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Posts Tagged ‘disablism’

Black-on-white silhouette of an apparently female figure in a top hat, with the words in white: 2012 Australian Women Writers Challenge (and the url australianwomenwriters.com at the bottom)
Cargo by Jessica Au
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads (NB: edited for ableist language)

Gillian is fifteen, [disabled] by [an] accident but dreams of swimming across oceans.

Jacob is fourteen and yearns for his brother’s life.

Frankie is fifteen and in love with the new deckhand on her father’s boat.

As the story of these three desires intertwine over the course of one lazy summer in a small coastal town, Cargo is by turns heart-wrenching, beautiful and explosive.

In a simple time of truth and change, these are characters who do not know themselves, yet through their innocence we come to understand what it means to be young, and have all the troubles in the world.

My review

Cargo is a beautiful, moving book. Ms Au has captured the insecurities of adolescence brilliantly. (more…)

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Apparently not, if you’re a man with an intellectual disability and a man who (I’m guessing, given his country of origin) happens to have black skin.

For once, the first part of the story is a pretty good summary:

AARON ODDIE was on an outing with his carer when they visited an upmarket city boutique. But staff at the Tag Heuer watch and jewellery store on King Street thought the pair looked suspicious and hit the hold-up alarm.

Three police cars raced to the store, and officers detained and searched Mr Oddie, who is intellectually disabled, and his social worker, Michael Lassanah.

Mr Lassanah had no chance to explain that he wanted to buy a watch; the men were accused of trying to rob the store.

”If you want to tell your side of the story,” one officer said, ”I think you should say it in court.” So Mr Lassanah did.

He and Mr Oddie sued the State of NSW and the owners of the Tag Heuer shop for false imprisonment and defamation over the incident in June 2008. A District Court judge, Judith Gibson, has awarded him $30,000 in damages, and Mr Oddie $40,000.

Good.

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No, neither did I.

Here’s the relevant quote:

A post on a bushwalking website said none of the men had canoed on the river before and that they had intended to try to complete their journey in two days when it was likely to take a week.

The post, made by a rafting assistant called David, detailed how the group seemed blissfully unaware on Sunday of the journey ahead of them.

One even had an artificial leg, David said.

[my emphasis]

Funny. I thought the whole point of a prosthetic leg was to enable a person who needs it to do pretty much the same range of things as a person who doesn’t have a prosthetic leg. Sometimes, it enables the prosthetic-leg-user to do those things even better than non-prosthetic-leg-users.

But no, not according to David.

Well, you learn something new every day. Or something.

[/sarcasm]

Cross-posted.

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Two articles in The Guardian today which bear some thinking about.

1. A study has been conducted which seems to suggest that if a child is abused, that child will do better in the long term if sie is removed from hir family and not returned.

That may well be what the study found. And the result certainly has the force of logic behind it: if a child is abused in a particular environment, the child will be better off not being in that environment.

However, (more…)

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A woman is suing a bus company which refused to take her wheelchair (and so would not transport her).

Gemma Namey, a solicitor with [Public Interest Advocacy Centre, which is representing the woman], said the case could have major implications. ”This is a first, we believe, as there has been no previous test to enforce the standard,” she said.

One to watch, for those of you interested in accessible public transport.

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At least, that is what this paragraph in this Guardian article would seem to suggest:

Another piece of good news is that the gel appeared to cause few if any side-effects, which is extremely important because it will be used by women who are healthy.

SRSLY?

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So says Dr Rex Simmons.

Well, that’s how I interpret the linked article, anyway.

I acknowledge that I haven’t read the study itself, and the newspaper article might be misrepresenting that study. However, I find some of the direct quotes from Dr Simmons somewhat, well, problematic.

Let’s take a look.

(more…)

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