Weekly Reading List

Illustration of two shelves of multicolored books

The week's best disability reading ...

The Radical Disabled Americans Bringing Direct Action to Your Town
David Perry, Pacific Standard - March 13, 2017

This article is so much more than news about disabled people protesting the current administration's health care proposals. It is a vivid portrait of the ADAPT style of disability protest. Like many ADAPT actions, it's neither grandiose nor trivializing. Best of all, David Perry gets to a crucial point for people who, like me, sometimes wonder about the real value of protest ... that it's valuable for more than what it literally accomplishes.

New Production of “The Glass Menagerie” Stars Wheelchair User Madison Ferris
Seth McBride, New Mobility - March 9, 2017

This is the next major frontier for disability representation. When I was growing up and a young adult, it was a big deal to see actors portray disabled people and tell disability-related stories. For while there, I don't think it occurred to me or many others that we might expect the actors to have disabilities, too. At this point, I'm about 90% of the opinion that disabled characters should never be played by non-disabled actors. Put simply, disabled characters should be portrayed by disabled actors. This "Glass Menagerie" casting does that, and more ... apparently underscoring and re-interpreting a component of the play itself, and what it means for a character to have a disability.

Disabled Youth & Vampire Slayers
Andrew Pulrang, Disability Thinking - June 5, 2015

An internet friend who blogs and tweets for Easter Seals surprised me on Friday by tweeting about an old blog post of mine, drawing connections between one of my favorite TV shows and an important aspect of the disability experience. She posted it, I think, because Friday was the 20th anniversary of the show's premise. I re-read the piece, and it's a lot better than I remembered it! In fact, it really is one of the best disability items I read last week.

Weekend read: Stuck in transit — Getting around Montreal in a wheelchair
Jason Magder, Montreal Gazette - March 11, 2017

I got to know a few accessible transportation activists in Montreal last summer, when I did a presentation there on #CripTheVote. That's why this Montreal Gazette article stood out. It's also just a really good example of disability journalism that centers on the experience and perspectives of actual disabled people.

How People Commemorate the Day They Lost a Limb
Serena Solomon, Vice - February 27, 2017

I think you can go back and forth to opposite extremes on the question of whether disability is something to have pride about, or something that's inherently sad. Sometimes, positivity comes off as trying to hard, or as a kind of "party line" the disability community insists on for semi-political reasons. On the other hand, too many people assume that disability positivity must be a performance. The truth is something in between. Everyone processes their own disabilities in their own ways. Sometimes, pride is a bit of a put-on, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. Sometimes, acknowledging a darker view can be a welcomed return to reality. Or, it can be wallowing, quite detached from reality in its own way. The bottom line is that we should probably just take everyone at their word and not worry about what's real and what's a facade. People do what they must to survive and be happy. Also, amputated limb cakes are cool.