March 1, 2019 Disability Day of Mourning
On March 1st, the disability community gathers across the nation to remember disabled victims of filicide–disabled people murdered by their family members or caregivers. This year disability activists, advocates and allies joined again to recognize those lost, as well as reaffirm the fight to value and respect the lives of all individuals with disabilities.
Yetnebersh Nigussie lost her sight at the age of five, but she has not let her disability slow her down. A tireless advocate for people with disabilities in Africa, she has received prestigious prizes, including the Spirit of Helen Keller Award and the Alternative Nobel Prize. Yetnebersh Nigussie recently spoke to VOA’s Salem Solomon from our studios in New York. Here’s her story.
Mike Oliver, a pioneering disability studies scholar who coined the influential social model of disability, has died, according to reports. A number of widely-shared tweets mourn the March 3 passing of the UK’s first disability studies professor. Mr Oliver is best known for affirming that removing the disabling barriers that limit and oppress people with impairments is a social – not an individual – responsibility.
One year after giving birth to her second daughter, Jessica Gribble finally had an answer for the developmental delays, the failed hearing test, the frequent illnesses her daughter had experienced from birth to 12 months. Charlee Rae was diagnosed with Hurler Syndrome, a form of Mucopolysaccharidosis or MPS, which causes cell toxicity. Gribble was the mother of a deathly ill child, advocating for her daughter on her own, having left her eldest daughter and husband in Spartanburg so Charlee Rae could receive treatments at Duke University Hospital in Durham for one year.
Earlier this month, Representative Bobby Scott (D-IL) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation to eliminate the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities. The bill, the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, phases out section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which made it legal for certified “sheltered workshops” to pay people with disabilities less than the minimum wage. This means the estimated 400,000 people with disabilities who are paid an average of $2.15 an hour will slowly gain access to jobs that pay the full minimum wage. That’s a big deal, especially to people like George, who used to work in a sheltered workshop run by Melwood, the company where Cari serves as president and CEO.
In general, society and the media have two extremely polarizing views on people with disabilities. They are viewed as either remarkable and heroic or victims and pitiful. Since disability falls on a wide range of a spectrum, these stereotypes are very limiting and can lead to severe repercussions for the disabled community and their views of themselves. For the outside, able-bodied population, these biases cause them to set forth unconscious microaggression toward their peers with disabilities.
Former model and restaurateur B. Smith is a likely representation of life with Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond the gasps over Smith’s home life — she lives with her husband and his live-in girlfriend — her situation points to real-world challenges faced by black families caring for loved ones who have this life-altering condition. Alzheimer’s is a public health crisis for which Congress has thankfully put aside its differences long enough to pass the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s (BOLD) Act. Now the question is whether the money and resources directed toward African-Americans, a group disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s, is bold enough.
The time has come in America when the same kind of concerted effort that split the atom and took man to the moon should be turned toward conquering this dread disease.” That was President Nixon in his State of the Union address 48 years ago. The dread disease he was talking about was cancer, the second leading cause of death in the country, and he used the address to open his “war on cancer.”
Grey divorce refers to a demographic trend that has witnessed an increase in the split or separation of older couples who have been married for a long time. Grey divorcees are also called “silver or diamond splitters,” and the term refers to the hair color that older people often have. The term began to be used in the United States in 2004, but the practice had already been prevalent for about 20 years. Research shows that the overall rate of divorce in the United States has declined over the past 20 years, but the divorce rate of people over 50 is on the rise.
Selma Blair on why multiple sclerosis diagnosis caused tears of relief, getting help from Michael J Fox | ABC
It may look like a giant robotic bug but the MooAV could be the car of the future.
Made by startup MooVita, it’s one of dozens of autonomous vehicles being put to the test at a special center in Singapore that aims to advance the development of self-driving car technology. Startups from around the world are coming to the purpose-built track that recreates an urban environment over 5 acres at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. The roads look like any other in the city, with stop lights, crosswalks and traffic signs. There’s even a rain simulator. It’s all part of an effort to test how autonomous vehicles cope with all those elements.
If you ask John Combs what his biggest worry is, he’ll say: “How will I feed Red?” Red is actually white. He’s a labradoodle rescue, just tall enough for Combs to pet if he reaches over the armrest of his wheelchair. Combs, 42, has cerebral palsy. He has difficulty speaking. But he has no difficulty saying the line most Americans have heard at least once: “Welcome to Walmart!”
Combs has one of Walmart’s trademark front-door jobs: He’s a “people greeter” at a store in Vancouver, Wash. But, he was told, come April 25 his job is going away. And he is not alone. According to Walmart, greeters are being removed at about 1,000 stores around the country.
Yesterday, February 24th, the disability rights advocate community lost one of its mightiest members, Carrie Ann Lucas. Lucas was a nationally known disability rights attorney and a mother of four children, each of whom are adopted and living with disabilities. She was only 47 years old. Her death was announced by family and friends on her Facebook page: “[Lucas] died after an arbitrary denial from an insurance company caused a plethora of health problems, exacerbating her disabilities and eventually leading to her premature death.”
Fear of flying is far from unusual, but I struggle with the lesser-known fear of flying logistics.
It’s common knowledge among wheelchair users that there’s more to successful completion of a safe, comfortable flight than taking off smoothly and reaching a destination without incident.
As a wheelchair user who frequently travels for both work and play, I’ve mastered the balance between hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
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