Freeheld, Laurel Hester, and Garden State Equality

h/t WoC PhD; sorry no captioning for any videos in this post.

Laurel Hester was a long-serving police officer whose final years of her life were spent fighting for the rights that heterosexual couples can take for granted. Cynthia Wade’s award-winning documentary, Freeheld, tells that story.

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Disability Rights Organizations Express Outrage Over Attacks at McCain-Palin Rally

Note from ST: Here, at last, a national disabled people’s coalition in the US has publicly decried the repeated invocation of the expression “special needs” in the discourse about disabled people that has surrounded the upcoming election.  Disability activists and members of the disability studies movement internationally have long eschewed this expression, arguing that it individualizes and depoliticizes disabled people’s entitlement to social resources and medicalizes their disenfranchisement.  What follows is a recent press release from the US National Coalition for Disability Rights:

ADA Watch.org
National Coalition for Disability Rights
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006

 NEWS RELEASE:
 October 31, 2008

 Disability Rights Organizations Express Outrage Over Attacks at McCain-Palin Rally

 

(Washington, DC) The National Coalition for Disability Rights (NCDR) pushed back today against the McCain-Palin campaign for ridiculing the legal rights of people with disabilities. News reports describe McCain-Palin campaign representative Senator  Kit Bond (R-MO), joining Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin at a rally in Rush Limbaugh’s hometown of Cape  Girardeau, Missouri, mocking Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama for stating that he’s looking to nominate judges who empathize with “disabled.”

 

“It’s Halloween and it seems that Sarah Palin’s mask of support for people with ‘special needs’ is slipping.  Despite past pandering to people with disabilities, McCain-Palin are actually opposed to vital disability legislation like the Community Choice Act and they want to appoint judges who will further roll back the civil rights protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” declared NCDR’s founder and president, Jim Ward. Continue reading

Paralympic Athletes Add Equality to Their Goals

Published: September 5, 2008

AURORA, Ill. — When he rolls to the starting line for the 1,500-meter wheelchair race at the Paralympics, the Olympics for disabled athletes that begin Saturday in Beijing, Tony Iniguez will wear his Team USA uniform with pride. He will compete for the United States’s Olympic program. He is also suing it for discrimination.
Paralympic athlete Tony Iniguez worked out at the East Aurora High School track in July.
photo by Peter Wynn Thompson for The New York Times

Iniguez is one of many Paralympians who criticize the United States Olympic Committee for providing less direct financial assistance and other benefits at lower levels to Paralympic athletes than to Olympians in comparable sports. The committee awards smaller quarterly training stipends and medal bonuses to Paralympic athletes. Benefits like free health insurance, which help athletes devote more hours to training, are available to a smaller percentage of Paralympians. Continue reading