Weekly Reading List

Colorful cartoon picture of a tall stack of books
This is a collection of disability-related articles and blog posts I read last week, but didn’t have a chance to link to or discuss. It’s an opportunity to catch up with some of the good stuff that’s out there, but doesn’t fit neatly into whatever the “big stories” are each week.

Here is this week’s reading list:

Tonia Says - May 6, 2015

It’s always good to be reminded by an actual disabled person why we use the words we do to describe ourselves. There are all kinds of intellectual arguments about this, but we feel personally about it, too. It’s not all a political stance.
Mama Fry, Scary Mommy (date unknown)

Another angle on labeling, this time from a parent of a disabled child. She gets at the issue that bothers me about labeling, which is a seeming confusion between the label … the word … and the thing itself. As if the label makes the thing real, when really the label is just a way to describe something that already exists and is best recognized.

Laurie Arnold, The Mighty - May 14, 2015

This is kind of a blunt, but also refreshing description of how it feels to be gawked at. Or, in this case, how it feels for parents to see their disabled kids gawked at.

The Squeaky Wheelchair - May 14, 2015

This is about college, obviously, but also a reminder of what it takes for people with significant physical disabilities to function independently. It’s a lot about management skills.

Diane Coleman, Syracuse.com - May 11, 2015

The core disability rights argument against legalized assisted suicide. It’s not about religion or morality, it’s entirely practical … about bad policy more than bad behavior.

Conor Friendersdorf, The Atlantic - May 15, 2015

The former Executive Director in me cringed a bit while reading about a mental health counselor’s somewhat unauthorized practices, though they seem to be right.

German Lopez, Vox.com - May 16, 2015

I appreciated reading the “other side” of this issue … the medical reasons why higher-octane painkillers can bad for you medically, not just morally or legally. Still, even those arguments seemed a bit weak to me, kind of circumstantial. The meds themselves seem to be no worse than any other, as long as they are used responsibly. And pain management is a big, big issue for many disabled people.

The Onion - May 15, 2015

“It’s important to remember that in those days, the need to rely on eight mechanical spider legs was perceived as a weakness,” said Elmore, citing a lack of education about the issue and the fact that most Americans simply chose not to talk about it."