Weekly Reading List

Two shelves of multicolored books

Last week’s reading …

How To Be A "Self Advocate" That Disability Organizations Will Listen To
Lei, We Always Liked Picasso Anyway - March 22, 2016

Sarcasm is my least favorite brand of humor. I like it even less in the service of commentary on something I actually believe in. Still, I have to admit, this does a very good job of highlighting the way so many disability organizations go through the motions of inclusion and embrace certain approved sorts of disability advocates as a way of diluting their effectiveness. I’m not even sure it’s intentional. Most often I think its just that people and institutions naturally do what they can to avoid discomfort, and real activists make life harder and more uncomfortable. So they try to pick “advocates” who seem polite and easy to deal with, and they shun activists who hurt peoples’ feelings. Like I say, it’s natural, it shouldn’t surprise us, that doesn’t means it’s okay.

What you see is not what you get: life as a female autistic
Sarah Hendrickx, Standard Issue Magazine - January 4, 2016

I am not autistic. I am not any sort of autism expert. But as far as I can tell, this is the best explanation of what autism is like from the autistic person's point of view ... including how frustrating it is that autism is so fundamentally misunderstood most of the time.

Paralympic athletes 'may have put disabled people off exercise'
James Meikle, The Guardian - April 3, 2016

It makes you wonder how many other things people just assume about what motivates disabled people might be completely wrong.

Reporting on Disability with Sensitivity, not Sensationalism
Genevieve Bedmaker, Neiman Reports - April 3, 2016

I like what this article says about disability journalism, though the quotes from the founder of “The Mighty” didn’t jibe too well with what that online journal actually became. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, read this Weekly Reading List from January, and check out the Twitter hashtag: #CrippingTheMighty.

When fear of wheelchairs is really fear of institutionalization
Social Skills for Autonomous People - March 4, 2016

The depths of the ableist mind are dark and twisty. I think we only understand about half of what makes people so weirded out about wheelchairs and other visible markers of disability. I think sometimes we overthink it, and really, for most people, it just boils down to a good old fear of death and ill-health.