Elsewhere on the web…Posted: October 25, 2012
When I was in college, I went on a date with a young man who told me he was impressed by something I did: I held the door of a cafe open for a woman who was pushing a baby in a stroller. I explained to him that it’s something I’m more aware of, because people don’t tend to hold the doors open for me when I’m out with my sister…you know, with me pushing her wheelchair. I think that’s enough to explain why I want to share this post from the humorous blog Not Always Right.
I don’t like to give attention to people who do mean things just to be mean or to get attention. I will make an exception here, sort of, to link to an open letter to commentator Ann Coulter, written by John Franklin Stephens. Go! Read it now!
You should totally also go read this piece entitled Black and White Vernacular in American Sign Language, which I came across thanks to Racialicious.
Updated to add one!
I have some problems with this piece, but I think it’s worth sharing, anyways: The Disability Trap from the NY Times.
One bit that made me uncomfortable was the suggestion that people who are on SSI should have to try to work first, before benefits would be disbursed. That’s all well and good for people who can work and want to work – and the model the authors discuss (formulated by Richard Burkhauser and Mary Daly, per their reporting) would have been great for me when I was super newly diagnosed with fibro – it would suck for Lily. Don’t get me wrong, the SSI program as it stands doesn’t help my sister as much as it could. It’s stressful for my family that Lily gets a bigger benefit to rent an apartment than she would to pay a mortgage. (Maybe someone can explain to me the wisdom of preventing someone with medical conditions that won’t improve, ever, from having a home that isn’t immediately jeopardized by a loss of income. Yes, Lily is somewhat exceptional. Still, I am her sister, and sometimes, I get to care more about her than anyone else!) I hope that if SSI reforms are made that they can accomodate the range of what disability is, and how disability shapes life for each person dealing with it. (I should acknowledge here that the NY Times authors do say something about this in their piece. I did have a small moment of squick, though.)
It’s just a strange situation: people who want to work are limited by the red tape of the SSI program. People who can’t work are limited by the red tape of the SSI program. In a time when there’s a lot of noise about communities taking care of their own and a shrinking federal government…well, let’s just say that I worry for my sister.
Work has been interesting and intense lately, and has taken up a lot of my brainpower, which was already diminished by weird weather in the wake of my nasty cold. More stories will be on their way soon!