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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

Grab a Kleenex

Water” is a film about a young boy’s struggle to accept his fears, his mentally disabled father and his possible future duty. [more inside]
posted by querty on Nov 18, 2010 - 4 comments

First Autistic Presidential Appointee Speaks Out

"We need to stop making autism advocacy about trying to create a world where there aren't any autistic people and start building one in which autistic people have the rights and support they deserve." In December, Ari Ne'eman was nominated to the National Council on Disability (NCD), becoming the first autistic presidential appointee in history. In response, "one anonymous emailer to a federal agency in Washington wrote that 'assholes like Ari Ne'eman' should 'have their tongues cut out' for suggesting that autistic people need respect, civil rights, and access to services more than they need pity and a cure. This conviction has made him a leader of the emerging neurodiversity movement, which Ne'eman sees as a natural outgrowth of the civil rights, women's rights, and disability rights movements of the late 20th century." (Previously.)
posted by scody on Oct 11, 2010 - 50 comments

Every breath you take

Scientists in Israel have developed a system that allows (some, not all) people who are "locked in" to type messages by simply holding and releasing their breath. The system was also adapted to control a wheelchair, notably in a manner that can't be disrupted by jarring or bumpy terrain. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jul 26, 2010 - 8 comments

Ari Ne'eman to serve on the NCD

Ari Ne'eman, best known as the founder of Autistic Self Advocacy Network, will be the first person with Autism to serve on the National Council on Disability. [more inside]
posted by lexicakes on Jun 22, 2010 - 4 comments

Perspective

Something to think about. (slyt) Nick Vujicic's website.
posted by infini on Jun 19, 2010 - 12 comments

American Able

'American Able' intends to, through spoof, reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media. I chose American Apparel not just for their notable style, but also for their claims that many of their models are just ‘every day’ women who are employees, friends and fans of the company. However, these women fit particular body types. Their campaigns are highly sexualized and feature women who are generally thin, and who appear to be able-bodied. Women with disabilities go unrepresented, not only in American Apparel advertising, but also in most of popular culture. Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’ In a society where sexuality is created and performed over and over within popular culture, the invisibility of women with disabilities in many ways denies them the right to sexuality, particularly within a public context. [more inside]
posted by heatherann on May 5, 2010 - 99 comments

‘Ouch’: BBC talk show covers life as a “crip”

“Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable” is an “intrusive and unpleasant game” featured on Ouch, the hour-long monthly BBC podcast talk show on disability. In it, the show’s hosts must figure out a caller’s disability by asking “fiendish” questions, to which the caller may answer only yes or no. (When it’s all over, Daleks holler out the answer.) This is only one of the many scabrous, puckish, and unskittish ways in which Ouch covers life as a “crip,” a term the show uses unabashedly.
posted by joeclark on May 5, 2010 - 39 comments

'It seemed like the right thing to do'

When Raymond Dunn, Jr. was born in 1975, he had a fractured skull, an undersized brain, and severe developmental disabilities due to a lack of oxygen. He was not expected to survive his first year. [more inside]
posted by toodleydoodley on Apr 19, 2010 - 63 comments

Flying the Unhelpful Skies

Disabled traveler Rachel D. took a harrowing flight with United recently. Despite their stated policy, she was told repeatedly that "It's not in our contract to assist passengers with their luggage and we reserve the right to refuse assistance to anyone." This is not the first time United has had a problem with disabled people. (For reference, the federal Air Carrier Access Act that prohibits discrimination towards disabled passencers.)
posted by restless_nomad on Apr 12, 2010 - 102 comments

Food Choice Sometimes Isn't

Before You Criticize the Food Choices of Others… think about how people with disabilities face limitations on how vegan/organic/fair-trade/free-range/local/food-political they can be.
posted by divabat on Mar 6, 2010 - 170 comments

Spread the Word to End the Word

Spread the Word to End the Word

Plus a message from Dr. Cox (SLYT)
posted by MustardTent on Feb 26, 2010 - 130 comments

When transphobia interferes with quality healthcare

"Melissa" (name changed for privacy) is a transwoman who was badly injured in a car accident and is in hospital in critical condition. While in treatment, some of the medical staff and her family decided that since she still had a "male" body, to make things "less confusing", they will erase 4 years of her female identity by referring to her as a man and taking her off her hormone therapy. (Warning: possible triggers) As little light puts it:
And if she woke up as from a deep sleep, she’d wake up into a world where her best friend was dead, where her body had been forcibly edited back to its pre-transition state and given a few more years of the influence of testosterone to boot, where her memory and self were hazy and confusing and nobody was calling her by the right name and pronouns, they were in fact pretending four years of her life, the four years she finally got to be honest and true to herself, those had never happened, and shh, she’s just confused, shhhh, calm down, let’s work on fixing your memory some more.
[more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 13, 2010 - 147 comments

Piloting a bobsleigh while blind

You’d have to be blind to drive a bobsleigh. At least if you want to finish first, second, or third nine times in seven years. Since 2001, U.S. bobsleigh pilot Steven Holcomb has dealt with a degenerative eye condition that left him with 20/500 vision. He drove a sled hurtling down an ice track anyway, often winning. Now that his vision has been restored via an experimental operation, he fuzzes over his helmet visor so it’s just like the olden days. Bobsleigh, it seems, is all about feel. [more inside]
posted by joeclark on Nov 15, 2009 - 3 comments

Disability and Employment in Argentina

Disability and Employment in Argentina: The Right to Be Exploited?
posted by aniola on Apr 11, 2009 - 7 comments

Craniosynostosis in the Middle Pleistocene

Deformed skull of prehistoric child suggests that early humans cared for disabled children.
posted by homunculus on Apr 3, 2009 - 54 comments

Halls of Shame

People who sit in the disability seats when I'm standing on my crutches. People who abuse accessible parking spots. CaughtYa! exposes people who park illegally in disabled spots. [this site is inaccessible - link is to the archive]
posted by desjardins on Mar 30, 2009 - 142 comments

Team Hoyt on the Today Show

Team Hoyt: The story of Dick and Rick Hoyt (Today Show SLYT) (prev)
posted by allkindsoftime on Jan 2, 2009 - 22 comments

Dollar for Dollar?

Stemming from a lawsuit that has gone on for several years, a recent Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. government must make bills with distinguishable tactile features to benefit the blind. While the U.S. government disagrees, the judges say: "The government might as well argue that, since handicapped people can crawl on all fours or ask for help from strangers, there's no need to make buildings wheelchair accessible." Not all blind people agree with the decision. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw on May 20, 2008 - 74 comments

A Day in the Life of Richard Devylder

A Day in the Life of Richard Devylder [wmv, 11.5 minutes long, subtitled]
Richard Devylder, deputy director at the California Department of Rehabilitation, was born without arms or legs. The video shows how technology enables him to navigate through his daily life, everything from work, doctor's visit, eating to swimming.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 18, 2008 - 8 comments

"With the right access and equipment you can do anything."

Creature discomforts. Aardman Animations has created a charming campaign for Leonard Cheshire Disability that plays off their much-loved BBC series Creature Comforts (for a sample of the original, try birds singing in Welsh or a classically disgruntled Brazilian jaguar). Be sure to check out the voices behind the characters.
posted by melissa may on Dec 6, 2007 - 31 comments

Get Your Ducks In A Row Or Else

Get Your Ducks In A Row Or Else.

Those Atkins cheesecakes are delicious, but now they're leaving a bad aftertaste.
posted by Robert Angelo on Aug 6, 2007 - 30 comments

Ashley Treatment Deemed Illegal

FollowupFilter: The "Ashley Treatment" is a violation of Washington state law, ruled an investigative report today. The hospital that performed the sterilization acknowledged that a miscommunication was to blame.
posted by pineapple on May 8, 2007 - 141 comments

People with disabilities in "we can be prejudiced too" shocker

New study reveals prejudices amongst disabled. A research paper by Mark Deal, a PhD student and researcher at UK disability charity Enham reveals the news that disabled people have the same prejudices about disability as non-disabled people: the research points to a hierarchy of impairment, ranking Deaf as the most ‘desirable’ impairment followed by Arthritis, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, HIV/ Aids, Down’s syndrome and Schizophrenia amongst disabled people. These prejudices are almost identical to those held by the non-disabled sample, with the only difference being that Cerebral Palsy and HIV/Aids were placed in reverse order.
posted by patricio on Mar 22, 2007 - 48 comments

"It's like Mother Nature: It's going to find a way to express itself."

Philip Martin Chavez is paralyzed, so he creates art using DragonDictate and Paint.
posted by brundlefly on Feb 15, 2007 - 16 comments

On inspiration

On inspiration, and more from Ragged Edge, the disability rights rag. See also: The Bancroft Disability Rights Collection, ADAPT, and Disabled in Action.
posted by serazin on Jan 29, 2007 - 4 comments

The Ashley Treatment

A number of articles are being published regarding a Washington family's controversial decision to administer a series of medical procedures that will prevent their developmentally disabled daughter from growing. The family has now created a blog to discuss their side of the issue regarding an ongoing debate in bioethics circles.
posted by allen.spaulding on Jan 3, 2007 - 221 comments

Thomas Quasthoff -- Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels

“The leader of the jury looked at his papers and said in the first round: ‘I know a disabled person is coming. I want the jury to close their eyes. I don’t want them to be touched in any way.’ ”
As if, of course, one needed to know about Thomas Quasthoff's Thalidomide-related severe physical handicaps to be moved by the sound of his voice. He goes seamlessly from pianissimo to fortissimo, in his recitals a single Lied becomes "a major, stunning drama playing out in a few minutes". He sang jazz to support himself in university and it remains a passion (he likes to sing Paul Robeson or even Frank Sinatra encores), but he's famously leery of crossover artists like Andrea Bocelli. Just don't cough during his recitals -- "because I love this music so much". He doesn't like to talk much about his nightmarish childhood and teenage years, plagued by surgeries and body casts -- "I have in my past time had very difficult years, very difficult years" is all he'll usually say -- so please try not to consider him a victim, because he doesn't see himself as such: "I don't think people are moved because I am disabled. I think it's because I have something to say." More inside.
posted by matteo on Oct 2, 2006 - 21 comments

What happened to Hero Joy Nightingale?

"I have no desire to be a dependent thwarted bitter crip living out decades of boring meagre existence. I have my path mapped out clearly. Artist."

The Thwarting of Dreams, by Hero Joy Nightingale
posted by iffley on Mar 23, 2006 - 15 comments

"We were surprised by how few had tested their websites with disabled users," he said.

Usability Exchange -- a testing service determining site accessibility for disabled users. They're only in the UK now, but it seems like a great idea. Organisations set up their tests online and submit them directly to disabled testers in our database. Testers are then free to complete these tests in their own time, earning money for each test they complete. As tests are completed by users, organisations can view test results, web page logs and other information in real time. More here at BBC, including some concerns.
posted by amberglow on Mar 17, 2006 - 17 comments

To think I can walk, but don't get up to change the channel

Wheelchair mountaineering: stunning ascents by the seemingly disabled.
posted by mek on Mar 2, 2006 - 13 comments

"Louis was my name, though I could not say it"

The mystery of John Doe No. 24 outlived him. But this 1993 obituary in the New York Times, briefly covering what was known of a deaf, dumb, blind teenager found wandering the streets of Jacksonville in 1945, inspired a song by Mary Chapin Carpenter, which in turn inspired Illinois journalist Dave Bakke to "meticulously reconstruct nearly fifty years of John Doe's life...using police reports, mental health records, oral interviews, newspapers" and write God Knows His Name: The True Story of John Doe No. 24.
posted by weston on Feb 22, 2006 - 16 comments

39 Pounds of Love - a short film

39 Pounds of Love "is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of Ami Ankilewitz, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor's prediction of life expectancy by 28 years and counting. Ami, who weighs only 39 pounds, works in Israel as a 3D animator and creates his art despite the fact that his bodily motion is limited to a single finger on his left hand."
posted by Gyan on Dec 9, 2005 - 14 comments

"You're a helper monkey! This isn't helping!"

Helper monkeys! Severely disabled people can get trained monkeys to help them out in their daily chores, though sometime this causes problems. Haven't you always wanted a monkey? The Mesa SWAT Team certainly want one.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 17, 2005 - 23 comments

Blind student earns M.D.

Blind student earns M.D. A fascinating article about a guy who overcame innumerable obstacles, not the least of which was people's preconceived notions about what a visually impaired person is capable of. [via linkfilter.]
posted by bicyclingfool on Apr 3, 2005 - 21 comments

Cool wheelchairs

Cool wheelchairs.
posted by dg on Jul 24, 2004 - 11 comments

The UN shedding light on problems

The UN recently posted a list of the ten stories they wished the world knew more about. One of them is about trying to ensure proper care and equal treatment to persons with disabilities in other countries. Unrelated to the UN, but to the point, this photojournalist's images of preventable blindness in Asia connects the faces of those affected to the issue.
posted by mathowie on Jul 15, 2004 - 9 comments

Radio Reading Services

The IAAIS othersise known as "Radio Reading Services. Policy Statement: Everyone with a visual impairment, physical disability or learning disability has a right to equal access to all forms of information available to the general public. IAAIS works actively to promote and protect this access.

More inside.
posted by ashbury on Sep 24, 2003 - 4 comments

Maybe you DO have to be born in France!

Maybe you DO have to be born in France! After much debate, and worldwide press, the French Parliament has decided that you were supposed to be born. Glad to know that. So much for the worst FPP ever.
posted by dwivian on Jan 14, 2002 - 10 comments

'Necklace' designed to aid those with profound hearing loss.

'Necklace' designed to aid those with profound hearing loss. Almost totally deaf and reliant on lip reading since her 20s, Sherry Cramer couldn't believe her ears in 1994 when she first wore the microphone array necklace that electrical engineering Professor Bernard Widrow and his students had designed. Listening to a CD, she could hear every note of a Rachmaninoff piano concerto as the necklace received and transmitted sound in magnetic form to her behind-the-ear hearing aid.
posted by RylandDotNet on Jun 13, 2001 - 8 comments

Supreme Court splits again

Supreme Court splits again I leave it to others to comment on this. All I can offer: don't get a disability.
posted by Postroad on Feb 21, 2001 - 16 comments

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