Wednesday, 13 July 2016

News and commentary from the broader disability community

Robert Martin's historic election to UN disabilities committee
NewsHub (NZ), 15 June 2016
New Zealander Robert Martin has made history at the UN, as the first person with a learning disability to be elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ...

Pope Francis needs to do more than kiss the disabled 
David M. Perry, Crux, 14 June 2016
It's surely not Pope Francis' intended message, but sometimes he seems, inadvertently, to treat disabled persons as a spectacle with public kisses and blessings. The disabled need more, in terms of both access to the Church and inclusion in it ...

Me Before You - disability as a tragedy and the laughing able gaze.
Carly Findlay, 16 June 2016
This post discusses suicide. If you need to talk to someone, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or QLife 3pm-12am on 1800 184 527, or the equivalent support service in your country. It also contains spoilers about the book and the film Me Before You.
'Me Before You' is released in Australian cinemas today. I saw the film last night (at a special 'girls' night out'), and have read the book. (Yawn!) However, I had formed an opinion about the film before I had seen it, based on others’ valid commentary, and my own experiences and insight into disability themed and led media ...
Film sparks protests over disability portrayal
Tom Nightingale, AM (ABC radio), 17 June 2016
Disability advocates are campaigning for a boycott of a newly-released film that depicts a disabled man who turns to euthanasia. They're calling it a "disability snuff film", and it's following on from protests in London and New York ...

Intelligent Lives - Can any attempt to measure intelligence predict a person’s value?
Michael Gill, Psychology Today, 10 June 2016
“The IQ test told us nothing about Jesse’s potential. About who he was as a person. Can any attempt to measure intelligence predict a person’s value or potential to contribute meaningfully to the world?” ...

Heather Kirnlanier, Star in Her Eye, 5 July 2016
... When my husband and I received Fiona’s diagnosis five years ago (a diagnosis that informed us our daughter would have moderate to severe—or perhaps profound—intellectual disabilities) I still had to go to work. I still had to pay bills. I still had to pump gas, and one day I found myself pumping a tank of gas, talking into a cell phone, sobbing to my sister, and saying two sentences. The first: “I didn’t sign up for this.” (Indeed, I did. I just didn’t know it.) The second: “I can’t fix this.”

The unfixability of Fiona’s syndrome was utterly devastating. Here was a problem and there was no solution ...

Why Are We Sympathetic To The Murderers Of Disabled Children?
Elizabeth Picciuto, The Establishment, 23 June 2016
Edmund is my sweet, sunny six-year-old son with twinkling green eyes, a dimply smile, and an abiding love of aquariums.

But here’s the horrible truth: If I were to murder him, the justice system might only give me a relative slap on the wrist. In fact, the media would likely portray me with respect and even sympathy ...

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