I went to see the film Marwencol last night at the Metro Cinema; if you’re in Edmonton, you can catch it Sunday and Monday nights at either 7 or 9pm.  And if you are in St. Elsewhere, check it out when it does the rounds.  It is breath-takingly good.


The one sentence reason why?  Marwencol avoids freakification, sensationalism, and victimization in telling a powerful story that invites all three.



icad The International Coalition on Abuse and Disability was established in 1993 as a listserv to link researchers, advocates, and public policy makers working to control violence against people with disabilities. It currently has about 500 members in 10 countries. Continue reading

Hate Crimes Against People with Disabilities

A Bill currently before the Ohio Senate would add Disability as a protected category under the Ohio Hate Crime Law. Currently, slightly more than half of the U.S. States include Disability as a category, but 23 states (including Ohio) do not include disability as a protected class. The impetus for Bill 349 adding disability to the Hate crime law was an attack on Ashley Clark, an Ohio High School senior, earlier this year allegedly by two other teens. Clark was tied up, had her hair cut off, had her prom dress destroyed, beaten with a baseball bat, and robbed. She was allegedly targeted because of a mental disability.

Where hate crime laws that include disability as a protected category are in place, however, the real issue seems to be how do we determine when a  crime committed against a person with a disability is a hate crime? Here in Canada, for example,  the federal government reported that only 5 hate crimes against people with disabilities occurred in 2006, as compared to 506 hate crimes related to race and 80 related to sexual orientation. Continue reading