Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop - April 16, 2013
I have no trouble believing that an employee with developmental disabilities was sexually harassed while working in a "big box" retailer, and as one commenter on the article pointed out, the Federal EEOC doesn't just take any case that comes along. What interests me is the statement that, “Ms. Wells’ impairment made her particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment." Maybe so, but harassment falls under the Civil Rights Act, (which the EEOC is also using), not the ADA. Just because she also has a disability, doesn't necessarily mean the harassment was disability-related. I hope we get to hear exactly how her disability related to what happened to her.
I found this story oddly uplifting, even encouraging. First of all, it reinforces the idea that cultural, regional, and religious differences that sometimes seem to mean everything, are actually pretty minor when it comes to the devotion of parents to their children, in even the worst situations. Second, although they apparently weren't ready yet at the time the article was written, the refugee camp is going to have wheelchair accessible toilets and showers. IN THE REFUGEE CAMP. I'll remember that next time I consider being all patient and understanding about a restaurant that can't manage to get a wheelchair accessible restroom right.
It would be easy to dismiss this as a royal stunt, and maybe that's what it is. Also, it's quite possible that Prince Harry will turn the whole thing into a tear-jerking exercise. Still, I think there's a better chance that he'll do it right. A genuinely empowering, informative, and modern-day approach to calling attention to disabled veterans could be extremely valuable, especially if led by someone like Prince Harry, who's image combines the prominence of a "royal" with a touch of human fallibility. He's done some stupid things, but he always seems serious and informed about the "charities" he joins.
This is the kind of issue I hate the most. There ought to be discoverable facts underlying why the V. A. is behind in processing veterans' disability claims, but instead of learning about them, mostly we get politicians scoring political points, and cynicism from the very people who have the most to lose. I'm no better; my first thought was to wonder whether the Bush Administration was somehow. Maybe later this week I'll write something about Kayla Williams' blog posts on this subject.
I have trained police cadets on dealing with people who have disabilities. It is one subject where "disability awareness" is actually the most valuable and realistic goal. You can't ask police officers to know about and recall every nuance of every physical or mental disability, and apply the knowledge in every tense situation. You can make them alert to the possibility that disability could be a factor in any situation. Just that alone can help reduce many unfortunate, and tragic, misunderstandings.
Note: This weekly feature isn't anything like a "complete" listing or even a summary of all disability-related news. It's just articles I choose for whatever reason. My comments on each article are my own opinion, but I will try to ask as many questions as I claim to answer.
Disability life, ideas, identity, culture, commentary, and politics.