Monday, October 30, 2006

October 31: Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927)

Who's the most famous deaf woman born in the 19th-century US South? Hm, probably Helen Keller (1880-1968). But if you've ever been a Girl Scout, the second-most famous would surely be Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927, shown at right), founder of the Girl Scouts of America. Every little Brownie learns the tale: Juliette "Daisy" Gordon was deaf in one ear from chronic and mistreated ear infections in her youth; the day of her wedding, they say, a thrown grain of rice lodged in her ear, subsequently causing further hearing loss. The story further goes that whenever Juliette Low wasn't getting her way in a meeting, she would pretend to hear "yes" for "no," and say, "Oh good, that settles it, then," taking advantage of her opponent's unwillingness to correct a grey-haired deaf lady (in a formidable uniform--she wore the uniform a lot, and was buried in it after her death from breast cancer at age 66).

Perhaps in connection with Low's disability, the Girl Scouts were open to disabled girls from long before community inclusion or age-appropriate activities were generally embraced goals. The first separate troop for girls with physical disabilities was formed in April 1917, in New York City. There are photos of girls in hospital polio wards in the 1940s, organized into troops by their nurses; and a 1945 pamphlet published by the Girl Scouts of America, titled Girl Scouts All: Leader's Guide to Working with the Handicapped, described "the many opportunities and advantages of membership in the Girl Scouts for handicapped girls," and provides program ideas for girls "handicapped by blindness, crippling conditions, heart disease, tuberculosis, deafness, and diabetes." And this historical legacy is not just for the kids: leaders with disabilities have also been welcome for decades (for example, Priscilla Ferris in the 1950s).

It's not all rosy: Some separate troops remain, and there have been lawsuits charging discrimination under the ADA, and scouting is still notorious for perpetuating "disability simulation" awareness activities of dubious utility. But today, the Girl Scouts will celebrate their founder's birthday, and another cohort of girls will learn about a strong deaf woman--and that's worth a little cheer.

For further reading from the past:

Ely Maxwell, "Nurses and Girl Scouts Help Each Other,"
The American Journal of Nursing 49(10)(October 1949): 648-649.

"Disabled Girls can be Girl Scouts,"
Exceptional Parent (February/March 1972): 1, 5, 19-21.

[The image above left is from my own albums. I'm in there, at Girl Scout daycamp, at Camp Laurel in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the mid-1970s. --PLR]

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Disability and Halloween

So a few bloggers have already touched on this topic: Liz Spikol caught an advisory from NAMI pointing out that "insane asylum"-themed haunted house attractions perpetuate stigma--would the same local organizations put on a "haunted slave quarters" or "haunted concentration camp" for Halloween? Seems unlikely. Kestrell (who's writing her thesis on disability in science fiction) is observing "The 13 Days of Halloween" with a terrific (in both senses, I guess) series of posts on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, Queer Houses, A Walk in the Dark, Ghosts, Goblins, and Long-legged Beasties in Poetry, Ballads and Bones, and Tales for November (with more to come, of course--we're only half-way through the 13 days as I type this). And Wheelie Catholic is looking for costume ideas for her nephew, who will use a wheelchair to trick-or-treat this year.

There are a lot of websites with costume ideas for kids who use wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, vents, etc. The Bridge School's site is excellent, because it includes photos and instructions for a variety of costumes, some more complicated than others. (It seems that you should keep a few refrigerator boxes handy for such occasions.) Exceptional Parent Magazine has an annual costume feature, too. Another tip is to bring along a longish dowel (or incorporate it into the costume theme, as a magic wand, for example)--for pushing doorbells that are up a few steps. If sensory integration issues are in the picture, parent Terri Mauro has suggestions for costumes built around hooded sweatshirts, so they're not too fussy or annoying.

For adults and teens, costuming can be a bit more transgressive... in this Dean Kramer essay, he describes his "Hell on Wheels" costume--sadly, no photos, but the description is pretty vivid. I've also seen Frida Kahlo and Professor X mentioned as good low-fuss options, too (bonus if you really shave your head for the latter; original at left). Not feeling crafty? There are some online merchants that sell accessible costumes: but it looks like Holly Woods will need some serious lead time, so start planning now if you've got an idea for 2007.

Me and mine? Well, one year I dressed my little ones (ages 6 and 1 at the time) as disability rights lawyers--suits, stockings, tie, wingtips--and personalized business cards to hand out. It was easy, and comfortable, and economical given that they could wear the clothes again. (I suspect one of those business cards landed in a school file someplace.... )

Have fun!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Disability Blog Carnival #2 is UP NOW!

Go on over to the Gimp Parade for a fine parade, indeed, of links to bloggers on "The Cure," learning, and attitudes. (Cool images of vintage medication labels, too.) Thanks so much to Blue for making the sophomore outing of the Disability Blog Carnival a great success--and thanks also to David Gayes and The Goldfish for taking charge of the next two installments. Do you want to host one too? There are openings starting in December.

October 26: Sarah Broom Macnaughtan (1864-1916)

I am rather surprised to find how little the quite young girls seem to mind the sight of wounds and suffering. They are bright and witty about amputations, and do not shudder at anything. I am feeling rather out-of-date amongst them. (38-39)

Scottish novelist Sarah Broom Macnaughtan, born in Lanarkshire this date in 1864, worked as a volunteer nurse during wars in the Balkans, South Africa, and Belgium. Her diaries of her war work were published posthumously as My War Experiences in Two Continents (1919), available online, full-text, open-access at Project Gutenberg. More eye-witness passages:
Now I have got to work at the hospital. There are 25,000 amputation cases in Petrograd. The men at my hospital are mostly convalescent, but, of course, their wounds require dressing. This is never done in their beds, as the English plan is, but each man is carried in turn to the "salle des pansements," and is laid on an operating-table and has his fresh dressings put on, and is then carried back to bed again. It is a good plan, I think. The hospital keeps me busy all the morning. Once more I begin to see severed limbs and gashed flesh, and the old question arises, "Why, what evil hath he done?" This war is the crucifixion of the youth of the world. (198-199)

I heard a voice behind me say, "The blind are coming first," and from the train there came groping one by one young men with their eyes shot out. They felt for the step of the train, and waited bewildered till someone came to lead them; then, with their sightless eyes looking upwards more than ours do, they moved stumbling along. Poor fellows, they'll never see home; but they turned with smiles of delight when the band, in its grey uniforms and fur caps, began to play the National Anthem. These were the first wounded prisoners from Germany, sent home because they could never fight again—quite useless men, too sorely hurt to stand once more under raining bullets and hurtling shell-fire—so back they came, and like dazed creatures they got out of the train, carrying their little bundles, limping, groping, but home. After the blind came those who had lost limbs—one-legged men, men still in bandages, men hobbling with sticks or with an arm round a comrade's neck, and then the stretcher cases. There was one man carrying his crutches like a cross. Others lay twisted sideways. Some never moved their heads from their pillows. All seemed to me to have about them a splendid dignity which made the long, battered, suffering company into some great pageant. (201-202)

[Image, above: a WWI-era American Red Cross poster from the Minnesota Historical Society's Visual Resources Database.]

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Campaign Ads and Disability Politics

So there's plenty of chatter about the Michael J. Fox ad about stem cell research, airing in Missouri in support of the Democratic candidate, Claire McCaskill. Whatever position you take on the stem cell issue or the Senate race in Missouri, there are some really disturbing responses to Fox's appearance in this ad. Rush Limbaugh says "he was acting." Other commentators have said the ad is "exploitative"--implying that Fox is somehow unable to choose to speak in a political debate? -- or "in poor taste"--apparently because it's rude to be visibly disabled? (You'd think Ugly Laws were still being enforced.) ImFunnyToo has two posts commenting on the ad and its reception. Zephyr and Mark Siegel weigh in too.

But meanwhile in other political ad news, I found this one: Thug Voter, by Josh Miller and Taras Wayner, isn't new (it seems to have been made in 2004, as one of MTV's Choose or Lose spots), and it isn't easy to watch (or listen to; image at left is a still from the video), but it's one that actually links racism, sexism, homophobia, and disablism in a thirty-second punch.

There are surely others. Keep watching and listening.

Monday, October 23, 2006

October 23: Gertrude Ederle (1905-2003)

Also born on October 23 (either 1905 or 1906, sources disagree--if the latter, this is her centennial), American swimmer Gertrude Ederle. She began breaking amateur records at the age of 12; by 18, she had won three Olympic medals, and was preparing to cross the English Channel. In 1926, on her second attempt, she made the crossing, hours faster than any man had ever done. She was the first woman to swim the Channel, and was greeted with a tickertape parade on her return to the US.

Why is this a disability history story? Because Ederle was deaf, beginning with the effects of severe measles in childhood. After WWII, Ederle taught swimming for years, to the students at the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York City.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

October 23: Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923)

Today marks the 162nd anniversary of the birth of French actress Sarah Bernhardt, born Henriette Rosine Bernard in Paris on this date (or this week, anyway--sources disagree as to the precise date) in 1844.

In 1905, she injured her right knee during a performance in Rio de Janeiro. Ten years later, when Bernhardt was 71, she had the leg amputated, and began to use a wooden prosthetic leg. Bernhardt's fans, and there were many, waited anxiously for news of her recovery. The story goes that the manager of the Pan-American Expo in San Francisco sent a telegram, offering her $100,000 in exchange for the right to exhibit her leg. Bernhardt's reply message said only "Which leg?" (She did not accept the offer.)

Bernhardt appeared in several stage plays and in at least two films after her amputation. Theatre historians believe that the change may actually have improved her acting: without access to grander physical dramatics, she chose roles carefully, and concentrated on the use of her 'golden' voice, facial expressions, and subtler gestures to communicate character.

See also:

The Sarah Bernhardt Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin

Friday, October 20, 2006

Susan Burch, on Junius Wilson (16 November, Ohio State)

If you're anywhere near Columbus, OH, make plans to go see Susan Burch speak on Junius Wilson (1908-2001), on Thursday, 16 November, 5:30-7:30pm, at Saxby Auditorium, Drinko Hall, Moritz College of Law. From the press release:
Dr. Susan Burch, Associate Professor of History at Gallaudet University, will address broad historical issues, including Jim Crow racism, disability discrimination, eugenics, & activism as they effected the life of Junius Wilson, a deaf African American. In 1925, Mr. Wiilson was falsely accused of attempted rape, deemed incompetent to stand trial, & imprisoned in the State Hospital for the Colored Insane for more than 7 decades. After 76 years in the State Hospital, his release was won by court order. It was officially noted in 1970 that Wilson was not mentally disabled. Dr. Burch teaches Russian, American, Deaf, & Disability History.

The event will be signed in ASL. For questions about access or other types of accommodations, please contact the ADA Coordinator's Office at
Read more about Junius Wilson (shown above, left). Also check out information about Project Orange Neptune, which coordinates efforts to identify and improve the lives of Deaf people languishing in mental institutions, from misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and little access to Deaf culture (or even comprehensible information about their rights).

Susan Burch is cowriting a book about Wilson with Hannah Joyner; if you can't get to Columbus, watch for the book (last I heard, it's coming from UNC Press, and the title will be Unspeakable: The Life Story of Junius Wilson). I was on a disability history panel with Burch and Joyner at the 2005 American Historical Association meeting in Seattle--and I've worked with both of them in other contexts--their research is important and their presentations are worth attending.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Royal Albert Hospital Archive

[Thanks to Iain Hutchison for this tip, via H-Disability.]

The cocoa that they gave us they say is mighty fine
It’s good for cuts and bruises and tastes like iodine
So I don’t want no more of Royal Albert life
Gee ma I want to go home

--A verse from the "Cocoa Song," related by former resident Stanley Byers, right, in an interview in the 1980s

Unlocking the Past is a fine online archive of images, interviews, texts, and video from the Royal Albert Asylum, Lancaster, England, an institution established in 1870, originally as a training school for disabled children, and later becoming a custodial institution for adults with cognitive disabilities. It was closed in 1996. The archives include patient memories like the song above, images of the Royal Albert scouting groups, video, audio, and transcripts of interviews with former patients and staff, architectural descriptions and images, a timeline, an article archive, and so on. It's an ongoing project, inviting contributions from anyone with material to share. Have a look or a listen.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Disability Blog CARNIVAL #1

Welcome to the first Disability Blog Carnival! This follows DS,TU's own efforts to roundup recent disability-related blogging on a monthly basis (our "roundups" started in August 2005), and Gimp Parade's Saturday Slumgullions, Goldfish's Blogging Against Disablism Day, and other bloggers' similar efforts. As a carnival, we can use the apparatus of, though it's got some accessibility problems (if anyone had trouble submitting either using the website form or sending directly to me, please leave your links in the comments here, so no one is left out). I'm ready to declare the experiment a success, because now my aggregator is even more bursting with new and new-to-me bloggers writing great stuff on disability--so it worked, because it brought more stories to the collection than I was finding on my own. (For the curious, there were about twenty actual submissions--thanks to all who took the trouble.)

Don't-miss links: The Goldfish has a strong post called "Ten Points about T4," in reaction to the discovery of a mass grave for victims of the Nazi eugenic euthanasia program. The Belonging Initiative features a four-minute YouTube video by Norman Kunc and Emma Van der Klift called "A Credo for Support"--go, watch, now. Charles Dawson wrote up a history of the wheelchair, or rather, of its absence in much of history. Stephen Kuusisto, commenting on upcoming elections, deterioration of ADA protections, and campus unrest at Gallaudet, declares: "The Time is Now." From time to space: Brooklynite reminds fellow able-bodied adults that "Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities don't use parks, restaurants, stores, museums, and theaters at our indulgence, because it's not our space. It's everyone's space, and everyone has an equal claim on it." Chronic Pain Lifestyle uses fractal geometry to explain the necessity for accessible parking spaces. An Unreliable Witness has an honest post about being a new amputee, making clear, "I haven't been weeping and wailing over the loss of 'My leg! My poor leg!'" And Amanda at Ballastexistenz knows something about Life's Infinite Richness.

In the news... It's always a pleasure to read Wheelchair Dancer when she's taking apart a cliche-ridden disability story in the New York Times. Meanwhile, Estee Klar is also taking a newspaper to task, for its coverage of an Autism Acceptance Project event--in which they interview none of the autistic presenters. Emily Elizabeth, on the other hand, riffs on a news site that got Down syndrome right (for a change). Lisa noted the too-pat headline "US Reports Disabled Access Attained," saying "Really? We did it? It's all a done deal now, I guess." Zilari would like to call a moratorium on the use of bad analogies for autism, which this post lists, beginning with "car accidents, cancer, being burned in a fire..." Wonder what's going on at Gallaudet? There are Deaf bloggers on the scene...check them out.

Religion and disability... Katja is waiting to see if there's real accessibility at a renovated church...McNair asked a prominent theologian a question about disability at a conference--and got shrugged off (misunderstood, he hopes)... Lisa is getting painted as the "mad autism mom" for expecting accommodations at church...Wheelie Catholic envisions the headlines, "Quad burns down famous church trying to prove she can light a candle," and agrees to let her friends help...

Intersections... Kestrell's thinking about the intersections between queer and disabled; so is Stephen Concklin; Fatshadow ponders the intersection of fat and disability; Al Masters notes the comparative harmony that a college campus seems to achieve in its diversity, a harmony rarely seen elsewhere; speaking of college, Blue has a great memory of dorm life in Pickle for Three (in which three wheelchairs intersect, and hilarity ensues). And while people inevitably intersect, some folks still have an "as long as it doesn't affect me" attitude--NTs are Weird writes on what's intolerant about that.

Graduations... JosieJose has a fresh diploma to show off--and a medal too...Lisa and her twins have their first successful cross-town bus trip to tell about (with pics)...NoDakWheeler is out of the nursing home...and at a Rolling Stones concert? (there's a cheap joke there, I'm sure)...a mother's speech on the occasion of her son's Bar Mitzvah admits, "Things Change and So Will You." A start rather than an ending: BloggingMone announces the founding of a Zentrum fur Disability Studies at her German university.

Entertainments... Mark Siegel is dreaming of a reality TV gig, with the inevitable "Tune in for this very special episode" tagline... the Doonesbury plotline "Pimp my Gimp" has prompted posts from Kestrell and Sara... On the TV show "Monk," the title character becomes blind for an episode--Stephen Kuusisto says it's "essentially a repackaging of Mr. MaGoo." And when Comedy Central sponsors an all-star night to raise funds for Autism Speaks, Kassiane has to ask, "Are these people aware of how STUPID it is to say eugenic research is helping autistics?" Liz Spikol has an essay on Brian Wilson and "this parlor game of insanity."

Community.... Kristina Chew muses about community...and so does Al Masters... Wheelchair Dancer misses the community feeling of having a partner on wheels. Schools need to spend more effort on community outreach, says Charles Fox. When is inclusion not really inclusion? Read Andrea's "Being the Class Project" (thanks to Autism Street for that link). Where are all the old autistic people? In the community, often with other diagnoses. Autism Diva reports on "the unhiding of the hidden horde." On a related note, NTs are Weird says, "A person will spend the majority of their life as an adult, so having a good stable living situation is important and worth effort." Paralympic swimmer Kara explains how having a disabled community helped her appreciate and celebrate the ways her body works. And if you're trying to be part of a workplace or academic community, check out the Goldfish's Guide to Being Reasonable--because it's good to be reminded that everyone is human, fairness is hard to measure, and honesty is often the best policy.

Bodies... ImFunnyToo writes about body image and Shock, and about the questions others feel entitled to ask her; Ranter reminds folks to respect her personal space--including her wheelchair; Lene has to be more protective of her space nowadays, and it's hard; Damon is wondering about insomnia and blindness--confessing, "I rather like the idea that I don't have a regular boring old standard 24-hour body clock. I run in a different timezone to everyone else." More bodies can appreciate a Universally Designed hotel--"in itself a work of art and a social statement worthy of appreciation and esteem," says Scott Rains.

But wait, there's more... Zephyr had a fine time listening in to "grandmother wisdom" at a support group for queer disabled people...and ate a lot of turkey on her Thanksgiving weekend (Canada celebrates the harvest in October, remember)... Darrell Shandrow wrote about accessibility problems with BlogLines, and got a response--from an engineer at BlogLines ... MuseumFreak is looking into getting a service dog ... Susan Senator is tired of the high-functioning/low-functioning labels: "How do you draw a definition around an entire human being?...It is about as telling as a chalk outline of a crime victim. And as dignified." For more on the damage of such labels, ABFH counters the "It's fine for you, but..." objections to autistic activism. Bronx teacher Miss Dennis catches a glimpse of her student's keen awareness of his surroundings. David is thinking about friendship. And it's good to see Mary Johnson back to blogging after a summer break.

Want to host a Disability Blog Carnival? We're recruiting! Let me know and we'll figure out a date that will work for you. The next installment of the Disability Blog Carnival will be hosted by Blue at Gimp Parade--deadline for entries is October 23, so start linking. Blue's selected theme for the next Carnival is "The Cure"--now, don't go thinking "ooh, 80s flashback." Unless, y'know, you can work that into a blog entry about disability culture, disability rights, disability studies....Mark Siegel's already Kickin' it Old Skool, and Manxome has been prompted to exclaim "Radical!" by a cool new gadget, if you want to take that route.

[Images shown: Blind man reading magazine from the Bain Collection, Library of Congress; caution road sign by Caroline Cardus; Malayalam performer Kutty and his Dancer castmates]

Monday, October 09, 2006

News From Liz Carr: Ouch Podcast Saved - Thank You!

Yes, yes it's true... thank you to all who signed the 'Save the Ouch! Podcast' petition.

I delivered it today to Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC and he was 'expecting' the petition. He said to thank everyone for the support of the podcast and there was no way that they were going to get rid of it.

Oh, how they've changed their tune! Did warn them about the petition last week and know they were getting anxious... Apparently they thought a bunch of us crips were going to storm the meeting and throw flour bombs at the DG.

*snigger* Ehhh no... and no need!
People power can work... Thank you! Your support and comments much appreciated and really endorse what we're doing...

Keep listening and keep supporting us at:

crip liz x

Sunday, October 08, 2006

RIP: Olivia Robello Breitha (1916-2006)

This is my patient identification number to this day. But I am not just a number now. I have finally regained the sense of dignity that was taken from me when I was a child. It's taken a long time for me to feel this way again. I'm glad I stuck it out.

--Olivia Robello Breitha, quoted in May 2003

Today's Los Angeles Times obituary pages bring news that Olivia Robello Breitha has died at the age of 90. Breitha wrote a book, Olivia: My Life of Exile in Kalaupapa (Arizona Memorial Museum Association 1988), about her longtime residence in Hawaii's famous colony for people with leprosy (Hansen's disease). I've got the book right here as I type this--it's really just a booklet, barely topping 100 pages, with lots of photos and a q&a appendix titled "Frequently Asked Questions About Leprosy" (a FAQ before FAQs?). But a fine booklet it is.

Breitha lived at Kalaupapa from the age of 18, when she was diagnosed and taken away to the colony, just two months before she was planning to marry (her intake image is shown above, left); until her death late last month, in a nursing care facility at Kalaupapa. Her memoir records all the minutiae of confinement; her three marriages; her surgeries; her travels after quarantine orders ended. Her advocacy work culminated last year in a Hawaiian state bill protecting the dignity of Kalaupapa's remaining residents (numbering about 30 now). (Here's the obituary from the Honolulu Advertiser, too.) There's a documentary called Olivia and Tim: Very Much Alive (1994), featuring Breitha's story combined with the story of a young man with AIDS, in which the two discuss living with a stigmatized diagnosis.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

DS,TU Shopping Report: Message T-Shirts

Holiday shopping season is soon to be upon us, so maybe now would be a good time to check out some t-shirts with disability-conscious messages for young and old. I was paging through the Syracuse Cultural Workers catalog yesterday and found this one (at far right, caption is "Childhood is a Journey, not a race") which would be great for any kid (or maybe a favorite teacher). Another one from the same catalog (logo second from the right, says "You laugh because I'm different, I laugh because you're all the same") wouldn't be for everyone, but on the right snarky teen it would be wicked. SCW t-shirts are union-made, 100% cotton (some of the garments are specifically labeled organic cotton).

The Nth Degree is always a great source for disability-themed t-shirts, with themes like "Take me to my least-restrictive environment," "I am, therefore I matter," and "Feisty and Non-Compliant" (shown at right). Most of their t-shirt logos are also available as pins and stickers, and some are available in other formats, too.

Other sources...NoPity Shirts has the ever-popular "Keep Staring, I Might do a Trick" shirt, among many others--they let you put any logo on any color shirt, in case that's helpful; Disabled and Proud makes a t-shirt with that slogan in Spanish ("Discapacitado y con Orgullo," at right); Apparelyzed has parking sign parodies, and some interesting stylized figures with wheelchairs (including "Just Another Family"--in which one of the parent figures is on wheels).

This listing is only scratching the surface, a few starting places in a niche that's getting too big to call a niche. And who knows, someday your disability rights t-shirt could be in the Smithsonian--it wouldn't be the first.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Upcoming Noteworthy Conferences

Nearly every day we receive word on events and conferences that would interest be of interest to DS,TU readers. It sometimes seems like a fulltime job just keeping track of all of them. Today we have an embarassment of riches. Here are upcoming events conferences you may not have heard about yet. Carol Marfisi and I will be attending the second on November 9 and the Haverford College conference on November 10 -11; we hope to be able to provide reports from both to this blog.


5th Annual Northeastern U. S. Conference on disABILITY
"Being, Belonging, and Becoming: Mobilizing Partnerships to Enhance the Quality of Life for Individuals with Disabilities"
Location: Scranton, PA
Dates: October 18-20, 2006
Online information and registration

Special session of DS 400: Disability Rights and Culture
Guest Speaker: Melody Gardot (wikipedia profile)
The Philadelphia singer/songwriter will be discussing her experiences in the music industry and the origins of her famous Some Lessons EP, recorded while in the hospital recovering from the accident that left her with permanent physical and neurological disability.
Location: 207 Tuttleman Learning Center on Temple University's Main Campus (NE Corner of 13th and Montgomery) - maps and directions
Date and Time: November 9, 2006 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm

Representing Disability: Theory, Policy, Practice
Location: Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Ave. Haverford, PA 19041-1392
Dates: November 9 - 11, 2006

Madness, Citizenship and Social Justice: A Human Rights Conference
Location: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
Dates: May 10 -12, 2007
For more information about the above conference, please see link below,

Act Now! Save The OUCH Podcast!

I beg the indulgence for readers as I forward this urgent editorial. Please register your vote. MD

'OUCH!' Podcast Must Be Saved!
by Lawrence Carter-Long

Part of the BBC disability website 'OUCH!', this cheeky podcast is hosted by my mate (and disTHIS! superstar) Mat Fraser, and the delicious Liz Carr. It is downloaded each month by thousands of disabled and non-disabled folks alike from 'round the world - as it should be, it's good! Count yours truly as one if its biggest (well, I'm not that large, but still....) fans.

Anyway, if you haven't heard it yet (or if you have, check it out again), the OUCH! podcast is irreverent, cutting edge, damn funny, and not like anything else. The podcast has been a resounding success. It fills a gaping hole in disability entertainment... Did I mention it's good?

This is our first taste of quality disability/crip/madcap radio and we need more, not less! Don't let us down, save the OUCH! podcast now!

Please take two minutes to do me a personal favor and sign the petition below. Then listen to the show (you really, really should) and encourage as many of your friends to do the same -- if Briton's can get over 70,000 people to support the return a show like Top Gear, surely we can get over 1,000 signatures of support??

Please repost this bulletin to reach as many people/groups as possible - Thanks!

Lawrence Carter-Long
Founder, Curator, Janitor
The disTHIS! Film Series: disability through a whole new lens

The disTHIS! Film Series: disability through a whole new lens showcases quality narrative, short, documentary and feature films with disability themes beyond tiresome clich├ęs. In other words, pride instead of pity, character over charity and direction rather than diagnosis. The movies screened as part of our monthly series will sometimes be funny, occasionally sexy and maybe even a little startling -- always provocative, never quite what you'd expect.