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!
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.
Here are links to several different articles: Continue reading
A talk by Margaret Lock, McGill University with Respondent: Alex Choby, University of Alberta. Thursday 24 March 2011 at 3.30pm at ETLC E1 003 (right behind Assiniboia Hall on the University of Alberta campus far North West end. Nearest parking is Windsor parkade) with a reception to follow. A SSHRC Gold Medal Winner Margaret Lock is a Professor Emeritus in Social Studies in Medicine, and is affliated with the Department of Social Studies of Medicine and the Department of Athropology at McGill University. The abstract of the talk: Continue reading
High above the downtown clamour, in one of Toronto’s shiny glass towers, modern medicine’s pioneers have put a whole new spin on an old nursery rhyme.
Using stem cells salvaged from the retinas of human cadavers, researchers with the University of Toronto have restored sight to the eyes of, well, three blind mice. The feat, aside from indicating a quirky sense of humour, has been repeated several times over the last year and marks an important step toward the goal of restoring sight in people.
Five people have died under the new Washington physician-assisted suicide law, says an article on the American Medical News site . Two cases were referred to mental health professionals, who filed complaints. Fourteen people have requested doctors’ aid in dying so far. The article also includes the statistics of assisted suicide deaths in Oregon (60 deaths, the most in 2008) and explains the current situation of the Montana assisted suicide debate.
Links to articles on the fist case in WA
An article on the second case in WA
About a month ago Spirit of the Time posted a piece on Whatsorts by Cindy de Bruijn called ‘Does Alberta’s “Minimum Wage Exemption” violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?’ Now an incredible news story from Iowa provides a chilling example of just how far wrong such an exemption can go. It starts with 21 Texas men who were described as mentally disabled and receiving SSI (US Supplemental Security Income that the government describes as”designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income”) income from the government.
CALL FOR PAPERS
July 24-26, 2009
Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Keynote speaker: Dr. Steven Angelides, Department of Women’s Studies, Monash University
Other featured speakers will be confirmed for the release of the official conference announcement to follow.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: February 27, 2009
The conference, “Disorderly Conduct” will bring together scholars from around the world and from such disciplines as sociology, philosophy, health studies, history, women’s studies, and medicine to explore and problematize the notion of a “disorder”. The conference seeks to bring front-line medical and mental health personnel who treat various “disorders” together with humanities, social science and health and disability studies scholars who work (in one way or another) on theoretical questions related both to specific “disorders” and to the notion of a disorder simpliciter. In workshops and symposia, conference participants will engage questions like the following: Continue reading
The photo on the right has been circulating around the disability studies community. For the benefit of those using screen readers (and those not familiar with the iconography of accessibility), here is a description: The Obamas are talking to each other behind several voting machines so that only their heads and shoulders can be seen in the photo. On the wall directly behind them, there is an orange, black, and white poster which reads “Polling Place” and which gives location, date, and times. On the left-hand side of the poster, that is, over the right shoulder of Michelle Obama who is on the left-side of the photo, there is a very clearly visible universal access symbol with a slash through it. Did the Obamas vote at an inaccessible voting location?
Perhaps someone who resides in Illinois would let readers of this blog know (or, uhh, confirm) what indeed the symbol on the poster conveys. While I heard tv commentators report on problems at polling stations concerning long waits, voting machines breaking down, etc., I do not recall any elaboration or even any mention of the problems presumably encountered by disabled people who tried “to exercise their democratic right” in the recent US election, though I did hear a CNN commentator read comments submitted by an elderly man who pointed out that polling stations should be equipped with rest areas, benches, etc. for the benefit of senior citizens who cannot stand in line-ups for long periods of time.
Thanks to Liat Ben-Moshe for alerting the disability studies community to this photo.
UPDATE: Photos of another inaccessible polling station used in last week’s US election can be found here: http://feministphilosophers.wordpress.com/2008/11/04/the-sound-of-silence/#comments
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is holding a National Symposium on October 24 & 25 at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Conference Centre, Winnepeg, Manitoba. Speakers include Diane Coleman and Stephen Drake of NOT DEAD YET, Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and others. The registration fee is $99CA, with a reduced rate for students and disabled people. For more information, visit the conference website: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/NationalSymposium2008.htm
CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
TO A SPECIAL ISSUE OF
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FEMINIST
APPROACHES TO BIOETHICS (IJFAB)
Vol. 3, no. 2, Fall, 2010
From the Margins to the Center:
Feminist Disability Studies and/in Feminist Bioethics
Guest Editor, Shelley Tremain
In recent years, work done in mainstream bioethics has been challenged by the emerging field of disability studies. A growing number of disability theorists and activists point out that the views about disability and disabled people that mainstream bioethicists have articulated on matters such as prenatal testing, stem cell research, and physician-assisted suicide incorporate significant misunderstandings about them and amount to an institutionalized form of their oppression. While some feminist bioethicists have paid greater attention to the perspectives and arguments of disabled people than other bioethicists, these perspectives and arguments are rarely made central. Feminist disability theory remains marginalized even within feminist bioethics. Continue reading