Monthly Reading List: September, 2018

Monthly Reading List in large print on a background photo of stacks of books

Five selected disability-themed articles from August, 2018. It turns out my choices this month are about fundamentals of understanding the disability experience. Taken together, they form a pretty good introduction for anyone who might be exploring disability thinking for the first time.

It isn’t a wheelchair that makes my life disabled, it’s buildings without ramps
Frances Ryan, The Guardian - August 23, 2018

Accessibility is the purest, simplest example of how in real life, disability is about your surroundings, living conditions, and the restrictions they impose as much ... if not more ... as it is about any medical conditions or impairments you have. This is the point where the Social Model and Medical Model of disability diverge.

My Disabilities Make Me Both Broken and Whole
Kate Ryan, Rooted In Rights - August 24, 2018

There is a lot of debate inside the disability community about whether accepting the Social Model of disability, and having a positive view of disability in general, means you have to gloss over the frequent pain and medical complications of actual disabilities. This article deftly threads the needle between the two main ways we experience disability. The bonus is that it is beautifully expressed.

Cripple Perks: The Unreasonable Luxury of Living While Disabled
s.e. smith, Catapult - August 15, 2018

One of the most common types of discrimination disabled people face is the dirty looks, eye rolls, and other forms of passive and sometimes not so passive disapproval we get when we use "special" accommodations and shortcuts to make our lives a little more bearable. It's important for both non-disabled and disabled people to understand the difference between unearned privilege and necessary, equalizing accommodations. As long as we aspire to a "no help" standard of independence, and tacitly agree to the judgements of onlookers, we hold ourselves back from achieving real independence and equality.

Report shows LGBTI people with disability experience higher rates of discrimination
Nicole Pope, Disability Support Guide - August 10, 2018

The fact that many disabled people experience multiple overlapping layers of discrimination is often expressed so abstractly that people who don't experience it firsthand have trouble understanding it. Real data like this is valuable in demonstrating how being disabled and also LGBTQ mix to produce additional and distinct forms of discrimination. This is intersectionality ... a somewhat intimidating word for a pretty basic reality that still isn't recognized enough, even within the disability community.

Q&A With The Money Diarist Living On Disability
Anabel Pasarow, Refinery - August 9, 2018

You can't get more concrete than asking an actual disabled person on Social Security Disability how they manage their day to day finances. There is a lot of moral posturing about "Disability" benefits, but ultimately it comes down to real people doing real math.