42 million in cuts to services for the disabled in Alberta!
Over the past several months you may have been aware that Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) has been directed, along with many other social programs, to make arrangements for budget cuts. These cutbacks are happening alongside an effort by PDD to better regulate funding models for people. These changes, unfortunately, make what we need to present at this time more complicated. Administrative changes around assessing support needs is co-mingled with the severe funding cutbacks being experienced across the province of Alberta.
Living Archives Team member Dr Heidi Janz has been recognized as a Woman with Vision. Heidi is a playwright, author, researcher, PhD scholar, adjunct professor and a woman with cerebral palsy. Lesley MacDonald from Global Television Edmonton calls Janz a “remarkable woman.” When I asked Heidi if I could share this article on the Living Archives blog she said “Sure. The headline kind of makes me sound like a 21st-century female Ironside!” I’s true I thought. All we need is a picture of Heidi with her side-kicks – cue the music!
The Right to Not to Work: Power and Disability by Sunny Taylor
“The disabled are viewed with sympathy as victims of “bad luck” who will simply have to accept disadvantage as their lot in life, not as an identity group that is systematically discriminated against. Unlike sexism and racism, which are perceived to be significant social problems, disability falls under the social radar and disablism is not recognized as a damaging or even particularly serious form of prejudice.” The public remains unconvinced that the struggle for disability rights is actually their sturrgle as well….
Canadians with disabilities are about one and a half times as likely to be victims of violence as other Canadians. People with disabilities in Canada have civil rights on paper but not in practice. Canadian citizens, everyday, have their civil rights ruthlessly violated by their government. This has to be stopped, because Hope is Not a Plan!
Recently, the Alberta government announced the future closure of the Michener Centre, an institution that houses people with developmental disabilities in Red Deer, Alberta. The centre is home to some 125 Albertans with developmental disabilities and has been in operation since the 1950′s.
Blogger Cassy Fiano writes about parents who try to force their surrogate to abort their disabled baby. Cassy is has two sons, one has Down Syndrome.
Crystal Kelley wanted to give the gift of a baby to a family who couldn’t have children. She also needed the money that surrogacy brings. And so, she ended up becoming a surrogate mother to a couple in her state of Connecticut who had three children but wanted more. The first half of the pregnancy was friendly and happy, with Kelley and the parents communicating regularly.
Then there was an irregular ultrasound. After several more ultrasounds, the picture was clear: this was a baby who would be born with some disabilities. She had a cleft lip and palate, a cyst on her brain, and a heart defect. The baby’s parents immediately began to pressure Kelley to have an abortion, claiming it was the more “humane” option. Now, most decent people wouldn’t consider it humane to rob a child of her life simply because she might have a disability. This was the way that Kelley felt, and she refused to have an abortion
Wednesday March 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm in Education South Building at the University of Alberta the Living Archives on Eugenics is sponsoring a panel discussion featuring Professor Lise Gotell, Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies and Dr. Lane Mandlis, with Moyra Lang, and Professor Rob Wilson. ASL interpreting services will be offered at this event. Find us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/270019033131796/?fref=ts
Headlines read: Michener Centre formerly the Provincial Training School (PTS) for Mental Defectives closes – celebration for some but not for everyone
A series of articles have been written about the closure of the Michener Centre. Living Archives team members, Leilani Muir and Bruce Uditisky have commented to reporters about their reactions to the closure. Both applaud the decision but many others criticize the decision to close Michener. The loss of jobs and the disruption for current residents are concerns for supporters of the institution. However, amidst mixed reaction the Michener stands as a reminder of our recent history of eugenics and the institutionalization of thousands of individuals. The shift towards a more inclusive society and away from isolation and initialization is a change towards recognizing and perhaps even appreciating human variation.
Thanks to Velvet Martin who has informed us of Chromosome 18, an organization dedicated to the advocacy of individuals with chromosome 18 abnormalities in an effort to help them “overcome the obstacles they face so they might lead happy, healthy and productive lives.”
Some might be interested in a conference session being held in Sydney, Australia this year titled Perlous Relations: Bioaesthetics and Eugenics. The session, which takes place July 12-14, will be part of the Together<>Apart conference—a conference which focuses “on the very broad idea of relations and relationships as well as allied terms such as collaborations, networks and partnerships.”
Flexible Hours (30-40 hours per week)
Wages range between $9.00-11.00 per hour
Possibility of holding a second job due to hour flexibility
Students can work from anywhere in Canada as work will be done by telecommuting
Editing and internet support
Potential composition of published articles and/or books (with possibility of co-authorship)
Typing and editing large manuscripts
Help for graphic design for covers
Also looking to fill one internet position
Applicants must be full time students.
Please contact Dr. Austin Mardon at email@example.com
This fall we were lucky enough to have The Collective Memory project on display at Enterprise Square in Edmonton, Alberta. The show was the product of Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada’s2011 intern program, with Anne Pasek operating as curator. The display was described as,
Part art exhibition, part grassroots organizing, the project attempts to bring together academics, activists, artists and community members in acts of remembrance for a history in danger of fading from view. It is by rooting our perspectives in a memory of the past that we sill become better equipped to foresee the challenges of the future. Drawing from Rob WIlson’s definition of collective memory as a cognitive metaphor that crystallizes agency, The Collective Memory Project seeks to engage its public in an exercise of memory as a political act.
The display looked to explore themes of institutionalization, remembrance, and affect, whether in the feeling of alienation and judgment or the emotional pain associated with disability and cognitively different children. Unfortunately the show ends today, but you can check out photos of some of the artwork taken during the launch in October.
The Limelight Film Showcase, Day 2, is TOMORROW, i.e., Tuesday 18th October, 2011, at the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton. All events are in Myer Horowitz Theatre in the SUB Building, and the festival runs from noon until around 10pm and includes not only short and feature films, but also live dance and movement performances. Check out the schedule via the festival page here. All events are free and open to the public.
The preliminary report of The Governor’s Task Force to Determine the Method of Compensation for Victims of North Carolina’s Eugenics Board (available beneath the fold) was delivered today. In it, North Carolina State Representative Larry Womble says, at the final meeting of the committee, held three weeks ago:
Eugenics [is] a fancy name for sterilization. I am very compassionate about this issue and have worked on it for 10 years. If I’ve been involved for 10 years, what do you think about the victims themselves and it is a shame and disgrace what has happened to them. I thank the Task Force for all their work. But at the same time, I cannot be timid about this, I can’t be Mille mouthed. I cannot be cute about this because it’s not a cute and nice subject. We did to humans what we do to animals, we spade and neuter animals not people. And we did this to children 10 and 11 and 12 years old, they were not criminals, they did nothing wrong. We talk about we are the land the free and the home of the brave and when we do this to children and I’m wondering how sincere we really are. Continue reading →
Pasted below is the text from this call for submissions for an art exhibit to be held in Edmonton and to run from late October through November of this year.
Anne Pasek, the principal force behind this initiative, is an intern on the Living Archives project this summer. As part of her internship, and with support from several other interns, she has arranged for the upcoming exhibition.
Please circulate this call for submissions, and be sure to attend the exhibition later this year. Also, note the pre-exhibit workshops being held the last Tuesday of July, August, and September, as you may be interested in attending some or all of these as well.
Call for Submissions
The Collective Memory Project:
Responses to Eugenics in Alberta
Artists and community members are invited to submit artwork to a forthcoming exhibition addressing the legacy and future inheritance of eugenic ideas in Alberta. Exploring forgotten narratives, lost histories, and contemporary anxieties, The Collective Memory Project will investigate and make visible the process through which personhood is unequally distributed in society.
The first ever World report on disability. Produced by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. There were more than 370 editors, contributors, regional consultation participants, and peer reviewers, from 74 countries around the world.
Foreward by Stephen Hawking – 349 page pdf (not accessible)
From Bruce Uditsky – It is with sadness and a sense of profound loss that the Alberta Association for Community Living acknowledges the passing of Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger, one of the field’s most eminent scholars and critical thinkers. Continue reading →
Dr. Heidi Janz will be presenting a Health Ethics Seminar in Room 1J2.47 Walter MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre, University of Alberta – Friday Febraury 18 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm – This event is open to anyone interested!
“Whose Ethics Are They, Anyway?” In the spring of 2009, the Defining Disability Ethics research project commissioned the Population Research Laboratory at the University of Alberta to survey Albertans regarding their opinions on various disability-related health-ethics issues. Over 1,200 interviews with adults in Edmonton, Calgary, and other locations in Alberta were conducted in April and May of 2009. Continue reading →