Friday, 16 January 2015

Weekend reading and listening: 17th - 18th January 2015

On Our Daughter’s Ninth Birthday, No Thoughts of Who She ‘Might Have Been’
Amy Julia Becker, Thin Places, 12th January 2015
... For years after Penny’s birth, her birthday hearkened back to that initial day of life. I could remember in my body the weight of fear and sorrow that stood in such stark contrast to the light and life in the little girl in front of me ...

Extra Ordinary (video, 5 m)
David Quinn, 2013
A glimpse into the lives of two young individuals with Down Syndrome living happy and fulfilling lives. With the goal of increased acceptance for the Down syndrome community, this film was created to challenge the associated stigmas. People with Down syndrome can, and do, lead meaningful, happy lives.

How we came to have a son with Down syndrome
Kari Wagner-Peck, Daily Life, 7th january 2015
... When we shared the news of our adoption with friends and family we found out what people really think about kids with Down syndrome. No one said "Hey, awesome you found a kid!" Instead, we heard "Why do you want to do that to yourself?" or "That sounds hard" or "Don't do that, please." ... 

Ellen Stumbo, 9th January 2015
I was sitting in the family room watching TV and stroking my pregnant belly when my husband, Andy, walked into the room. Ten minutes before, he had answered a knock at the door. When I looked up and saw his dumbfounded expression, I knew instinctively that something was wrong ... I didn’t know what to say and I certainly didn’t know what to think. Jennifer, the newborn daughter of our dear friends, Bill and Kristin, had Down syndrome ...

Tom Shakespeare, BBC News Ouch, 9th January 2015
... A free-thinking poet with visual impairment, a painter with learning difficulties, a sculptor with schizophrenia, a painter with cerebral palsy, that's what I've been talking about on Radio 3's The Essay this week.

Looking beyond the obvious names like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent Van Gogh, I've been exploring some of the more obscure figures from the past and present. For me, the stories are fascinating. But maybe they also offer role models for today's disabled people, whether they have artistic leanings or not ...

Friends of Mine, 2013
Trailer for an award winning documentary, with links for purchase via streaming

Doing Social Justice: Thoughts on Ableist Language and Why It Matters
Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, The Body is Not an Apology, 28th November 2014
... Disability metaphors abound in our culture, and they exist almost entirely as pejoratives. You see something wrong? Compare it to a disabled body or mind: Paralyzed. Lame. Crippled. Schizophrenic. Diseased. Sick. Want to launch an insult? The words are seemingly endless: Deaf. Dumb. Blind. Idiot. Moron. Imbecile. Crazy. Insane. Retard. Lunatic. Psycho. Spaz ...

4 Disability Euphemisms That Need to Bite the Dust
Emily Ladau, Centre for Disability Rights
... While I know some people genuinely embrace words other than “disabled” – even some people who actually have disabilities – I just can’t get on board with that.

Of course, I can’t presume to speak for anyone other than myself, and everyone should have the right to choose how to refer to themselves so long as they don’t impose it upon anyone else. However, when non-disabled people try to dance around the word “disabled” in an effort to be more respectful, I don’t think they realize the hidden ableism behind the euphemisms ...

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