Weekly Reading List

Illustration of two shelves filled with multicolored books

‘Can I cry now?': Dallas DA, who grappled with mental illness, survives effort to remove her
Jamie Thompson, Washington Post - January 8, 2016

This is one of the more interesting cases I have read about disability discrimination in the workplace. It’s interesting because it involves an elected official who could only be removed through some kind of public hearing process. It may also be another of the kind of workplace situations I saw a lot when I worked in Independent Living … in which disability was used as the more socially acceptable reason to try and get rid of someone people didn’t like for more mundane, personal reasons. It sounds like the DA had a significant but temporary mental health crisis, which she may not have handle quite perfectly at the beginning. But the real problem is that she pissed off a lot of people in the more or less normal course of her job. For all I know, Ms. Hawk may be an awful, vindictive person, but pissing people off seems like a pretty common side effect of being a District Attorney regardless. Her mental health crisis supplied an excuse to dump her, but fortunately, it sounds like the hearing judge saw it this way too and ruled in Ms. Hawk’s favor.

Hillary Clinton's autism plan shows just how far the autism rights movement has come
Dylan Matthews, Vox.com - January 8, 2016

Dylan Matthews continues to do excellent, important work, covering autism issues from a neurodiversity perspective, in a mainstream news outlet. And I have to say I am genuinely impressed with the scope of Clinton’s plan, not so much as an actual plan, but as an indicator of how she regards disability issues.

The Disability Integration Act – Fact Sheet
ADAPT - January 5, 2016

I want to hear all of the presidential candidates say whether or not they support this bill or one like it, and explain what it is. That’s important. If you don’t understand how outdated long term care policies and practices keep disabled people stuck in nursing homes when they don’t want to be, you’re missing a major chunk of what disability policy is about.

Three Articles, Three Kinds of Advocacy
Ari Ne’eman, Sometimes a Lion - December 31, 2015

More essential reading for anyone involved in disability advocacy and activism. I am a categorizer by nature, so of course I'm interested in Ne'eman's breakdown of three distinct types of disability advocacy. What I appreciate most, though, is that all three kinds assume that we want to accomplish something concrete, not just be heard. Self-expression and catharsis sometimes seem to be high priorities in disability activism, and I'm not sure that's always a good thing. But as this article suggests, disability activism can be both emotionally satisfying and achieve solid, substantial goals.

Two Thirds Of The Planet - December 31, 2015

As I have noted elsewhere, I’m going to try to do this. I’ve always loved the idea of taking photos of everyday life, but I’ve never felt really comfortable with it. Mostly I find myself thinking that the things I take photos of are uninteresting, and kind of pathetic. I probably just have to make myself do it more. Having a project like this helps, too, since it’s meant to celebrate the every-day. Don’t expect many selfie’s though. I appreciate their value, and what they mean to people to take them, but it must be one of those generational things that makes it hard for me to participate. So, pictures of food and the view from my car it is!