A selection 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 the week's “big stories.”
Trigger warning, I guess, for an emotionally hard-hitting account of abuse and neglect of a disabled person. I read this several times, so I could appreciate it on a few different levels. Two things in particular stay with me:
1. Dominick provides a very clear and full explanation of what Personal Care Attendant services are for and how they work. It’s a surpassingly hard thing to explain to people who have no exposure to it, yet it is absolutely central to the lives of so many “severely” disabled people.
2. The article also shows how “emotional” abuse can be as harmful as physical abuse. For those who don’t experience it, emotional abuse can seem like a slippery idea, something bad but not in the same league as being beaten up. But so often it is just as damaging, or more.
The article is worth reading, even if it’s painful.
Suzanne Barlyn and Elizabeth Dilts, Reuters - July 1, 2015
This news article relates in a way to Dominick’s article above. I say that because both articles either explicitly or implicitly suggest the need for some outside, third-party authorities to protect “vulnerable” people. The need is there for something, but protective measures always run the risk of robbing the beneficiaries of choice, control, and agency. Fighting abuse and exploitation isn’t simple.
Another terrific piece by Smart Ass Cripple. We talk a lot about better accessibility being good for businesses, but how do businesses decide which markets matter and which don’t? Why do disabled customers always seem to be at the bottom of their priority lists?
It’s kind of ridiculous how happy it made me on the 4th to learn that one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had a disability. And the man’s quote is a real winner. It should be one of the disability community’s iconic statements.