United States

This page features the news on disability from United States in the Debrief Library. See also news from other countries.

Contents

Accessibility and Design

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More than 30 years after ADA, cities fail to be accessible (Jun, ABC 15)

New York: What is the megacity like for people with disabilities? “New York City, one of the world’s largest and most diverse cities, is considered by some to be one of the least accessible in the United States when it comes to public transportation.” (Mar, Aljazeera)

‘Where the bats hung out’: How a basement hideaway at UC Berkeley nurtured a generation of blind innovators (Mar, Stat)

Accessible NYC A summary of what the city authorities are doing for accessibility and inclusion. (links to pdf, NYC)

Ageing

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Assistive Technology

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Disability At Home practical solutions and photographs that “document the ingenuity and creativity that caregivers and disabled people, including those with chronic illnesses, use every day to make home accessible.” (Laura Mauldin)

This is old, but I liked seeing this wheelchair kitted-out to plow snow with tracks and an attached blade. (2016, WOWT 6 News)

Black Lives Matter and Racial justice

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Racial disparities persist for disabled youth in spending on services for California children and teens with developmental disabilities. (May, Los Angeles Times)

How Disability Exacerbates Anti-Blackness: Anti-Blackness and Ableism Led to Ryan Coogler's Arrest (Mar, ARD)

Discussion of the book Mark of Slavery and its exploration of the intersection of slavery and disability. (Feb, Disability Insider)

Asian Americans with disabilities are often overlooked. A new youth-led group aims to change that. (Jan, NBC News)

COVID-19

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Impact

COVID continues to hit nursing homes harder, “Cases are surging everywhere, and nursing home residents remain more likely to face severe illness and death.” (Jul, 19th News)

Employment Consequences of COVID-19 for People with Disabilities and Employers. "The pandemic adversely affected employment of PWD as reported by workers and employers. Findings parallel the experience of the non-disabled workforce, but reveal vulnerabilities that reflect disability consequences and the need for job accommodations." (Jan, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation)

"COVID-19 Likely Resulted in 1.2 Million More Disabled People by the End of 2021" More information would be needed to substantiate the claim about 1.2 million disabled people, as it’s not clear whether higher numbers are due to changes in individual circumstances or changes in the environment. (Thanks to Jennifer Madans for background on this., Feb, American Progress)

Response

People with Disabilities and COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments “Persons with disabilities were significantly more likely to spend their checks on basic needs, like food and rent, and less likely to spend on second-order items like charity or savings. These results suggest that future stimulus efforts should consider an increased amount for persons with disabilities.” (May, Journal of Poverty)

The White House releases a plan to help people who are especially vulnerable to Covid-19. (Feb, NYT)

Disabled Deaths Are Not Your “Encouraging News” '“Comorbidities” is a weaselly, cruel, violent word.' (Jan, Disability Visibility Project)

A letter to the health authorities responding to CDC comments that had referred to the deaths of those 'unwell to begin with': "The public health response to COVID-19 has treated people with disabilities as disposable." See more on Huffpost (link to pdf, Jan, coalition of disability organizations)

High-Risk Pandemic Stories: A Syllabus. "We are not alone" (Jan, Disability Visibility Project)

Biden and CDC's Covid-19 variant guidelines "have disabled people feeling left for dead" (Jan, MSNBC)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions details when COVID-19 can be a disability including if you get fired because of having symptoms of COVID-19 (Dec, The Hill)

Living with COVID

Rest May Be the Best Treatment for Long COVID. Our Disability Policies Should Reflect That. “The continuing crisis around long COVID should inspire policymakers to embrace a more flexible frame of reference around what it means to be disabled, and to design more generous short-term disability policies, including a federal short-term disability benefit. Allowing long haulers to rest in the short term might help them avoid years or decades of significant, often disabling long-term health consequences.” (Jul, TCF)

Many try to return to normal from COVID, but disabled people face a different reality “All we're really asking for is for a masking policy that will allow us to be able to go to the store, to go to the doctor, go get the mail, without risking [our health],” (Jul, NPR)

Patients with long covid symptoms face tough disability benefit fights: "Patients and doctors say safety net is unprepared for novel claims stemming from the pandemic". (Mar, Washington Post)

The Millions of People Stuck in Pandemic Limbo 'Each individual infection is its own high-stakes gamble. [...] Over the past year, as many Americans reveled in their restored freedoms, many immunocompromised people felt theirs shrinking.':

'As the coronavirus moves from a furious boil to a gentle simmer, many immunocompromised people (like everyone else) hope to slowly expand their life again. But right now, “it’s like asking someone who cannot swim to jump into the ocean instead of trying a pool,” [...]'

'Beyond equitable access to treatments, the people I spoke with mostly want structural changes—better ventilation standards, widespread availability of tests, paid sick leave, and measures to improve vaccination rates. Above all else, they want flexibility, in both private and public spaces. That means remote-work and remote-school options, but also mask mandates for essential spaces such as grocery stores and pharmacies [...] But in terms of what individual people can do for them, the most common request I heard was: Just have a heart. Regardless of your own choices, don’t jeer at us for being mindful of our higher risks, and definitely don’t tell us that our lives are worth less.' (Feb, The Atlantic)

At-Home Coronavirus Tests Are Inaccessible to Blind People: “It’s your personal health information, you should be the first to know." (Jan, NYT)

What Does ‘Living With Covid-19’ Mean For Disabled And Chronically Ill People? A useful balanced view of pessimistic and hopeful outcomes. (Dec, Forbes)

Civil Society and Community

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32 Years After the ADA, People with Disabilities Still Are Left Behind in Faith Institutions as religious organizations have exemptions from the law. (Jul, Respect Ability)

5 Reasons Why Disability Activism Is Still Hard One is that “Like the rest of society, disabled people are divided and polarized” (May, Forbes)

Foundations Pledge More Than $3 Million to Launch Disability-Focused Philanthropy-Serving Organization. See also on the disability inclusion pledge which has been signed by over sixty philanthropic organizations. (Mar, Disability & Philanthropy Forum)

Climate Crisis

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It’s not just heat stroke. Extreme temperatures pose special risk to people with chronic illness (Jul, Statnews)

Where Food Sustainability and Disability Clash “Services like grocery and meal delivery are generally not environmentally or worker-friendly, using lots of single-use plastic and relying on underpaid gig workers. But they’re often the safest and most accessible avenues for disabled and chronically ill people.” (Jun, FoodPrint)

Ageing and the Climate Crisis aging (Jun, ASA Generations)

In best of times, New Orleans is hard on people with disabilities. In hurricanes, it's deadly. (Jun, Nola)

Severe weather can mean life or death for people with disabilities. (May, Fox9)

Climate change is forcing care workers to act as first responders. “A new pilot program in California aims to provide the training and resources they need to take care of their clients and themselves. But advocates say increased responsibility should equal more pay.” (May, 19th News)

Ensuring the Safety of People With Disabilities During Climate Change (Apr, Santa Clara University)

Communication and Language

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DeafBlind Communities May Be Creating a New Language of Touch. “Protactile began as a movement for autonomy and a system of tactile communication. Now, some linguists argue, it is becoming a language of its own” (May, New Yorker)

Culture, Entertainment and Media

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Overview

Mean Baby by Selma Blair review “Written with warmth and candour, the actor’s new memoir chronicles her alcoholism and MS diagnosis – alongside tales of dressing up with Carrie Fisher” (Jul, the Guardian)

As Lizzo was called out for ableism, many Black disabled people felt overlooked. (Jun, NPR) See also on BBC

Disability in Theatre: Strategies for Combating Ableism by Meeting Actors’ Access Needs. (Apr, On Stage Blog)

How The Grammys Got Accessibility Right, And What They Could Have Done Better - An Interview With Lachi (Apr, Forbes)

Contemplating Beauty in a Disabled Body “My looks don’t fit into classical ideals of order, proportion, symmetry. So what was I looking for in that gallery in Rome?” (Mar, New York Times Magazine) An essay by Chloé Cooper Jones, whose book Easy Beauty has just come out. I enjoyed her discussion of the book on longform, sadly no transcript.

Review of ‘True Biz,’ by Sara Novic (Mar, NYT) See also a discussion on Power, Privilege, and Love in a Residential School for Deaf Students (Electric Literature).

Sofía Jirau Makes History as the First Victoria’s Secret Model With Down Syndrome (Feb, Glamour)

Disability Justice from A to Z A Coloring Book For Our Communities (Jan, Sins Invalid)

Beauty & Disability The Entrenched History of Ableism in the Beauty Industry (Dec, World Institute on Disability)

TV and Film

Accurate Disability Representation In Mass Media: 8 Powerful Film and Television Performances By Actors With Disabilities. (May, Kids Included Together)

DisLabeled, a short pilot episode, The Original Hackers. “Join comedian Brian McCarthy and other disabled designers, creators, and advocates who help him navigate his sudden vision loss with humor, innovation, and authenticity.” (Mar, Bric TV)

‘As We See It’ Is Not a Typical Portrayal of Autism starring three leads who are on the autism spectrum (Jan, NYT)

Ahead of the Golden Globes Shining a Spotlight on Disability-Inclusive Nominations (Jan, Respect Ability)

Media

Disability Matters: A toolkit for newsrooms to better serve the disability community (Apr, Reynolds Journalism Institute)

How to Report With Care on Disability.

"Although I was happy to learn that Starbucks was trying to be more inclusive, to me, hiring people with disabilities isn’t a big news story — and neither is a corporation making one store accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing customers. I felt that the real story was how some of those workers had master’s degrees, yet they had trouble finding jobs elsewhere because of their disability." (Feb, NYT)

Short video campaign Spotlights Black Disabled Creatives (Feb, Respect Ability)

Clothing and Fashion

Data and Research

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Disability Data Snapshot: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. (Jul, U.S. Department of Labor Blog)

Digital Accessibility and Technology

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Overview

Anticipate and Adjust: Cultivating Access in Human-Centered Methods. (Summary of a research paper on approaches to accessibility in human-computer interaction research communities., Apr, Kelly Mack)

Fulfilling our commitment to accessibility and inclusion reports from a recent "digital forum" (Feb, Microsoft Industry Blogs)

Artificial Intelligence

Ableism And Disability Discrimination In New Surveillance Technologies. How new surveillance technologies in education, policing, health care, and the workplace disproportionately harm disabled people (May, CDT)

The Biden Administration warns that Hiring algorithms, and artificial intelligence risk violating Americans with Disabilities Act (May, NBC News) See the detailed guidance, from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a summary from ADA.gov. Also on Forbes and Bloomberg Law.

Online Accessibility

How Accessible are Dating Apps? “these services offer little to no recourse for individuals who may have visual impairments.” (Jul, Accessibility.com)

For people with disabilities, AI can only go so far to make the web more accessible (May, Protocol)

LGBTQ+ artists and those with disabilities see Etsy as a lifeline “Many sellers who live at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities were already struggling before the e-commerce site’s latest fee increase.” (Apr, 19th News)

Technology

Who’s in Charge? Information Technology and Disability Justice in the United States. 'Can disabled people be called “users” or said to “have access” to technology if they are regularly denied agency over how they use technology?'

"Disabled people in the United States are surrounded, defined, and, to some degree, controlled by data, technology, and information—from medical technology and therapies to educational systems to social and government services and policies that shape their lives. The extent to which they can access and use technologies to accomplish their own goals is less clear. This review discusses access to data and technology for people with disabilities, focusing on agency and digital transinstitutionalization—the extension of institutional frameworks, such as surveillance and control, from state hospitals into community settings via data-driven technologies." (March, Just Tech)

Economics and Social Protection

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Social Protection

Ending the Two-Tier System of Disability Benefits. If you're not already familiar with how Supplemental Security Income (SSI) works, this article has the gruesome lowdown: benefits below the federal poverty line, and you are ineligible to receive them if you don't have other earnings or assets over $2000. (Apr, Brown Political Review) See more on how policy punishes disabled people who save more than $2,000 from Full Stack Economics.

The Impacts of Disability Benefits on Employment and Crime Discontinuing benefits for children with disabilities as they become adults “increased criminal charges substantially“. (Apr, NBER)

Data breach may have exposed personal information of Oklahomans on disability aid list (Mar, The Oklahoman)

The Care Crisis Isn’t What You Think "When it comes to disability, we devalue care (both caregiving and paid care work) because we devalue the people who need it." (Jan, Prospect)

One of the awful features of some disability-related benefits is a limit of the assets that a recipient can have. California just raised the assets limits for medicare from 2000 USD to 130,000 USD. (link to pdf, Dec, State of California)

Education and Childhood

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Overview

Surveillance Tech Is Wrongly Accusing Disabled Students of Cheating on Tests (Jun, Truthout)

Reflections on Disabled Students & Active Shooter Preparedness “How can we use anti-ableism in all aspects of gun violence prevention?” (May, Crip News)

Longest Sit-In in UCLA History Ends with Massive Victory for Students: "A 16-day sit-in by a coalition of students striking for hybrid access and equity for marginalized students got results. " (Feb, Knock LA)

I Gave My Child a Smartphone and It's Been the Best Thing for Her. More screen time has been beneficial for my disabled 10-year-old daughter. Here are five rules that make it all work for us. (Feb, Wired)

Cost of Heaven a moving exploration through graphics and text on the closure of a deaf school and importance of its heritage. "The cultural strength of the Deaf schools enable children to learn without the constant pressure to 'overcome' disability." (text transcript also available, Adrean Clark)

Higher Education

College students with disabilities deserve accessible spaces “Student journalists at the University of Maryland spent months scrutinizing their campus and talking to people with disabilities. More college newspapers should.” (May, Washington Post)

Employment, Business and Work

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New edited collection on Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Interests, Issues and Opportunities. “This collection provides an opportunity to look at how discrimination can occur across the employment process and what can be done to minimize the exclusionary practices that prevent neurodiverse individuals from getting into the workplace, advancing, thriving, and contributing as each of us desires to do.” The chapter on Shaping Organizational Climates to Develop and Leverage Workforce Neurodiversity is open access. (Jul, Routledge)

Making the ‘Business Case for Diversity’ Can Backfire with Underrepresented Groups by leading to a lower sense of belonging. (Jun, Yale Insights)

Detailed report on how Economic Justice Is Disability Justice “Achieving the as-yet unrealized promises of the ADA—and finally breaking the persistent link between disability and poverty in the United States—will require applying a disability lens across the nation’s economic policymaking.” (TCF) See also 7 Facts About the Economic Crisis Facing People with Disabilities in the United States.

Brand activism floods 'disability awareness' holidays. But too often, it ends there as well. (Mar, Business Insider)

Unemployment Soars for New Yorkers With Disabilities as Challenges Outweigh New Opportunities. ”New technologies and an explosion of remote-work jobs hasn’t stopped the unemployment rate for New Yorkers with disabilities from jumping 10 percentage points since 2019, while funding for support groups has been slashed.” (Mar, The City)

New Microsoft program connects recruiters with neurodivergent talent on a Neurodiversity Career Connector job portal. (Mar, HR Brew)

Health

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Overview

At last, medical guidelines address care for adults with Down syndrome. (Jul, Washington Post)

The autistic community is having a reckoning with Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy. Includes interesting reflections on the privatization of autism services and how ‘ABA has become “the single most reliable way to make money in the human services field beyond being a physician.”’ (May, Fortune)

Committing to Health Equity for All, Including People with Disability (Apr, Mathematica)

Severe maternal morbidity and other perinatal complications among women with disabilities. (Apr, Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology)

An article on Ableism: Types, examples, impact, and anti-ableism. “In healthcare, ableism can affect interactions with doctors and other professionals, healthcare policies, and health outcomes. The idea that disabled people have less value or lower-quality lives contributes to damaging practices that persist today.” (Nov)

A new book, Deaf Rhetoric “An Ecology of Health Communication” (Jan, Spriner)

People with disabilities left behind by telemedicine and other pandemic medical innovations. (Mar, CNN)

Why billions in Medicaid funds for people with disabilities are being held up (Mar, NPR)

Technical Standards from Newly Established Medical Schools: Review of Disability Inclusive Practices: "medical schools may perpetuate historically restrictive technical standards that serve as barriers to applicants with disabilities." (Jan, Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development)

'I am a medical student with significant hearing loss. ': Here’s what the pandemic has been like for me and others with my disability (Jan, AAMC)

Program Access, Depressive Symptoms, and Medical Errors Among Resident Physicians With Disability. 'Our study establishes an association between a lack of accessibility and heightened risk for depression and self-reported medical errors during training.' (Dec, JAMA Network)

Pregnancy among Women with Physical Disabilities: Unmet Needs and Recommendations (Jan, Brandeis)

Food Security and Nutrition

History and Memorial

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Life at a Distance: Archiving Disability Cultures of Remote Participation. “Autistic self-advocacy, for instance, famously emerged in the 1990s from internet discussion boards, which allowed autistic adults to connect and form communities without having to socialize in person (Sinclair 2010). Even earlier, in the 1940s and 50s, institutionalized disabled people used technologies such as sending quilt patches to their families (as forms of storytelling), while disabled people living at home with families shared tips and tricks in print newsletters for making houses more accessible” (Jun, Just Tech)

Google Doodle Honors Disability Rights Activist Stacey Park Milbern (May, CNET)

Inside the Pentagon’s shameful effort to draft mentally disabled men to fight in Vietnam (May, Task & Purpose)

The Helen Keller Exorcism. Brilliant rollercoaster-ride of an episode, remembering Helen Keller and her myths today. (complete with transcript, Mar, Radiolab) See also a feature on Helen Keller's Legacy (Teen Vogue).

Neil Marcus, Whose Art Illuminated Disability, Dies at 67 See more about Neil in the introduction and the last newsletter. (Dec, NYT)

The letter that Helen Keller wrote after she visited the Empire State Building. > I will concede that my guides saw a thousand things that escaped me from the top of the Empire Building, but I am not envious. For imagination creates distances and horizons that reach to the end of the world. It is as easy for the mind to think in stars as in cobble-stones. (Jan, Letters of Note)

Humanitarian, Migrants and Refugees

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Refugees with Disabilities Struggle to Join the Workforce (May, Chicago Monitor)

Institutions and Deinstitutionalization

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Profit, Pain and Private Equity: ‘BrightSpring Health Services, which KKR bought in 2019, says it helps thousands of people with disabilities “live their best lives.”’:

‘But a yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation found that KKR focused on expanding the business even as a crisis mounted in its group home division, where conditions grew so dire that nurses and caretakers quit in droves, a state prohibited the company from accepting new residents, and some of the most vulnerable people in its care suffered and died.’ (May, Buzzfeed News)

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House Approves Ban On Electric Shock Devices For Those With Developmental Disabilities. (Jun, Disability Scoop)

Lawsuit argues the Americans with Disabilities Act should apply to transgender rights (May, Washington Post)

A discussion about the relationships between law, political economy and disability (LPE Project)

Discussion on When an Intellectual Disability Means Life or Death revisiting the case of Pervis Payne and how a disability claim reduced his death sentence to life in jail after over 30 years. (Jan, Undark)

Lived Experience and Opinion

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Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 32 Buys a Motorcycle and Gets a Cute Pixie Cut (Jul, The Squeaky Wheel)

Observing Disability Pride Month this July (Jul, Human Rights Watch)

Disabled Community Disappointed that Corporations Don't Pander to Them During Disability Pride Month “I have the right to be pandered to and patronized just like any able-bodied person,” one disabled consumer told us. “I already pay more for accessibility in my daily life; I have the right to pay more for branded pride merch too.” (Jul, Squeaky Wheel)

The Tragedy of Nondisability: A Sad and Boring Life. “As crip testimonies show, it can be a relief to be liberated from nondisabled culture, with its fixation on prescriptive life-stages and rituals, to be followed in a specific way and at specific times from birth until death. Crip culture stands in opposition to this culture, as a site of non-normativity, resistance, and playful world-building.” (Jul, Biopolitical Philosophy)

What Counts as Seeing A conversation between Alice Wong and Ed Yong, about Ed Yong's books on biology. Includes reflections on ableism in scientific writing:

“I’ve read a lot of writing on the senses, both about humans and other animals, and it’s really striking to me that people gravitate towards big, sweeping statements about humans as a species that clearly don’t apply to all members of the species. One of the most common things you’ll read on this topic, from almost any source, is that humans are a visual species. We are visual creatures. That’s true on average, but millions of people are blind or have sight impairments. So if you’re a blind person, what does it mean to have someone repeatedly tell you humans are a visual species? Does that mean that you’re less than human?” (Orion Magazine)

In New York City, a video feature on wheelchair users, discussing adaptive sports, accessibility and inclusion. (Jun, CUNY TV)

It’s Time for ‘Crip Time’:

“The concept of crip time emerges from disabled experience and acknowledges that people with disabilities experience time and the demands of time differently from nondisabled persons. Crip time means that we may need to sleep more or longer, that it may take us longer to cook a meal, that it might take longer to get from point A to point B, or—most relevant to the academy—that it might take longer to write the book, that we may need to schedule meetings later in the day because that is when our bodies and minds are most functional, or that we may need additional time on our tenure clock because of health-related disruptions in our scholarly production.” (Jun, Inside Higher Ed)

Short documentary film, My Disability Roadmap “The path to adulthood is a precarious one for those with disabilities. So Samuel Habib, 21, seeks out guidance from America’s most rebellious disability activists.” (May, NYT) The NYT page doesn't load properly for me; you can also see the film at Like Right Films.

I'm Deaf And I Have 'Perfect' Speech. Here's Why It's Actually A Nightmare. (Apr, HuffPost)

Rebecca Cokley on her Break-up with Little People America:

“It is harmful to be surrounded by people who are actively celebrating the eradication of your people. Because the reality is, average height people and corporations don’t see us as a distinct people, as a culture. We are patients and a market. A majority of average height family members see us as a flaw in the genetic code, a reminder that their loved one is not EXACTLY like everyone else in their family. For some parents, our dwarfism is a reminder that there is always something that they will not fully understand about their child.” (Mar, Disability Visibility Project)

I Approach Polyamory With the Same Drive I Do My Work.

'As I hopped across genres [of writing], and from page to screen, nondisabled people would ask, “Why don’t you just be yourself?” and I would hear, in their question, Tell the story we expect: Your disabled life is very hard, you are very sad, but then you overcome it and are very happy. I refused. I’m not Cyborg Cinderella. I’m not a parable. I’m an artist.' (Mar, The Cut)

Dave Grohl, of Foo Fighters and previously Nirvana, talks about hearing loss: ‘I’ve Been Reading Lips For 20 Years’ “I’m a rock musician. I’m fucking deaf. I can’t hear what you’re saying.” - and more on how he performs and makes music. (Feb, HuffPost)

NPR Life Kit: Don't be scared to talk about disabilities. Here's what to know and what to say, feature with Emily Ladau, with links to further resources. (Feb, NPR)

Disabilities are not binary. Why do we treat them that way? (Feb, AAMC)

Ableism Is More Than A Breach Of Etiquette — It Has Consequences (Feb, Forbes)

Q&A With Lainey Feingold, Disability Rights Lawyer on structured negotiation and "negotiating instead of suing". (Equal Entry)

An interesting twitter thread from @cmmhartmann on "feel[ing] torn about the trend of people describing their physical appearance during meetings for those who are blind/low vision. [...] I am uneasy with the assumption that visual details are better." (Feb)

If you're interested in controversy about Autism, see this Position Statement on Language, Images and Depictions Concerning Severe Autism This statement criticizes "vocal activists and autism self-advocates" in ways that I don't agree with, but I provide this FYI and because there are important issues in play. (Feb, NCSA)

You Are Not Entitled To Our Deaths COVID, Abled Supremacy & Interdependence

"My people are dying and terrified. And you don’t seem to care. You don’t seem to care because you don’t see them–see us–as your people too. When you talk to me about racial justice or housing justice or healing justice or gender justice, who exactly are you talking about? Whose justice are you fighting for? Because it never seems to include disabled people or if it does, it is only in theory, not practice; only to make yourself look better. Or only when disabled people are in the room or when disabled people initiate the conversation. " (
"My people are dying and terrified. And you don’t seem to care. You don’t seem to care because you don’t see them–see us–as your people too. When you talk to me about racial justice or housing justice or healing justice or gender justice, who exactly are you talking about? Whose justice are you fighting for? Because it never seems to include disabled people or if it does, it is only in theory, not practice; only to make yourself look better. Or only when disabled people are in the room or when disabled people initiate the conversation. ", Jan, Mia Mingus)

Tina's art: "How I see the world" Art and photography from someone with Cerebral visual impairment. (Perkins)

On Marta Russell’s Money Model of Disability Locating disability in its economic circumstances, rather than in terms of stigma: seeing the industries of charity and care that commodify disabled people. (Dec, Blind Archive)

To Hold the Grief and the Growth: On Crip Ecologies

"Crip ecologies, crip time, crip ingenuity, crip spirit radically aim to question root systems that keep our imaginations limited and starved. How can we channel joy within our own skins before there is the stethoscope, the specialist’s jackhammered interrogation, before all the stigma we battle? I am not asking to look beyond it, because these constraints in our beings are here and ever-present. I am asking, as poets, as curious people who want liberation, how do we revel in the grief and also the growth we experience? In what ways does this unpack how we are taught to perceive place and nature?" (Jan, Poetry Foundation)

Reframing Entrepreneurship And Disability To Shape A New Business Culture describes the way we make changes within organizations as 'intrapreneurship'. (Dec, Forbes)

Working definition of Ableism updated in January 2022:

A system of assigning value to people's bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, productivity, desirability, intelligence, excellence, and fitness. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in eugenics, anti-Blackness, misogyny, colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism. This systemic oppression that leads to people and society determining people's value based on their culture, age, language, appearance, religion, birth or living place, "health/wellness", and/or their ability to satisfactorily re/produce, "excel" and "behave." You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism. (Jan, Talila Lewis)

Mental Health

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This Teen Shared Her Troubles With a Robot. Could AI ‘Chatbots’ Solve the Youth Mental Health Crisis? “The pandemic hit and this technology basically skyrocketed. Everywhere I turn now there’s a new chatbot promising to deliver new things,” (Apr, 74 Million)

Doctors Gave Her Antipsychotics. She Decided to Live With Her Voices: “A new movement wants to shift mainstream thinking away from medication and toward greater acceptance.” (May, New York Times)

Mobility, Travel, Transport and Tourism

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The Department of Transport Announces First-Ever Bill of Rights for Passengers with Disabilities. The Bill of Rights describes 10 rights for airline passengers with disabilities. (Jul, Department of Transportation)

In New York, M.T.A. Vows to Make Subways 95% Accessible. “It Will Take 33 Years.” (Jun, NYT)

Amtrak Pays $2.25 Million to Disabled People Who Were Unable to Access Train Stations (Jan, Newsweek)

How 3 travelers with disabilities or chronic illness navigate the world "These travelers cope with an added layer of worry and logistics. Here’s how they do it." (Jan, Washington Post)

Accessible Cars Aren’t Born, They’re Made "Car buyers looking for specific mobility features have limited options, but customizers and manufacturers are trying to change that." (Jan, Wired)

Good to see that in NYC the pilor shared e-scooter scheme included possibility to rent wheelchairs or mobility scooters. (Jan, NYC Scooter Share)

Policy and Rights

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Politics and Elections

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Why Vice President Kamala Harris mentioned her blue suit at a disability rights meeting a great set of reflections on the importance to give visual descriptions. (Jul, 19th News)

5 Disability Issue Questions To Ask State And Local Midterm Election Candidates (Jun, Forbes)

Wisconsin voters with disabilities say their right to vote is at risk (May, NPR)

Voters with disabilities find barriers in new voting and election laws.

“2020 was probably the most accessible election we’ve seen,” said Michelle Bishop, the voter access and engagement manager at National Disability Rights Network. “We made a lot of changes in response to Covid, which also happened to be best practices for making voting more accessible for people with disabilities. But we are still in the period of pushback to all of those positive changes.” (Apr, Vox)

in Louisiana Disabled people face GOP pushback in bid to study voting access (Apr, Louisiana Illuminator)

The Ignominious Deceits of Congressman Cawthorn ”Representative Madison Cawthorn has misled the public about training for the Paralympics, just as he misrepresented his education and business history.” (Jan, The Nation)

Reflections on the 6th January Insurrection attempt includes a condemnation of people involved using disability to try to get off criminal charges: including the so-called QAnon Shaman attempt to invoke autism. (Jan, AAPD)

Relationships, Sex and Reproductive Rights

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For a Woman in a Wheelchair, Abortion Access Was One More Challenge (Jul, NYT)

With Roe v. Wade overturned, disabled people reflect on how it will impact them (NPR) See also the dire cost of forced birth for people with disabilities (Huffington Post).

Statement on the Supreme Court’s Ruling Overturning the Right to Abortion “We are more likely to be sexually assaulted. Especially people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some of us have complex medical conditions and pregnancy is dangerous. The government already tries to control our lives and our bodies. Disabled people need abortion.” (Jun, DREDF) See also from AAPD and others.

How do people with disabilities feel about abortion? Ives-Rublee, one of the co-authors, says “I think it’s extremely important for us to expand the way we talk about the impact of having a bodily autonomy, to include abortion access, but to include all of these other issues that particularly affect the disability community.” (May, 19th News)

Reproductive Justice for Disabled Women: Ending Systemic Discrimination. “As access to reproductive rights continues to shrink in the United States, disabled women struggle to gain visibility around their rights and needs.” (Apr, American Progress)

Book review of Eradicating Deafness? Genetics, Pathology, and Diversity in Twentieth-Century America. (Mar, H-Disability)

Sex Workers and Persons With Disabilities: "Persons with disabilities are often taught by society to feel guilty or ashamed of asking for accommodations – seeing a sex worker may overcome that by explicitly focusing on the client’s needs and abilities." (Mar, Psychology Today)

Disability-inspired Valentines Cards "The illness may be chronic but together we're iconic" (Feb, Squeaky Wheel on twitter)

Forced Sterilization of Disabled People in the United States: "Laws allowing forced sterilization exist in 31 states plus Washington, D.C." The latest were passed in 2019. (Jan, NWCL)

I’m Thankful Every Day for the Decision I Made After My Prenatal Tests

"Done right, prenatal testing could allow parents to prepare well for the birth of their children. But without broad social acceptance of people with disabilities, without a medical establishment that conveys the positive social situations of many people with disabilities, and without funding for accurate and up-to-date information in the face of a prenatal diagnosis, more and more women will face decisions about their pregnancies without the support they deserve." (Feb, NYT)

We Talked To People Living With Disabilities About Sex And Here's What They Had To Say (Dec, BuzzFeed)

Resources

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I was very happy to find The Squeaky Wheel: a parody disability news site - think the Onion, but for us

Space Exploration

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This space company wants to help people with disabilities become astronauts “So often we make design decisions up front that are exclusionary to entire segments of the population. That’s why I’m so excited about space. Space, to me, is a blank canvas.” and “NASA proved that deaf space flight participants would be more adaptable to the foreign gravitational environments, and yet there has never been a deaf astronaut.” (Dec, The Hill)

Sport and Paralympics

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The Hardest Part About Being a Deaf Hiker? Everyone Else. (Jun, Backpacker)

Deaf Performers Were Not Included At The Halftime Show: Separate is Not Equal. See a more positive article on inclusion of deaf rappers. (Feb, Access Vine)

‘I need to speak my truth’: Allegations of emotional abuse led to the resignation of the Paralympic women’s wheelchair basketball coach (Dec, 19th News)

Violence and Harassment

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2022 Anti-Filicide Toolkit. Parents murdering their disabled children is reported in the media as "justifiable and inevitable" and this contributes to a cycle of violence. (March, Autistic Self Advocacy Network)