Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #46: Falling

Welcome to the 46th edition of the Disability Blog Carnival! The theme this time is "Falling," and you'll see that bloggers took that one-word prompt in a variety of directions....

But first, we really need to celebrate with Lost Clown and others, on the US Senate's passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, just two weeks ago. And while we're at it, the recent ADAPT actions in Washington DC in support of the Community Choice Act are also newsworthy--but you wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, notes The Divine Miss Jimmi, who identifies a reason for the dearth of coverage: "When people with disabilities take to the streets and say that the system is broken, we don't want to live in your shitty institutions because the sight of us bothers you or that we want our rights along with choices that the mainstream public takes advantage of everyday--suddenly, we're not so cute and inspirational." CripChick pointed to that post, and added a celebratory blogroll-in-verse-form to mark the occasion.

And now, pack your parachutes, it's time for a whole lot of free FALLING....

Not FALLING down (literally!)
But what if he falls? At some point, every parent has to let go and let the child take a risk: Miryam leads us through the process of "letting him choose." In this case, her son climbs a ladder, and descends all aglow. Random Madness in Torrance isn't usually a disability blog (I read it because it's local to me), but a recent post involved shopping for a rolling walker--and finding some cool Scandinavian designs that should prevent further falls for a loved one. Occupational therapist Grace Young has some helpful tips for improving the odds of avoiding falls, trips, slips, and stumbles, especially important for people who may have higher risk for injury. And Ruth's caution is for the able-bodied students she sees daily: texting and listening to your iPod while walking is bound to result in collisions and nasty spills.

FALLING out of the workforce

Henk ter Heide explains his personal dilemma of finding suitable work in the Netherlands--but the contradictions and gaps in opportunity he's facing will sound very familiar to many disabled people, wherever they live; and meanwhile, Terri is concerned about her daughter falling into the gap between education and employment.

FALLING into the budget gap
You may or may not have heard that California was without a current budget for more than two months, ending this week--and in that time, some agencies and programs that serve people with disabilities stopped getting funded. Even when they're getting paid, the rate is so low that care needs go unmet (and that's definitely not just a California situation). Sally at Maggie World is hiring, but it's complicated, and agencies can't help like they used to. "Seems to me that home care for the most vulnerable and medically involved children should be given a little higher priority. It should be less of a game for the patients, the nurses and the families," she concludes. In other budget news, Coral and Opal notes that tighter transportation funds in some school districts have kids on buses for two or three hours each direction--a hazardous and traumatizing situation for the kids, and an infuriating one for their families and teachers. (And guess which group of kids is more likely to ride the bus, and for longer distances? Yup, kids in special education programs.)

FALLING in love
Do you control who you fall in love with? Lexie at Beyond Acquara considers (at wonderful length) this question, in the context of abled-disabled relationships, saying "although I have dated non-disabled people, I kept bringing home disabled people. My mother would just shake her head in disappointment." Cherylberyl decides that the quickest way to fall in love afresh with her own look is to get a good haircut.

FALLING into opportunities
Dave Hingsberger seems to fall into teaching moments a lot--or maybe they fall into him? Either way, it's good to have "a little chat" sometimes.

FALLING into the trap of cliches
Ah, an ongoing theme of the Disability Blog Carnival--bloggers unpacking the assumptions of politicians and media commentators. At Barriers, Bridges, and Books, Terri demands a rewrite from Katie Couric, after a grim, cliche-ridden and truly dated introduction to a story about Down syndrome. Kristina Chew confesses to being a Former Warrior Mom, against the media's apparent preference for the screaming-tigress-mom narrative. Gregor Wohlbring and Shelley Tremain at What Sorts of People explore the medicalization trap Joe Biden fell into recently, on the subject of stem cell research. Notes Shelley in comments, we should pay attention whenever politicians speak from
the pervasive medicalized misconception of disability, according to which ‘dealing with disability’ means prevention, elimination, and cure, and furthermore uncritically package this medicalized approach as what disabled people want, as what it means to support us.
Still in the same minefield, congressman Charles Rangel fell into one language trap (using "disabled" as a synonym for unintelligent, inexperienced, or misguided)... then another (setting up "disabled" and "healthy" as opposites)...and then the McCain campaign, in criticizing Rangel, landed in yet another (yes, they used the word "affliction" to describe Down syndrome). Wheelchair Dancer talks them all through the bottom line: "disabled is not a metaphor that you can use to describe uniformed, unrealistic, and, to my mind, frankly stupid perspectives on the world. Disabled is a reality that many of us live." Amen!

FALLING outside categories
When discussing emergency funds, Abby at I pick up pennies realized that "what most people consider 'worst-case scenario' is what Tim and I consider 'life.'" It's a little shocking to realize your life is the outcome many people fear most, she notes, and then turns that shock into a series of clear-eyed reminders about control and safety and survival. At Screw Bronze, Elizabeth is having dreams about slipping out of the human category--and frustrating real-life encounters with librarians who treat her like she's definitely not in the "take seriously" category. (I almost pity the librarians that discarded Accidents of Nature on Elizabeth McClung's watch--they have no idea who they're tussling with.... ;) )

FALLING for a scam
Karen is not falling for the lottery scam that's making the rounds (again, and again) via IM.

Autism Speaks is falling far short of real advocacy work, says Cody Boisclair at Standup UGA, pointing out the following analogies for readers unfamiliar with the issues:
Imagine, if you will, the sort of reaction the National Organization for Women would get if its leadership were made up entirely of men, or that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would get if it were made up of white folks. It’s an utterly absurd thought, isn’t it? How is it, then, that Autism Speaks can continue not to even have a token autistic on its board of directors or anywhere else in its leadership, much less an autistic member in any sort of significant role, to provide any sort of oversight?
Hot cocoa for everyone!
And a nice fall note to end on: Rob at Kintropy in Action observed the autumnal equinox with some cozy anticipations of hot chocolate and rainy day reading.

Next time on the Disability Blog Carnival
The next edition of the Carnival will appear at Day in Washington--regular readers there will not be surprised that the theme will be Policy. Well timed for the last month of the US presidential campaign, and the last week before the Canadian elections, among other fall events. Deadline for submissions 6 October, and edition #47 should post on 9 October. Submit posts in comments here or there, at the site, or just put "Disability Blog Carnival" in the text of your post, that usually works.

[Posting now, will add images and maybe more links later--off to school.--PLR]


Ruth said...

Thanks for a great carnival, Penny.

Terri said...

The carnival is great! I think I sent you the totally wrong link though,,,

I am most aggravated with Katie Couric's view of Down syndrome, but my fear of falling comes from the prospect of looming adulthood!

Greg (Accessible Hunter) said...

Wow great job, thanks Penny!

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd send a note to let you know that I've now put up an "introductory" post to let people know about the upcoming Disability Blog Carnival #47. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Great Carnival, Penny! Thanks for including me-- I often forget to remind myself to contribute.

Sarahlynn said...

Thanks for this!

I've got a post for the next one:

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