Monthly Reading List

MONTHLY READING LIST in white capital letters superimposed over a darkened photo of a pile of open books

Disability-related articles worth reading last month:

How to Get Disability Accommodations at School
s. e. smith, Teen Vogue - October 2, 2017

Why Sex Education for Disabled People Is So Important
Ariel Henley, Teen Vogue - October 5, 2017

Teen Vogue has been doing a lot more political reporting lately, most notably since last year's election. It's also publishing great and relevant writing on semi-political topics, including those related to disability ... like disability accommodations in school and sex education for disabled students. Whether it's a new practice or standard operating procedure for Teen Vogue, t's good to see sophisticated but at the same time accessible articles like this, by disabled writers, in a "mainstream" magazine.

The Conundrum of Consent, Care, and Disability
Emily Wolinsky, Medium - October 14, 2017

This Is Why Consent Doesn’t Exist For Disabled Folks
Mia Mingus, The Establishment - October 29, 2017

These two disabled writers do rather different things, in different but similar online publications, with the same topic ... the meaning of consent when you need other people to help you with basic self-care. It's one of those areas where disabled people have to assert contradictory things. We have to convince people that depending on other people to "wipe our butts" doesn't mean an inherent loss of dignity. Independence is possible, with the right help and tools, even for a quadriplegic. On the other hand, we sometimes need to remind ourselves and others that this reliance does imply a loss of autonomy that isn't always a fair trade. We have to admit that those able-bodied people who fear the loss of dignity that they see in disabled people are, in a way, onto something.

You Are Special! Now Stop Being Different
Jonathan Mooney, New York Times - October 12, 2017

Mr. Mooney starts out with a vivid, down-to-earth description of what it's like to be a kid with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, (A.D.H.D.). This in itself is valuable because A.D.H.D. is still a fuzzy concept in some peoples' minds, including my own sometimes. Much of my professional life was in the 1990s and 2000s, so there is still a little corner of my brain that thinks of A.D.H.D. as a former "disability du jour," a condition that suddenly everyone was talking about and every kid seemed to have. Today, that might be anxiety. But, these conditions emerge and become talked about because they need to be described, studied, and talked about. So even now, Mr. Mooney's testimony is important. At the same time, he gives a crystal clear explanation of the Social Model of all disabilities ... the fact that in addition to our disabilities themselves, we have to deal with the way society regards them, and usually those barriers are the hardest to deal with. That's not an especially new idea, but it keeps needing to be explained in fresh terms.