained her brain to use a robotic arm to feed herself chocolate. Merry Christmas!
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 23, 2012 - 18 comments

291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die

As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
posted by hat on Dec 14, 2012 - 11 comments

Always here, not always noticed

It's currently the UK disability history month. There are all sorts of things happening. [more inside]
posted by Gilgongo on Dec 12, 2012 - 2 comments

"The statistics don't matter, until they happen to you."

"Premature babies born at the edge of viability force us to debate the most difficult questions in medicine and in life. After just 23 weeks of pregnancy, Kelley Benham found herself in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a daughter born so early neonatologist doctors would call her a "micro preemie." New technologies can sometimes keep micro preemies alive, but many end up disabled, some catastrophically so. Whether to provide care to these infants is one of the fundamental controversies in neonatology. This is the story of how Benham and her husband, Tom French, made the difficult choice: Fight for the life of their micro preemie baby or let her go?" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2012 - 70 comments

"Look At Me Now"

American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later.... [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 27, 2012 - 16 comments

A story of disaster solidarity and mutual aid

As you all know, being the creative type that I am, I love do it yourself projects… however, I found myself in the middle of a rather unusual project, which involved a lot of creative “thinking outside of the box” and it was more then just a do-it-yourself. It was more of a “do it ourselves” project. and we did it. successfully.: Here’s the story of how we helped Nick Dupree. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Nov 2, 2012 - 5 comments

The Sessions

The Sessions, which opens nationally on October 26th, is a film depicting the true story of the therapeutic relationship between the disabled poet Mark O'Brien and the professional sexual surrogate Cheryl Cohen Greene, to whom O'Brien lost his virginity at the age of 36. The film, adapted from O'Brien's moving essay "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate," was written and directed by Ben Lewin, who, like O'Brien, contracted polio at the age of six. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 22, 2012 - 21 comments

"As long as you're breathing, life is worth living."

Six years ago, US Army Captain Ivan Castro was severely wounded in a mortar attack in Iraq that left him permanently and completely blinded. Today, he's one of only three blind active duty Army officers, and the very first to serve in the US Army Special Forces. Thirteen months and 36 surgeries after the attack, Castro ran the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:14 and the Army Ten Miler in 1:25. And he's still going: In the last 15 months, he's completed 14 marathons. Why? "Because I still can. Because people need to see what's possible." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 13, 2012 - 17 comments

"I really value that experience because it gave me confidence to then pursue other relationships."

The Moral Significance of Sex Workers and People With Disabilities [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 12, 2012 - 57 comments

"I just do love winning gold. I really do. That's the best colour."

In January 2003, Esther Vergeer, a 21-year old Dutch wheelchair tennis player lost her singles match to Daniela Di Toro in the quarter-finals of the Sydney International. What no one knew at the time was that this was the end of an era. Now 31, Vergeer hasn't lost a singles match since. The world's most dominant athlete in an individual sport, she's going for her 470th consecutive victory today, in the gold medal match at the Paralympics. [more inside]
posted by Homeboy Trouble on Sep 6, 2012 - 10 comments

“I used to take them at their word. I can’t do that anymore.”

824,273 disabled veterans are currently awaiting a response on claims from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. On average, it takes the government 257 days to respond, and there has been a 7.2% growth in claims over the last 1.3 years -- so the delays are growing. While they wait, veterans often cannot access health care from the agency or receive disability compensation. Plus, the backlog on claim appeals is at least 3.5 years. So how can veterans avoid the backlog? A special investigation by the Bay Area Citizen shows that processing speed is a matter of geographic location: veterans in sparsely populated areas have their claims filled faster than those living in urban centers. Interactive Map: Where is Worst Backlog? Related video and transcript.
posted by zarq on Aug 30, 2012 - 33 comments

I'MMMMMMMMMM SPASTICUS!

In 1981, in response to the UN International Year of Disabled Persons, Ian Dury released the single Spasticus Autisticus. Despite Dury himself being disabled, the song provoked a negative response from the National Spastics Society (now Scope). The BBC denied the song airplay, effectively killing it as a single. Last night, as part of the Paralympic opening ceremony, John Kelly, Orbital and the Graeae Theatre Company performed a version of the song to an audience of millions, bringing the revolutionary classic back to the prominence it surely deserves. [more inside]
posted by howfar on Aug 30, 2012 - 40 comments

WE’RE YOUR BEST GIRLFRIEND AND YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE

Right now Baltimore, MD plays host to FemmeCon, a biannual gathering for those who "seek to explore, discuss, dissect, and support Queer Femme as a transgressive, gender-queer, stand-alone, and empowered identity and provide a space for organizing and activism within Queer communities". Some of the issues faced by queer femme culture include femme invisibility in larger queer culture, the lack of non-stereotypical role models, being classed 'femme' by default, dismissal as "too much", as well as intersectional issues of femme with race, gender, and disability. In the meantime, femme subcultures such as tomboy femme, hard femme, and FEMME SHARKS as well as femmes in specific regions come together for inspiration, expression, power, creativity and support from each other - as well as from appreciative butches.
posted by divabat on Aug 18, 2012 - 111 comments

The self-made man

Nearly a decade ago, Sun Jifa lost his hands in a fishing-related explosion (he was building a bomb for blast-fishing). He soon realized that he couldn't afford the prosthetic hands recommended by the hospital. Undeterred, he decided to build his own bionic hands. Eight years later...
posted by unSane on Aug 17, 2012 - 46 comments

"inspiration porn" annoys disabled people

We're not here for your inspiration says Stella Young on the ABC's "Ramp Up" disability gateway.
Pictures of people with disabilities going about our everyday lives posted on facebook and twitter as "inspiration porn" shame and objectify those of us they pretend to represent.

posted by wilful on Jul 10, 2012 - 49 comments

Canta libre

You may have seen these small little triangular shaped cars riding around on the bicycle paths in Holland. Called Cantas, these are sold exclusively to people with disabilities, though there is a lively secondhand market in them as more people turn away from cars to much cheaper scooter mobiles. Only Cantas are legally allowed to ride on bicycle paths or pavements though and only Cantas have had a ballet designed for them. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 1, 2012 - 27 comments

Adaptive sports for all levels of ability

Adaptive sports are generally limited to people with disabilities. What if everyone participated in adaptive sports?
posted by chickenmagazine on Jun 22, 2012 - 34 comments

'A childhood that began with a sort of cautious optimism quickly devolved into absolute horse shit.'

My mother became my daughter when I was nine years old. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 20, 2012 - 62 comments

I end up never starting the interview.

Being deaf. A young programmer's personal account of being the only deaf employee at a startup.
posted by bitmage on May 21, 2012 - 70 comments

To the Olympic Park

Following the announcement of plans to replace the Disability Living Allowance, eliminating benefits to 500,000 people via new criteria and the already-controversial Work Capability Assessments, and concerns that the change will undermine the legacy of the Paralypmic Games, public transit access to the Olympics for wheelchair users is put to the test (autostart video). For reference, the TfL suggests form Trafalgar Square to Stratford takes 35-40 minutes without accessibility considerations and approximately 50 minutes using wheelchair accessible routes. [more inside]
posted by hoyland on May 21, 2012 - 29 comments

Wanna test a friendship...?

Have a seizure. The non-disabled can have a lot of trouble coming to grips with a friend's disability, especially if it's something that doesn't show up well from the outside. As the writer puts it, "... she knows I have MS, but she's never actually seen my disease, and there are miles between those two things." There are a whole host of bad ways for someone to react to seeing the disease. And then there are the good ones.
posted by MShades on Apr 20, 2012 - 23 comments

Dementia be Damned

Dementia be Damned [via mefi projects] With dementia and brain related links, personal stories about good and trying times, and information about the latest research, it's a fascinating read about a woman with lots of personality and her amazing Mom. [more inside]
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 on Feb 22, 2012 - 10 comments

Discovering Autism

An in-depth series in the Los Angeles Times examines whether the increased recognition of autism as a syndrome has led to skyrocketing rates of diagnosis, and how social, ethnic, and geographic factors affect the treatment a child is likely to receive. (via)
Part One: An epidemic of disease or of discovery?
Part Two: Warrior parents fare best in securing autism services
Part Three: Families cling to hope of autism 'recovery'
Part Four: Finding traces of autism in earlier eras
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 18, 2011 - 59 comments

" I've always been acutely aware of how much society hates me because I'm disabled"

"The other day I was having a conversation with a Tory who accused me of using "strong language" when I pointed out that welfare reform is forcing disabled people to commit suicide. He felt there's no forcing going on. I had to explain that one needs money to live in this world, if you deny people money they have no way of carrying on." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Dec 6, 2011 - 120 comments

How is Banjo made?

Bill Rickard makes banjos. (SLVimeo) [more inside]
posted by scruss on Oct 12, 2011 - 8 comments

"When you wish upon a star... makes no difference who you are."

Autistic and Seeking a Place in the World. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Amy Harmon spent a year observing a young man with autism named Justin Canha, who took part in a new kind of “transition to adulthood” program for special education students at Montclair High School in NJ. The experimental program was intended to ready him for an independent life as an adult and integrate him into the community. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 18, 2011 - 26 comments

Do I stay or do I go now?

This week Pat Robertson (controversial as always) addressed an uncomfortable question. What are we obligated to do when our spouse becomes completely incapacitated? This is a relatively common situation for the elderly, one person declining faster than the other, but the same questions remain as with a couple in their thirties. Do you live with celibacy, divorce or commit infidelity? Dan Savage’s rules on cheating include a pass for caregiver/spouses in this situation to preserve the marriage. Things can become more difficult when the sexual relationship does not end after a partner becomes infirm.
posted by Blisterlips on Sep 15, 2011 - 96 comments

A Mermaid's Tale

"One day a little boy came up, he must have been about four and he saw me taking off my (prosthetic) legs and he started with the 'why' questions, you know, 'why haven't you got any legs', etc. And I said 'have you heard of The Little Mermaid?' and he said 'yes' and I said 'I'm a mermaid' and he got this look on his face and he said 'wow that's cool' and ran off to tell his dad.

I'll have to turn up to that beach again sometime with my tail - just in case he's there."
Weta Digital are the special effects team behind the costumes, weapons and creatures of the Lord of the Rings movies, Avatar and even a sonic screwdriver prop that could be making an appearance on the next season of Doctor Who. In 2009, they created a fully functional mermaid tail pro bono for Nadya Vessey, an Auckland woman who is a double leg amputee. Video News Report: 1, 2.
posted by zarq on Apr 5, 2011 - 37 comments

Taking the Stress out of Debilitating Health Issues

Student Loans Disability Discharge - The home page of StudentLoans.gov now includes a link, "Loan Discharge", leading to information on obtaining a Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge for borrowers and their physicians. The form is fairly simple. This information was nearly impossible to obtain BO (before Obama).
posted by Ardiril on Mar 8, 2011 - 27 comments

Starting by fighting for her own children's rights, she ends up in government implementing the UN Convention on Disability Rights.

Mother of disabled children changes country to suit their needs.
posted by maiamaia on Dec 29, 2010 - 19 comments

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