Friday, December 31, 2004
[from Joyce Vanaman, The Press of Atlantic City, December 31, 2004]
MILLVILLE - LuAnn Parkin scooted around the bright red, blue and yellow playground equipment at Waltman Park on Thursday afternoon with a big smile.
Parkin, the vice chairwoman of the Cumberland County Disabled Advisory Council to the county Board of Freeholders, who has multiple sclerosis, was the first "official user" of the equipment after the ribbon-cutting by public officials, including David Grennon, director of the county Office for the Disabled.
Earlier, Maria Jiminez, 11, and her 21/2-year-old sister, Juanita, were swinging and sliding and having fun.
"The All-Abilities Playground here in Waltman Park is the first of its kind in our area," said Grennon, who represented Sandra Rosen of Vineland, council chairwoman. Rosen, who had the vision for the playground and has been its chief advocate, was ill and couldn't attend, but had written the message.
"The playground is a place where children with disabilities can interact and play with children without disabilities in an integrated setting," Grennon said. "This playground is not just for children. The accessibility features of the playground allow moms, dads, grandparents and others with disabilities to join in the fun along with the children."
The All-Abilities Playground incorporates various activities that are inter-connected by ramps and decks. The ground cover beneath the playground structure is made of a poured recycled rubber material that allows a cushion if a child falls, but also provides a firm surface that wheelchairs can maneuver over easily, Grennon explained.
Assemblyman Jack Gibson, R-Cumberland, Cape May, Atlantic, commented that from an engineering standpoint it is one of the finest surfaces he has seen. The accessible features of the All-Abilities Playground go beyond the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, which some believe have a lot of room for improvement, Grennon noted.
Besides improving recreational opportunities for all children, it will also raise disability awareness and promote positive attitudes about children with disabilities among their peers, according to Grennon.
The playground is the product of four years of discussion and planning by the Disabled Advisory Council, the Cumberland County Office for the Disabled, the city of Millville, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority and others.
Grennon recognized the agencies and people involved in making the playground a reality. He noted that Rich Romanik, Millville recreation department superintendent, obtained a $42,000 state grant. The county improvement authority, headed by Steven Wymbs, donated $50,000 each to Millville, Vineland and Bridgeton; a private donor gave Millville $1,000; and the city of Millville provided in-kind services through the Department of Parks and Public Property.
Also present were Mayor Jim Quinn, Freeholder Jane Christy and Commissioner Tim Shannon, all of Millville; Assemblymen Jeff Van Drew, D-Cumberland, Cape May, Atlantic, and Gibson, both of Cape May County.
Grennon also pointed out that the Disabled Advisory Council will work with John Polaha of the Vineland Recreation Department in the next few months to plan for the All-Abilities Playground in Vineland. It is anticipated that will be dedicated in the coming year.
Contact Joyce Vanaman, staff writer at The Press of Atlantic City
email - email@example.com
phone - (856) 825-2303
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Friday, December 17, 2004
THESE days I find myself, regularly and happily, in the midst of the clutter of New Yorkers you find on the bus. I particularly savor the times when all of us, riders and driver, seem of one purpose: A woman in a tailored suit and a man in slouchy pants stand together, commiserating about the traffic. Old and young, sitting side by side, laugh at a curbside altercation between a spandex-clad Rollerblader and a deliveryman on a rusty bicycle. A young white man jumps up to give his seat to an elderly black woman. It all seems so natural, like something that always was and always will be.
I take none of this -- especially my own presence on the bus -- for granted. I use a wheelchair, and only in the last few years have I been privy to the pleasures of public transportation. I ''went public'' around 1998, when almost the entire fleet of New York buses had been outfitted with wheelchair lifts. I'd tried taking the bus in the mid-80's when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began installing lifts, but even when a bus that had one showed up, the driver sometimes couldn't find the key. Now the lifts are used more than 63,000 times a month. I account for about 40 of those.
A typical ride goes something like this: The driver sees me at the stop and steers the bus to the curb. The driver opens the door, and, using a key, activates the lift. It descends to the street, I back onto it, and it raises me up into the bus. It goes smoothly most of the time, and takes about two or three minutes. When the mechanism doesn't respond, it can take another couple of minutes.
Still, the people inside, and those at the bus stop, must wait. It can delay their trip and I sometimes see irritation in their faces. I understand that feeling. New Yorkers don't take inconveniences without protest.
But the irritation is rarely expressed in words. There is nothing ''wrong,'' per se, and people know that if they were to express annoyance, they would appear selfish and illiberal. This is all new, and we are all making up the rules and social protocols as we go.
Now that I am a regular, I am particularly attuned to the drivers. They so often do their jobs with grace and good humor. One rainy day, I recall, the president was in town, sirens were wailing and Manhattan had become one big parking lot; yet the driver of the M104 shepherded us down Broadway, paused to give clear directions to a befuddled tourist, and smiled encouragement at a child trying his hand at putting a MetroCard in the slot.
I've even gotten to know some of the drivers. One driver on the crosstown route always wears on his uniform jacket an array of red and gold apple pins, awards for exemplary service to the city. I nominated him for one a couple of years ago. There is an annual ceremony for drivers who have been recognized by disabled people for excellent service. Drivers bring their families, and there are speeches and a big breakfast spread. My nominee gave me a hug when I arrived, and now when he sees me at the bus stop, he says, ''Hey, girl, you riding with me today?''
On a summer night a while back, I met a driver I know only as Maria. When our bus pulled into my stop, she came to the rear door to activate the lift, but it jammed. After a few tries, she ushered the other passengers onto the next bus to arrive. Then Maria and I sat in the back of the darkened bus, with the doors open to let the warm night air in, and waited for the maintenance truck.
We talked about her children and her bus route, the M5. I told her how growing up in New York, my mother and I often took that bus to go on shopping excursions to Macy's. Once I started using a wheelchair in my mid-20's, I could no longer get on the bus and began to drive everywhere, folding my chair and pulling it into the back seat of my lumbering Oldsmobile. Now in my mid-50's, I am back on the bus, and it has been wonderful, I told her, largely because of the drivers.
IT seems, and I may be projecting a wish here, that most of the drivers take pleasure in helping disabled passengers ride the bus -- assuring that the full public is served. I fear, though, that these actions are sometimes perceived as benevolent gestures. One day as I was boarding the bus, a woman stopped to watch. As the lift ascended, she looked up at me and said: ''Now, isn't it nice that they put these lifts on the bus so you can go places?''
''Nice? It's because of federal anti-discrimination law,'' I called after her, but she was already walking down the street. I wanted her to understand how big this is. While there are people at the M.T.A. who have been instrumental in bringing about accessible buses, the changes are largely in response to the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990.
In an article in The New Yorker about riding the bus, the author groused about how a ''guy in a wheelchair held things up for three minutes.'' He said that ''law and propriety dictate'' that buses pick up, as he called us, the ''wheelchair-bound.'' While he allowed that the lift is a ''civic mitzvah'' -- the city's good deed, I suppose he meant -- he said that the municipal employee had been ''reduced, or raised, to a valet.''
I would be embarrassed if I felt the drivers saw their role as personal valet or good Samaritan. They are public employees acting in fulfillment of federal law. They provide a critical service, one that enhances the comfort and safety of all New Yorkers.
So I will nominate a driver this year for a Big Apple Award. It is my personal thanks to the women and men who have given new meaning to the term Public Transportation.
Yet the system will not succeed without a cooperative public. I have been impressed by the steady learning curve of my fellow riders. Increasingly familiar with the routine, they move quickly to accommodate wheelchair users.
One rainy night, a truly collective effort was necessary to get me off the bus. When the lift descended to the street, the front lip on the platform would not go down. The driver jiggled the key, but it would not budge. I offered a solution -- a trick I learned from another driver. I said that if everyone sitting on the right side of the bus moved to the left side, the plate would go down. Reluctantly, he and I asked the passengers if they would move their tired bodies.
It worked, and I rolled off toward home. The driver laughed at this very human solution, and he and the passengers standing behind him waved and bid me good night.
Photo: ''This is all new,'' the writer says of her riding experience, ''and we are all making up the rules and social protocols as we go.'' (Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)
Introductions to Blogs and EndNote
In mid-January, Mike Dorn is going to be offering computer seminars introducing useful tools for those interested in academic publishing and professional networking: bibliographic reference management programs (i.e., EndNote); and weblogs. These trainings will be held in the Instructional Technology Classroom (across the hall from the EEC, 3rd floor of Ritter Hall). He is interested to hearing from folks connected with the College of Education about their interest and availability to attend trainings on the following dates before setting exact times. Trainings will start no earlier than 9:30 am and end no later than 4:30 pm; folks should indicate whether they prefer morning or afternoon trainings.
Thursday, January 13: Weblogs and 'blogging': What's the buzz about? How do you create your own blog? What can they offer to the College of Education? Follow this link for more information on the phenomenon: Introduction to Blogs and Blogging
Thursday, January 20: Using EndNote effectively at Temple University
Please let me know if you have any specific questions you would like me to address in these seminars.
As the College of Education here at Temple University engages in a collective process of rethinking the way that it comes across in cyberspace, we would do well to consider fundental characteristics of this medium. Hence my rationale for linking to this post from Ed-Tech Insider on a recent publication, The Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Trustees Approve New General Education Program: Yesterday (Dec. 14), Temple’s Board of Trustees approved a new program of general education (or “gen-ed”) for all undergraduates. The new gen-ed program will replace the current core curriculum in fall 2007. The approved program combines aspects of a proposal forwarded by the administration in October and a proposal approved by the Faculty Senate on Nov. 23. Significant reforms include: a reduction in the number of required gen-ed credits, a smaller menu of gen-ed course offerings, a requirement obligating most students to complete gen-ed coursework while they’re underclassmen and a rigorous new system of governance.
For more information, read the full text of the approved general education program on the Temple University President's Page.
Monday, December 13, 2004
The high prevalence of disability in African societies means that we find disabled people in all stations of life, from being shut away in the home to positions of power in parliament, as we find in the country of Uganda.
Dec. 13, 2004
Vol. IV, Issue 52
The House of Representatives adjourned on December 7 and the Senate on December 8 officially putting a close to the 108th Congress. The first session of the 109th Congress begins on January 4, 2005. The 108th Congress left a large stack of unfinished business for the new Congress, including the Family Opportunity Act, Money Follows the Person Demonstration, and the Lifespan Respite Care Act; and reauthorizations for TANF, the Higher Education Act, Head Start, and the Transportation Act.
The Dec. 4 run-offs for open seats in Louisiana finally brought this year’s election year to a close. Democrat Charlie Melancon won in the 3rd District and Republican Charles Boustany Jr. won the 7th District race. The race finalized a three-seat net gain in the House for the Republican majority. When the 109th Congress convenes, the makeup of the House will be 232 Republicans, 202 Democrats and one Independent. The Senate will be 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and one Independent.
In November, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Patty Murray (D-WA) organized a letter to President Bush urging him not to pursue a policy of block granting or establishing arbitrary caps on the Medicaid program. To date, the letter has been signed by 45 Senators—Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) and all returning Democratic Senators. However, we need at least 51 Senators to make this commitment to fend off efforts to cap and cut Medicaid. We need these Senators to promise that they will oppose any budget resolution or budget reconciliation bill that caps and cuts Medicaid. Senators will likely be under tremendous pressure to go along with the President’s proposal. During the holiday recess, AUCD members and supporters are encouraged to contact your Senators with the message that Medicaid is a critical support for people with disabilities as well as an economic engine that generates crucial financial benefits for states.
AUCD staff attended a celebration of the one year anniversary of the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) held at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on Dec. 9. Secretary Tommy Thompson who presided over the celebration noted that nearly 6 million beneficiaries have signed up for the Medicare-approved drug discount card. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Mark B. McClellan was also present. He stated that, "as a result of our outreach efforts, we're helping more beneficiaries faster than ever -- over 1.7 million Medicare beneficiaries have enrolled in low-income assistance in just six months.” The Medicare-approved drug discount cards became available on June 1. On the same day, however, the General Accounting Office (GAO) published a report indicating that the 1-800-Medicare help line was providing inaccurate information at least 30% of the time and no information 10% of the time. For more information about the new Medicare law, see the CMS website or the Medicare information page set up for consumers at Families USA.
At least 22 states now project shortfalls averaging roughly 6 percent to 7.5 percent of their general fund spending, according to a new report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: http://www.cbpp.org/12-8-04sfp.pdf. The combined deficit is approximately $25 billion to $30 billion. When state legislatures convene in early 2005 to write their budgets for the 2005-06 fiscal year, many will consider cutting services or raising new revenues in order to bring their budgets into balance, the report says. The National Conference of State Legislatures released “State Budget Update: November 2004”, the results of a 50-state survey of state legislative fiscal officers. The report, which can be accessed at http://www.ncsl.org/print/fiscal/sbu2005-0411.pdf notes that almost every state cited Medicaid concerns among their top three fiscal issues to be addressed in the FY 2005 legislative sessions.
President Bush chose Environmental Protection Agency chief Michael Leavitt today to be secretary of Health and Human Services. The HHS secretary oversees Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Indian Health Service. The agency has a budget of more than $500 billion and 67,000 employees. Leavitt, Utah's governor before joining the Bush administration in late 2003, would succeed Tommy Thompson, who recently resigned. As recently as last week, Dr. Mark McClellan, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, had been rumored to have the inside track for the HHS job.
Disability Policy Seminar
“Partnership for Empowerment,” the annual Disability Policy Seminar sponsored by AUCD, The Arc, UCP, AAMR, NACDD will be held on February 28 through March 2, 2005 at the Renaissance Hotel Washington, DC. See Save the Date flyer and watch for a preliminary program and registration materials coming soon. Staff will meet with representatives of AAMR, The Arc and the NACDD today to determine the final program.
AUCD · 1010 Wayne Ave, Suite 920 · Silver Spring, MD 20910 · 301-588-8252 · http://www.aucd.org/
Friday, December 10, 2004
The Iraq war has resulted in the largest wounded ratio in the history of American warfare. The New England Journal of Medicine just release two commentaries warning America about the rising number of severely wounded soldiers returning for Irag. These soldiers will be needing intensive rehabilitation and equipment.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
This is the latest in a fascinating series of posts on the Wampum weblog that deal with some of the trials and joys of raising a child with autism. Enjoy! Mike
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Still accepting abstracts for their second annual conference.
May 31 -June 1/2005
University of Western Ontario: London, Ontario
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Just across the wires: an advertising campaign designed to express one denomination's openness to parishioners of diverse backgrounds [including people with disabilities and gay couples] has been deemed "too controversial" by the networks CBS, NBC and UPN.
See further discussion on political blogs like Talking Points Memo. Entire press release appended below:
CBS, NBC refuse to air church's television advertisement
United Church of Christ ad highlighting Jesus' extravagant welcome called 'too controversial'
Press Release, Nov. 30, 2004
CLEVELAND -- The CBS and NBC television networks are refusing to run a 30-second television ad from the United Church of Christ because its all-inclusive welcome has been deemed "too controversial."The ad, part of the denomination's new, broad identity campaign set to begin airing nationwide on Dec. 1, states that -- like Jesus -- the UnitedChurch of Christ (UCC) seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation. According to a written explanation from CBS, the United Church of Christ is being denied network access because its ad implies acceptance of gay and lesbian couples -- among other minority constituencies -- and is, therefore, too "controversial." "Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples andotherminority groups by other individuals and organizations," reads an explanation from CBS, "and the fact the Executive Branch has recentlyproposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS andUPN] networks." Similarly, a rejection by NBC declared the spot "too controversial." "It's ironic that after a political season awash in commercials based on fear and deception by both parties seen on all the major networks, an ad with a message of welcome and inclusion would be deemed ocontroversial," says the Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president."What's going on here?" Negotiations between network officials and the church's representatives broke down today (Nov. 30), the day before the ad campaign begins airing nationwide on a combination of broadcast and cable networks. The ad has been accepted and will air on a number of networks, including ABCFamily, AMC, BET, Discovery, Fox, Hallmark, History, Nick@Nite, TBS, TNT, Travel and TV Land, among others.
The debut 30-second commercial features two muscle-bound "bouncers"standing guard outside a symbolic, picturesque church and selecting which persons are permitted to attend Sunday services. Written text interrupts the scene, announcing, "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we."A narrator then proclaims the United Church of Christ's commitment to Jesus' extravagant welcome: "No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here." (The ad can be viewed online at<http://www.stillspeaking.com/>.)
In focus groups and test market research conducted before the campaign's national rollout, the UCC found that many people throughout the country feel alienated by churches. The television ad is geared toward those persons who, for whatever reason, have not felt welcomed or comfortable in a church."We find it disturbing that the networks in question seem to have no problem exploiting gay persons through mindless comedies or titillating dramas, but when it comes to a church's loving welcome of committed gay couples, that's where they draw the line," says the Rev. Robert Chase, director of the UCC's communication ministry. CBS and NBC's refusal to air the ad "recalls the censorship of the 1950s and 1960s, when television station WLBT in Jackson, Miss., refused to show people of color on TV," says Ron Buford, coordinator for the United Church of Christ identity campaign. Buford, of African-American heritage, says, "In the 1960s, the issue was the mixing of the races. Today, the issue appears to be sexual orientation. In both cases, it's about exclusion."In 1959, the Rev. Everett C. Parker organized United Church of Christ members to monitor the racist practices of WLBT. Like many southern television stations at the time, WLBT had imposed a news blackout on the growing civil rights movement, pulling the plug on then-attorney Thurgood Marshall. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. implored the UCC to get involved in the media civil rights issues. Parker, founding director of the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, organized churches and won in federal court a ruling that the airwaves are public, not private property. That decision ultimately led to an increase in the number of persons of color in television studios and newsrooms. The suit clearly established that television and radio stations, as keepers of the public airwaves, must broadcast in the public interest." The consolidation of TV network ownership into the hands of a few executives today puts freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression in jeopardy," says former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani, currently managing director of the UCC's Office of Communication. "By refusing to air the United Church of Christ's paid commercial, CBS and NBC are stifling religious expression. They are denying the communities they serve a suitable access to differing ideas and expressions." Adds Andrew Schwartzman, president and CEO of the not-for-profit MediaAccess Project in Washington, D.C., "This is an abuse of the broadcasters' duty to inform their viewers on issues of importance to the community. After all, these stations don't mind carrying shocking, attention-getting programming, because they do that every night." The United Church of Christ's national offices -- located in Cleveland -- speak to, but not for, its nearly 6,000 congregations and 1.3 million members. In the spirit of the denomination's rich tradition, UCC congregations remain autonomous, but also strongly in covenant with each other and with the denomination's regional and national bodies.
My source for the press release:
Bill Gaventa, M.Div., Associate Professor
Director, Community and Congregational Supports
The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
P.O. Box 2688, 335 George Street
New Brunswick, N.J. 08903
Web Page: http://rwjms.umdnj.edu/boggscenter
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Access the special issue of the Disability Studies Quarterly guest edited by Deb Metzel and Mike Dorn FREE until the end of the year. http://www.dsq-sds.org/2004_summer_toc.html
After January 1, 2005, you will have to pay to subscribe through the Society for Disability Studies.
DSQ: Summer 2004 - Theme Issue: Disability and Geography II
Table of Contents:
- Introduction, Deborah Metzel and Michael L. Dorn
- Points of Entry: Disability and the Historical Geography of Immigration, Penny L. Richards
- Childhood Disability and Ability: (Dis)ableist Geographies of Mainstream Primary Schools, Louise Holt
- Income Assistance (the ODSP) and Disabled Women in
- Wayfinding With Visuo-Spatial Impairment from Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury, Cathy L. Antonakos, Bruno J. Giordani and James A. Ashton-Miller
- Independent Living and Self-Determination of Women with Physical Disabilities in
- Learning Support for Disabled Students Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities, Cathleen McAnneny
- The Theatrical Landscape of Disability, Victoria Ann Lewis
An announcement to this effect was recently posted on the entrance page, http://www.dsq-sds.org “Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) will soon be a password-protected web site. This means that only Society for Disability Studies (SDS) members, all of whom have an automatic subscription to DSQ, will have access to the full text of the journal's articles after January 2005. If you would like to become a member of SDS to receive a subscription, visit the SDS membership page at:
Deb and I welcome your feedback.
Institute on Disabilities
423 Ritter Annex
Bloglines - Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED), June 18-21, 2007
Friday, November 19, 2004
The coordinated protests against Ted Rall's recent cartoon, drawing an analogy between the conservative movement's impact in the current political science and the mainstreaming of students with developmental disabilities have resulted in at two national media outlets dropping his work from their offerings - WashingtonPost.com and NewYorkTimes.com. Discussion of the cartoon has mushroomed in the world of Internet discussion lists and blogs. See description of the cartoon from the discussion list DS-HUM (Disability Studies in the Humanities.
I am not sure I agree with the action to drop Ted Rall's feature because he as used this touchy public issue to draw an analogy about the contemporary political scene. The cartoon was always intended to be a satire of political discourse across the liberal - conservative divide. The depiction of the young student with developmental disabilities as inarticulate and 'loathsome' is true to the response of some students (but more typically the adults who are the liberals in Ted Rall's allegorical framework) who were previously segregated or unexposed to the perspectives of people with disabilities. If the cartoon were drawn by somebody who is a recognized member of the disability community, such as John Callahan, then the public response to unattractive representations of disability would have been completely different.
When you combine the censoring of Ted Rall's political cartoons on mainstream news websites with the noted preference of people with disabilities for George W. Bush in the recent election, the actions of the Washington Post and the New York Times to send a chilling message about what is an acceptable use of disability in contemporary political discourse: only positive, 'uplifting' depictions need apply. Rall's cartoons do stir emotions, but one wonders if the same collective angst might be better be channeled towards full funding of No Child Left Behind? Why not? - because Ted Rall does not find enough mainstream defenders. He is a radical leftist (or a radical who finds himself slightly left of center on the political spectrum) and a polemicist -- opposition to his perspectives will find broad support in the context of post-election recriminations and the rush toward the political center. Cross-disability cohesion on touchy topics like No Child Left Behind is much more difficult to construct.
Dave Astor, "WashingtonPost.com Drops Ted Rall's Cartoons," Editor & Publisher: America's Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry, November 18, 2004. http://makeashorterlink.com/?R380433D9
Ted Rall's Second Response to his Critics - Tuesday, November 16, 2004. This kind of public statement, posted to his blog, is certainly not what Ted Rall's critics were looking for. He's built his career, and can't easily change what he is - a proud, blue state cultural elitist.
from Ted Rall's blog, http://www.rall.com/rants.html
More on Last Week's Toon - A write-in campaign by advocates for the disabled (they took offense at last week's cartoon in which I compared the results of the presidential election--wherein a bunch of uninformed morons in the red states demonstrated their ability to get their way at the expense of people who actually pay attention to current events) continues One of the hazards of this profession is that it requires fearlessness mixed with perfection. Draw 200 cartoons a year that people enjoy and you'll get few if any thanks. Certainly no one conducts a write-in campaign of praise. Draw 1 that goes astray--intentionally or otherwise--and everybody calls for your head. No wonder so many cartoonists don't take risks in their approach or in their politics. People are negative; they only react negatively. When I wrote earlier that I intended to research the subject of mainstreaming in the public schools--now called "inclusion." I will. But I'm confused. If your goal was to educate me, to convince me that I was wrong to depict disabled children the way I did with a view towards (presumably) gaining an ally in the media...why try to censor me? If I had to draw that cartoon again, I'd take a different tack. I regret hurting people who I have nothing against. I do want to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,
and I think I failed in that with this cartoon. Not to mention that the cartoon failed--too many people got bogged down in the analogy and the main point got lost. No one bats 1.000. I sure don't.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Course Reference Numbers: 088759 / 089019
open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates
50 million Americans have disabilities and significant chronic health conditions.This course will familiarize students with public policies concerning disability and health and their impact upon people with disabilities. In particular this course will:
- Familiarize students with the range of policies related to disability and health, including for example, Americans with Disabilities Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Income Support Programs, Vocational Rehabilitation policies, and Health Insurance policies;
- Examine the origins, goals, and target populations for these policies and the extent to which policies are consistent with each other;
- Assess the effectiveness of policies and the impact they have on people's real lives, including people with disabilities, family members and professionals.
- Consider future directions for disability policy and how to pursue social change through policy.
For more information on the Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies visit our website, http://www.temple.edu/education/curric_dept/ds.html
Mike Dorn, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Disability Studies
Dept. of Education Leadership
648 Ritter Annex
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Tel. (215) 204-3373
Fax (215) 204-6336
voice/TTY (215) 204-1356
Breaking Silences: The Cultural Dialectics of Disability, Race, and Identity
Location: San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.
The San Francisco Bay area has long been a focal point of the disability rights revolution; the 504 sit-in and the development of the independent living movement are but two examples. While the disability studies community has begun to examine and celebrate that cultural history, we have neglected another crucial cultural component – the rich diversity of races and ethnic groups that make up the population of people with disabilities.
Disability shows us that identity is multiple and shifting; and so this conference seeks to begin to redress the historical ignoring of race – and people of color –in disability activism as well as scholarship.
The disability movements in North America owe an enormous debt to the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Despite this debt, the disability movements, including disability studies, have been dominated by white people. Why has this happened, and at what cost? These questions can produce even more complex answers when we consider race as a social construct that extends beyond the simplistic binary of white/black to also include those ethnic communities (e.g. Native Americans, Latino/Chicana, Asian, Arab, etc.) that have been marked as the racialized Other in a white dominant society. Critical examination of the contested terrain that haunts disability and racial cultural politics is the theme of this gathering of activists, artists, and academics. How inclusive is disability culture – really? Why are race and disability so often considered mutually exclusive categories? How can scholars and activists cross the lines of identity politics to forge productive new alliances?
SDS invites community activists and artists as well as scholars to submit proposals that engage questions of disability culture, race, and identity in a lively, critical, rigorous, and provocative manner. We invite proposals from scholars across the academy, including cultural studies, health sciences, policy studies, humanities, social sciences, and legal studies. We welcome all creative and rigorous scholarship in disability studies, including submissions based on the prompts below. We encourage work which makes physical, sensory, and intellectual access an integral part of the presentation.
· What are the different ways in which disability culture is defined, described, delimited, debated, and defended? Who gets to decide what the boundaries of disability culture are?
· In what ways is racial segregation apparent in the Disability Rights Movement, and why is disability the often-ignored discourse within racial politics? In what ways do territorial concerns over who represents disability and race play into the silence and separation?
· In theoretical contexts, what concepts are deployed by scholars in both disability studies and race studies that are distancing? For example, how do scholars in both areas critically engage normative notions of autonomy, rationality, and coherent subjectivities?
· What are the material consequences of experiencing multiple oppressions? How does the very idea of "access" become even more complex in an oppressively racialized and ableist society?
· Will placing race and disability in conversation with each other yield unique opportunities for deconstructing oppression in both academic and activist contexts?
· In what ways do issues of class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality further complicate the possibilities of forging alliances across and within different groups who struggle against social, cultural, and economic marginalization?
Presentation Guidelines for Accessibility
Accessibility in presentations is central to the philosophy of SDS. Presenters are encouraged to explore ways to make physical, sensory, and intellectual access a fundamental part of their presentation. They should, at minimum, provide hard copy and large print hard copies (17 point font or larger), e-text versions of papers in advance of their delivery (for open captioning), and audio description of visual images and charts, as well as supplying summaries and handouts as necessary. Presentations should also be planned so that their delivery will accommodate captioning and ASL translation within time constraints. However, we especially encourage presenters to think about how implementing accommodations might be used to enhance and re-imagine traditional modes of conference presentation.
Guidelines for Submitting Proposals:
Proposals should include the following information:
1) Title of presentation, panel, poster, or performance;
2) Contact information: name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail for each presenter;
3) Format of your proposal:
___ Paper presentation (15-minute presentation)
___ Poster session (Posters will be exhibited at a special 90-minute session where authors will have an opportunity to meet and interact with conference participants)
___ Panel (90-minute block for presentation of 3-4 papers by presenters. Please note that panel proposals require BOTH an abstract that includes a 250-word description of the panel topic AND a 250-word abstract for each participant.)
___ Workshop (90-minute application of a specific program or exercise)
___ Presentation (literary reading, dance, video/film, etc.)
___ Other (we welcome inventive presentation possibilities)
4) Abstract (250 words) with the following: Title and author(s) or performer(s); explicit statement of the thesis, findings, or significance; description of content and structure; information on how this presentation will be made accessible; audiovisual requirements (please note we cannot guarantee LCD projection for presenters).
The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2004. We plan to notify participants of their acceptance by February 15, 2005. All abstracts will be fully reviewed and scheduled by the 2005 SDS Program Committee: Nirmala Erevelles & Jim Ferris, (co-chairs), Alicia Contreras, Ann Fox, Joy Hammel, Jesse Lorenz, and Alice Wong.
Due to many excellent proposals, SDS faces an increasing limitation on the number of presentation slots available at the conference. We ask that those whose papers are chosen, and who commit to attend the SDS conference, avoid last-minute cancellation of attendance if at all possible; this will almost certainly deny other presenters the chance to share their work.
Please submit proposals electronically (using MS Word) to both Susan Magasi, the SDS Executive Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Joy Hammel at email@example.com.
Questions about the conference program should be directed to Nirmala
Erevelles at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jim Ferris at email@example.com.
If electronic submission is not possible, please mail or fax proposals to
arrive by December 15 to:
Society for Disability Studies
Dept. of Disability and Human Development
University of Illinois-Chicago
1640 W. Roosevelt Rd. (M/C 626)
Chicago, IL 60608-6904
Sunday, November 07, 2004
As an inherently unstable and disruptive academic pursuit, Disability Studies sets high standards for its own inclusiveness. See the recent discussion, drawn from the Disability Studies in the Humanities listserv, over a proposed set of guidelines for Disability Studies Programs.
I don't think I will be bringing the students in my class to the Mutter Museum this semester. When we spoke it wasn't clear what the focus of our course would be for the semester. As it turned out, these questions of medical representation are not terribly central to the interests of my students this time.
You did miss a very interesting (and frustrating) event at the College of Physicians last week (Oct 29 - oddly timed to coincide with Halloween weekend). This was a program held at the College's Founders Hall in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Entitled "Anomalies, Curiosities, and the Medical Museum," the program (sponsored by the CPP Section on Medicine and the Arts) the event was dedicated to the memory of Gretchen Worden, (1947-2004), the very popular director of the Mütter Museum Director.
The four papers discussed the history of representation of medical anomalies, in print, theater and museum display. Although one paper did attempt to convey some of the personality behind the 'freak's' public persona (in that case, of Joseph Merrick, the famed 'Elephant Man'), the rest of the presentations appeared to glory in the grotesque display and push the boundary of the acceptable (reminiscent of the horror film context) without imparting any sense of humanity or meaning to the objects on display. In fact, the lack of humanity of the specimens on display was a point returned to again and again. The presenters all seemed to be associated with Penn or Drexel University, except for James Edmondson, who came to town to present a memorial tribute to Gretchen Worden, the curator of the Mutter Museum who passed away in June. I think he would be an excellent interlocutor for your book. The other presenters had prepared papers, but seemed to presenting work for the first time in this area.
Steven J. Peitzman, MD, FACP Chair, Section on Medical History at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, & Professor of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine
Dr. Peitzman looked at printed collections of medical anomalies, focusing particularly collection of Philadelphia physicians George Gould and Walter L. Pyle (Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, 1901).
David H. Flood, Ph.D. Professor, Health and Society Programs, Drexel University
Professor Flood's presentation was on Joseph Merrick in popular culture over the past century. His talk was pretty cursory - the organizers didn't allow him to project his slides!
Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D. Senior Fellow, Center for Bioethics University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Wolpe's presentation focused on the messages that visitors derive from the displays in the Mutter Museum, beginning with his own students. He observed that in recent years his students have displayed more anger than surprise to experiencing the works on display. Included in his PowerPoint presentation were many of the art images that had been used in the Museum Calendars over the years.
James M. Edmondson, Ph.D. Chief Curator, Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum Case Western Reserve University
A close friend to Gretchen Worden's, Dr. Edmondson showed slides from their visits to European medical museums over the years. I think he would make a tremendous resource for your research.
From the content of their talks and my brief conversations with them afterwards, the presenters appeared entirely unaware of Disability Studies. At times the program was downright offensive, with some of the more graphic images being left projected onto the screen for entirely too long. What a difference from the event that you and I enjoyed down at the U.S. Army Medical Museum.
How is your semester going? Just this morning I'm returning to email after attending another conference that was held at the College of Physicians. Entitled 'Health and Medicine in the Era of Lewis and Clark,' the conference brought together a number of noted scholars of the early American republic. The conference gave me some paper ideas, and it featured a presentation by Daniel Blackie, examining "'Disability' in the Early Republic" through the window of U.S. Army Pension applications filed in 1820. I also was able to meet Ben Mutschler whose new book project is on experiences of Revolutionary War Veterans. I look forward to reading their writings on the emerging discourse of disability amongst Revolutionary War Veterans once their work is completed. I encouraged them to consider presenting their work at an upcoming meeting of the Society for Disability Studies, and reminded them of the publishing venues Disability Studies Quarterly and Disability and Society.
How are things at Bryant College? Looking forward to our further conversations.
New guidelines have been drawn up, in order to determine whether oral history projects are governed by federal guidelines requiring IRB approval. See discussion on the H-ORALHIST internet discussion list. The guidelines themselves are based upon negotiations between the Oral Historal Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. http://makeashorterlink.com/?K1F5229B9
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
New study finds that only fourteen percent of European FTSE 100 companies have taken steps to ensure website accessibility for users with disabilities over the past three years. from Isolani - further coverage of Web Accessibility issues (with a British Spin)
Monday, November 01, 2004
The Commonwealth's Assistive Technology Act Program
November 1, 2004
Dear Colleagues: Happy Assistive Technology Awareness Month ! ! !
Although we don't have the formal proclamation from Governor Rendell's office in our hands at this time, we are expecting it any moment and will get copies right out to you after we receive it! In any case, we hope you will use Assistive Technology Awareness Month as an opportunity to promote assistive technology as a tool to independence for Pennsylvanians with disabilities and Older Pennsylvanians.
Plan a static display of low tech devices; borrow one or more high tech devices from Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library to demonstrate; hang an AT poster from Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology in a prominent location; and/or stick a 'sunburst' with the AT Awareness Month message on your outgoing mail! Tell people you know about other Pennsylvania resources, such as the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation or the Telecommunications Device Distribution Program.
You can contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-204-5395) for AT posters ("Assistive technology can help you do the things you want to do") or to request stickers, or for more information about other Pennsylvania resources for obtaining assistive technology. If you get a moment, let us know how you celebrated! With best wishes for a busy Assistive Technology Awareness Month.
Amy S. Goldman, Project Director, PIAT
Associate Director, Institute on Disabilities
Sunday, October 31, 2004
As of October 1, 2004, all public facilities in the United Kindom were expected to have made "reasonable" changes to ensure disabled people could use their services, incompliance with revisions to the UK Disability Discrimination Act.
'Access for disabled still poor on eve of new law,' Cambridge News, September 30, 2004.
The publication Therapy Weekly visited Cambridge city centre with disabled occupational therapist and Cambridge resident Nicole Buijsse. Of 19 shops, restaurants, banks and cafes they went to, mainly in Trinity Street, they found 14 of the 19 were inaccessible to wheelchair users.
Geoff Adams-Spink, 'San Francisco - Golden Gate to disability,' BBC News (UK section). With UK law on disability rights about to change on the first of next month, campaigners are pointing to the high levels of accessibility in San Francisco as a possible future for Britain. recently visited the city on America's west coast to find out just how accessible it is. San Francisco - when it comes to improving access for disabled people - has had 30 years' headstart on the UK. Not only has American disability rights legislation been on the federal statute books for 12 years, but California's own laws have been in place since the mid 1970s.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
The local disability community has been officially invited to participate in Disability Awareness Week activities at Haverford College, as well the ‘Signs and Voices’ conference taking place at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges in mid-November. Let me know if you are interested in traveling together for any of these events.
More information appended below, or contact Kristin Lindgren email@example.com
Mike Dorn, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Urban Education Program; Coordinator of Disability Studies
Institute on Disabilities
423 Ritter Annex
Tel. 215 204-3373
Fax. 215 204-6336
Signs and Voices: Language, Arts, and Identity from Deaf to Hearing
November 11-14, 2004
At Swarthmore, Haverford, and
All events are free and open to the public.
Interpreters (from English to ASL and/or from ASL to English) and CART are supplied at all events except those where they would not be helpful.
From: Kristin A. Lindgren [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 2:40 PM
Subject: upcoming disability events
I'm writing to invite you and your
Hope your semester is going well!
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
President Signs Assistive Technology Act
Victory for Millions of People with Disabilities Who Strive for Independence
(26 October 2004) President Bush yesterday signed the Assistive Technology Act
of 2004, which will ensure that individuals with disabilities throughout the US
and its territories have access to the technology they need to help them be
independent in school, at home, the workplace and in the community. This
legislation represents an important commitment to people with disabilities from
the President and the Congress.
For a copy of the Press Release Signing Press Release ATAP Signing
For a copy of the AT Act of 2004 in Microsoft Word AT ACT of 2004 in MSWord
For a copy of the AT Act of 2004 in PDF AT ACT of 2004 in PDF
To view a summary of the bill from the House Education and Workforce Committee Summary of AT Act of 2004
For a copy of the ATAP Press Release in MS Word ATAP Press Release in MS Word
For a copy of the ATAP Press Release Adobe PDF ATAP Press Release in PDF
The disability community has been officially invited to participate in Disability Awareness Week activities at Haverford College, as well the ‘Signs and Voices’ Conference taking place at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges in mid-November. Let me know if you are interested in traveling together for any of these events.
More information appended below, or contact Kristin Lindgren email@example.com
Signs and Voices: Language, Arts, and Identity from Deaf to Hearing
November 11-14, 2004, at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges
All events are free and open to the public.
Interpreters (from English to ASL and/or from ASL to English) and CART are supplied at all events except those where they would not be helpful.
From: Kristin A. Lindgren
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 2:40 PM
Subject: upcoming disability events
I'm writing to invite you and your Temple colleague to attend
some upcoming disability-related events at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and
Swarthmore. I've pasted links to the relevant websites below. The first one is the finalized program for the four-day tri-college conference entitled "Signs and Voices: Language and Identity from Deaf to Hearing." I believe I sent you
this link over the summer, but it is now updated and complete. The second link
is to the schedule for Disabilities Awareness Week at Haverford; these events
begin next Thursday, Nov. 4, and include a demonstration and lecture on
Hope your semester is going well!
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know what was happened with Christopher Reeve that day. Talk radio hosts, including Don Imus, have been creating more heat than light on this topic over the past week. I am going to post the message to the TU-DS site again so that other readers will be easily able to find this useful clarification. - Mike
Michael Dorn, Institute on Disabilities
Mike, I enjoyed reading through your blog. I did want to add in relation to your comments about whether Kerry actually had a phone conversation with Reeve. It sounds as if Reeve contacted Kerry and left a phone message, which is what Kerry said happened. Not that I don't disagree with the way the media and politicians are exploiting this issue, but I do think Reeve supported Kerry in bringing this issue into the forefront of the campaign. I think it's important to clarify this given all the misinformation out there.
Excerpt from Dana Reeve:
A Message from Dana Reeve
October 19, 2004
On Saturday, October 9th, Chris spent his last day of consciousness doing what he loved to do. He left a long phone message for Senator John Kerry lending his support and encouragement; he attended one of Will's hockey games, cheering as they won a huge victory, bursting with pride as Will was presented with the game puck for his outstanding playing that day. He and I spent the early evening on the phone and then he watched the Yankee game with Will and gobbled up one of his favorite meals, turkey tettrazini. His two grown children had just recently visited -- as they often do -- and we discussed in our phone conversation how great it was to have all of us together for his birthday two weeks before. Although he mentioned that his decubitus wounds were pretty bad and that he'd probably have to stay in bed the next day, he was not complaining -- his comments were, as usual, more of an observation than a complaint. He was excited about the upcoming release of his movie, The Brooke Ellison Story and very charged up about a recent visit to the Rehab Institute of Chicago where he had observed the Lokomat, a remarkable piece of automated locomotion therapy equipment used in a program we had funded through the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.
Late that night, weakened by infection and the barrage of maladies which can accompany paralysis, his body failed him. At only 52, it was far too soon. There was much he still wanted to accomplish. There was much his children had yet to learn from him. It is completely unfair, but life can be that way. So, what do we do now? I look to Chris. When he was faced with grief and loss and feelings of injustice -- the feelings we are all experiencing now -- what did he do? He made a decision to carry on, to fight for his beliefs, to do for others what he couldn't do for himself. He reached into that enormous and beautiful and generous heart of his and gave us his life. We can at the very least try to do the same. We owe him that much.
With warm thanks,
Already voted in WV :)
X-To: ADA-OSU firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FUTURE OF THE ADA AND THE EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer, House Democratic Whip had the honor of delivering the Inaugural Tony Coelho Lecture In Disability Employment Law and Policy for New York Law School's The Labor & Employment Law program on Thursday 10/21/04. Titled "The Future of the ADA and the Employment of People with Disabilities" reviews the current status and future prospects for the ADA from his perspective as one of the members of Congress who helped deliver the ADA to theAmerican people in 1990.
In his talk, Representative Hoyer called upon Congress to reassert the original intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which he charged was misinterpreted by the courts to dilute our civil rights. However, he noted thatthe current mood of Congress is hostile to this idea, and any changes can only come about as a result of a carefullyworked out strategy. Mr. Hoyer noted,
"As Al Hunt, the respected columnist for the Wall Street Journal, pointed out in a recent column: 'If you are blind, deaf, or in a wheelchair, the stakes on November 2nd are enormous.... The clearest evidence of that is the certainty that our next President will make crucial appointments to the federal bench, including possibly several appointments to the Supreme Court."
Hoyer's speech is downloadable at:
Audio File: http://www.nyls.edu/pages/2786.asp
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
I've been dismayed with the most recent rhetorical turn that the presidential campaign has taken, in the wake of Christopher Reeve's death. Unfortunately, the Kerry / Edwards campaign has been shamelessly using Chris Reeve's political support, and the sensitive topic of stem cell debate, to appeal to the AB and 'disability-friendly' community. This past weekend, the rhetoric went over the top, with Kerry's claim of a personal call from Reeve supporting his comments and performance in Friday evening's second debate. This 'call' was more likely an email to Reeve. Or was Reeve really in good enough health to speak with friend like John Kerry that soon before his death on Saturday?
And now we much endure John Edwards' pandering comments on the campaign trail in support of stem cell research, to the effect "... when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." Ugggh! Who does that appeal to? Liberal do-gooders, but certainly not activists for disability rights. Kerry spoke of his support for Christopher Reeve's goal of walking agin in debate two. But when Kerry gets a little carried away, adopting Reeve's hyperbolic rhetoric as his own, it is embarrassing to then see John Kerry's own running mate making things worse. Much worse. Check out 'Oy Vey!' to see how this debate is playing with another disability rights advocate.
Keep an eye on this space for another post this evening after debate number three. Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments - following the hotlink below.
Coordinator of Disability Studies
Monday, October 04, 2004
A story on the increasing demands for multigenerational and livable communities.