Friday, 21 August 2015

Weekend reading and viewing: 22nd - 23rd August 2015


The 12th World Down Syndrome Congress in in session in Chennai, India this week. Photos and short reports of the proceedings are appearing on social media, and while there are many serious, substantive information sessions, the first pictures, were, of course of dancing - traditional elephant dances and Bollywood dance lessons, enthusiastically taken up! This UK video was part of the opening session:

World Down Syndrome Congress 2015DSA UK, 19th August 2013
The Congress opened with the world premiere of ‘Langdon Down, The Legacy': a short film about the extraordinary Victorian building in London which is home to DSA UK. Built by Dr John Langdon Down in 1868 as a place where people with learning disabilities could be cared for and educated, it is widely regarded as the ‘spiritual home’ of Down’s Syndrome ...

Mardra Sikora, Huffington Post, 19th August 2015
My son was born in 1990, a time when the TV show Life Goes On aired on ABC weekly. This show, which featured a main character who happened to have Down syndrome, made its place in history, while you personally demonstrated a life of ambition, of possibility, and of self.

Your ambition validated my own hopes for my son, who also has Down syndrome ...

The Other Ramp
Dave Hingsburger, Rolling Around in My Head, 2nd August 2015
... Only someone in the disability community would be able to assess 'welcome'. Only someone who has a disability understands what it feels like when disability is 'unwelcome.'
I said, "The doors are flat and the attitudes are ramped" ...


Explaining Down Syndrome to Children
Pamela Wilson, Bella Online, 12th August 2015
... The first children who may hear a parent's explanation of what Down syndrome is and what it means may be the brothers and sisters of a newly diagnosed newborn. Depending on the age of the older sibling, any new baby taking parents' full attention and time may be seen as an intrusion or unwelcome visitor. It's good to keep in mind that Down syndrome means very little to the brothers and sisters of a newborn, and often babies with Down syndrome are just like babies without Down syndrome to their siblings ...

Golly Gee Willikers
Dave Hingsburger, Rolling Around in My Head, 12th August 2015
... Anyone who has followed my work, or read my book, Just Say Know, will know that I don't like and won't use the term 'vulnerable populations' or ever refer to a specific group of people as 'vulnerable.' I think doing so is kind of a massive linguistic form of 'blaming the victim.' It makes 'something about them' the reason 'something happens to them.' It makes the assumption that a person is, and always will be, vulnerable due to a state of being. The only response to the 'status' of ' one of the vulnerable' is the 'status' of 'the protected.' The term focuses our attention on what we do to protect the forever, and ever, vulnerability of the other. The term focuses our attention away from the fact that 'we, the protector' are also 'we, the abuser' ...
David M Perry, AlJezeera America, 17th August 2015
Everyday technologies that enhance accessibility are far more helpful than miraculous, high-tech interventions ...

A lesson in inclusion delivered to trainee teachers by those who know
Kathy Evans, Sydney Morning Herald, 16th August 2015
Five actors with a learning disability are helping trainee teachers at Deakin University learn about what it is like to be different and what it might mean for the classroom ... Whilst information-based courses assist would-be teachers develop an understanding of what is required intellectually, they do not help them overcome their own deeply-held prejudices or challenge outdated attitudes ...

Blind Kenyan father ordered to leave Australia
Ryan Emery, SBS, 18th August 2015
Doctor Siyat Abdi has joined a long line of migrants who’ve been rejected for a visa because they failed to meet the health criteria. In Kenyan-born Dr Abdi’s case, it’s because he’s blind. For others, including Perth doctor Nora Aziz, it was because their children had cancer or Down Syndrome.

But according to the Migration Act, an applicant must not, even hypothetically, need health care or community service that would “result in a significant cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care and community services … regardless of whether the health care or community services will actually be used.”

Dr Abdi, who has been in Australia for more than 11 years, said it made him angry to be rejected because he was blind. It’s a condition he’s managed for all of his 47 years ...
Farewell to Jane Fraser AM
NSW Council on Intellectual Disability (blog), 20th August 2015
We lost an outstanding advocate for people with disability with the death of Jane Fraser in May. Jane was one of the leaders amongst the parent advocates who became very vocal in the 1980s in pursuing a good life in the community for all people with disability ...

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