Weekly Reading List

Illustration of two shelves of multicolored books

Good, interesting things I read last week ...

Disabled People Need Not Apply
David Perry, Al Jazeera America - February 5. 2016

The ADA has been confused and misused in backwards-headed ways, by people who really think they are doing right, since the law passed in 1990. Here it looks like colleges are violating the employment rights of faculty with disabilities, under Title I, partially in an effort to prevent accessibility problems for disabled students, related to Title III. What's surprising and infuriating is that these mix-ups are still going on, creating a massive and obvious barrier to employment in an entire career field. Jeez Louise!

Nearly 14,000 disabled people have mobility cars taken away
Nikki Fox, BBC - February 3, 2016

Wow. I read about this months ago when it was in the planning stages. I got the impression that the UK government feels too many people were using the program who's disabilities weren't "severe" enough to justify the extra help paying for these cars. Maybe, maybe not. But it's hard to see how anyone wins when 14,000 people lose their cars. 14,000 people who now probably can't get to work. 14,000 people who now probably need help just to get groceries or to the doctor. 14,000 cars now out of the market that probably won't be replaced, meaning 14,000 cars that dealers may not be able to sell or lease to other customers. It's cruel, and stunningly bad policy.

Matt Frasier on the Future of Disability in the Media
Mark Hay, The Daily Good - February 2, 2016

There is a lot more in this article than an actor interview or a discussion of disabled people in acting. Matt Frasier says great, memorable things about disability that I wish all youth growing up with disabilities could read. His radical politics might put a few people off a bit, but what he says about disability is so sensible and obvious that it's nearly impossible to dismiss him as just another avant-garde weirdo.

4 Ways That ‘Our Minds Are Fine’ Is Ableist Toward Cognitively Disabled Folks
Cara Liebowitz, Everyday Feminism - February 6, 2016

This article, too, hit me like hard ... in a good way, but not without pain. The title makes the subject pretty clear, and I think pretty much anyone with physical disabilities can relate to the careful, "insidious" ways we distance ourselves from people we think have "worse" disabilities. It's so understandable but it's also so horrible. It's one reason I'm optimistic about the disability rights movement and Disability Culture. When I was just starting out, the applicability of disability rights and independent living to people with cognitive disabilities was actually debated, and now, at least, they are mostly not ... at least not among disabled people who have thought it through for a minute.

When I Asked My Daughter, “What Do You Think I Feel About Your Disability?
Ellen Stumbo, Hope and Encouragement for the Special Needs Parent - February 5, 2016

This mother seems like just the kind of person I would like to feed all of these "Weekly Reading List" articles to. She's on the right track with her disabled child ... at least in my limited opinion. But I also sense that she's suspended between two approaches to disability ... acceptance and combat. She seems to get that, too, but that doesn't mean it's easy for her to invest fully in acceptance. I shouldn't single out Ms. Stumbo here. She wrote the article, sure, but I feel like she stands for countless non-disabled parents of disabled kids, parents who feel pulled in 11 different directions not just on practical matters, but on how to think about disability. It's gotta be tough, and I know that sometimes we in the disability community can be tough on parents. But for what it's worth, as a disabled adult who grew up as a disabled child, I would much rather read an essay by a parent struggling with their eyes and ears open, than any parent who is totally self-assured.