Posted on December 20, 2019
To go from her second-story bedroom to her second-story bathroom, Christine Hoag had to crawl. The bathroom doorframe was not wide enough for her wheelchair to fit through, the hall was too narrow for her chair to turn around and the bathroom itself was so cramped she could barely move between the tub and toilet.
“It felt like I had lost every shred of my dignity,” she says. She also, because of the crawling, had suffered multiple back injuries.
Hoag has Shy-Drager syndrome, a nervous system disorder with symptoms that resemble Parkinson’s disease. A related condition causes low blood pressure and tachycardia, which can produce lightheadedness and put her at risk of falling every time she transitions from sitting to standing. For a proudly independent entrepreneur who once founded her own home care company, the prospect of moving to a nursing home was not appealing. “I want to stay in my home,” she told me, and “have a nice quality of life as long as I’m here.”
Posted on July 13, 2018
Last month, federal immigration agents separated a 10-year-old girl with Down syndrome from her mother at the border. Nine months before that, agents did the same to a 16-year-old boy with autism, taking him from his caregiver grandmother.
Unimaginably unconscionable, their separations and those of some 2,300 other children at the border from their parents and other caregivers came in the wake of president Trump’s zero tolerance policy against immigrants allegedly entering the country illegally. Though the president eventually signed an executive order June 20 calling for children to instead be detained with their families through the duration of immigration proceedings, the damage is done.
Posted on March 6, 2018
It’s 2018. I have to remind myself each time someone I know uses the R word. They – no – society should know better than to use such degrading, insensitive language. My jaw shouldn’t have to drop because my professor used the R word in class, even if he did apologize and admit he was adjusting to the “new” term, intellectual disability. I shouldn’t be disappointed when a classmate uses the word to describe the “stupidity” of her significant other.
Posted on November 22, 2016
More than a month after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, the disability community shows little sign of letting go of its grief and fear and no wonder.
In Clinton, the community heard a candidate who took turns applauding people with disabilities (they’ve “changed things for the better in our country”) and advocating for them (they’re “too often invisible, overlooked and undervalued”).
She promoted a plan designed to push states to require health coverage for autism services in private insurance plans,
This entry was posted in autism, civil rights, community living, developmental disabilities, diversity, employment, inclusion, people with disabilities, physical disabilities, politics, public policy, subminimum wage, transportation, Uncategorized and tagged American Association of People With Disabilities, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, disability community, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, IDEA funding, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, National Council on Independent Living, New York Times, Rehabilitation Act, Serge Kovaleski.
Posted on January 13, 2016
Thursday is my favorite day of the week this month. That’s because the Center for Disability Studies’ Disability Cinema series is screening a different film every Thursday in January. The series kicked off on the 7th with Tod Browning’s Freaks, a cult classic from the 30’s that prompts viewers to ponder issues of community, identity and bias in the context of a richly-layered tale of love, camaraderie, betrayal and vengeance. Rachel Adams from Columbia University launched the evening with some
This entry was posted in Center for Disability Studies, diversity, inclusion, physical disabilities, The Arts and tagged Columbia University, Disability Cinema, Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement, Rachel Adams, Stephanie Kerschbaum, Tod Browning's Freaks, University of Delaware.