Monday, 14 December 2015

News and opinion from the wider disability community

Most of these links are to news and opinion pieces about difficult aspects of living with disabilities. They are not hard to find - eight of nine were published within the last two weeks. But if they are not discussed openly it will remain so -  we can't change things we don't even know about. So if we can play a very small role in bringing them to the attention of people who are likely to be interested in promoting the changes needed (you), then it is the very least we can do:

Reporting disability on IDPwD
El Gibbs, Blunt Shovels, 1st December 2015
... The theme of this year’s International Day of People with Disability is‘Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities‘ and includes some key areas:
  • Making cities inclusive and accessible for all
  • Improving disability data and statistics
  • Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development.
What would stories look like if they were actually about these kind of themes? Would they continue to be the kind of saccharine, boring coverage of a morning tea somewhere? I don’t think so ...

Gun Violence and #DisabilityTwitter
David M Perry, How Did We Get Into This Mess? 3rd December 2015
Soon, we found out that the killing took place at a disability services center, and my personal network of disability rights activists, disabled individuals, parents, caregivers, service providers, and so much more encapsulated by #DisabilityTwitter fell apart emotionally ... We braced for the worst. We were relieved, if guiltily, when it became clear that the worst wasn't in fact the case.

You see, we're ready for someone to target disabled people with violence. We're expecting it. We're expecting it because it's constantly happening, even though most people are unaware ..., 5th December 2015
... So what’s all the hype about? The reality is that our society does not value disabled people. We (yes I’m saying “we” because autism is a disability and I am autistic – it would feel weird to say “they”) are seen as dependents, non-contributing entities, demi-humans whose lives are just a weak, broken, inferior version of “real,” “normal” people’s lives. Mostly, disabled people are just flat out ignored ...
Moo Baulch and Jess Cadwallader, Daily Life, 2nd December 2015
It's the too-often-forgotten part of the conversation when we talk about violence against women: the abuse that women with disability face.

Despite experiencing significantly higher rates of all types of violence, with some added unique extras including sterilisation and the threat of institutionalisation, most of the investment in and focus on violence prevention continues to leave this group of women quietly hidden ...

DatMoo Baulch and Jess Cadwallader, Daily Life, 2nd December 2015
The state (and importance) of disability media,
Carly Findlay, 3rd December 2015
... Whether it be disabled media makers, or media about disability, stories need to be told. This latest case highlights just important it is. I hope that Australia can run independent disability media awards through The Media and Arts Alliance or the Walkley Awards in the future.

I am scared for the future of disability media. There's very little mainstream media about disability, and what is shown is often inspiration porn. It's focussed on overcoming obstacles and even glamourising illness in Hollywood ...

Launch of ‘No Longer Shut Up’ – a celebration of the life of Mabel Cooper (1944-2013)
Liz Tilley, Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) News and Reflection (Open University), 4th December 2015
... Mabel Cooper was a truly inspiring woman, who was a key figure in the SHLD group and a self-advocate who made waves across the world. She championed the rights of people with learning disabilities, and was determined that others should not have to endure what she had experienced, incarcerated at St Lawrence’s Hospital, Catheram, for 20 years. In her words, people with learning disabilities should never again be ‘shut up’ ...
Max Chalmers, New Matilda, 8th December 2015
There are three broad reasons advocates provide when asked why a royal commission into abuse, neglect and violence against people with disability is needed. Yet the most convincing argument is simply to recall stories like Natalie’s ...

Lack of choices about end of life

Jason Walls, Bendigo Advertiser, 13th August 2015
A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has heard few people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are supported to make choices about how or where they die.

In a submission to the inquiry into end of life choices at the Bendigo Town Hall on Wednesday, La Trobe University professor of rural and regional allied health Teresa Iacono said this was part of a broader trend in which people with IDD often had limited choices about their everyday lives ...

National Ethnic Disability Alliance presents inaugural NEDA medals
University of Sydney, 8th December 2015
Dr Dinesh Wadiwel, Professor Mary Crock and Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO have received National Ethnic Disability Alliance medals for their ongoing advocacy for the rights of migrants with disabilities.

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