Friday, February 22, 2008

FRIDA news links #12

02/15/08 - 02/22/08

Patricia E Bauer has a post about Paul Longmore's critique of the column Roy Peter Clark wrote about the media coverage of the recent Florida wheelchair dumping case. Clark had argued that the media did not not adequately analyze the case, leaving readers to conclude that "the disabled are too vulnerable to be criticized." But according to Longmore, Clark trivializes violence against people with disabilities: "It is utterly irrelevant that the disabled man who was assaulted by this officer was not more seriously injured and was thus able to appear on the Today show. Nor is it pertinent that he comes across as unsympathetic." Moreover, Longmore argues, it is "objectionable that Clark suggests that the news media should have questioned the ability of this man and others who are quadriplegic to drive safely." More here.

A biology professor at UNC at Chapel Hill sparked controversy last when he said in class that mothers of fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome are morally obligated to have an abortion.
This is a letter that The National Down syndrome Society posted to the professor.

A legally blind woman has sued several fast food restaurants for ridiculing her when she asked for help reading their menus, but a federal judge threw out the suit on the grounds that "ADA laws don't regulate 'rudeness or insensitivity' of workers." Last week, however, an appeals court overturned that ruling and now the suit—" believed to be the first of its kind—could go before a jury this year."

A woman employed as a caretaker for a 93 year old blind woman has been arrested after detectives allege she stole close to $500,000 from her employer.

CBS has called last week's Big Brother slur against children with autism "offensive." Advocacy group Autism United had called on the network to condemn the reality show after a contestant, named Adam, referred to children with special needs as "retards." CBS says the reason the remark was left in the broadcast was because Adam's housemate, Sheila, reacted immediately with "shock and condemnation" on screen. During the broadcast, Jasinski defended himself by pointing to his alleged work with the United Autism Foundation, saying, "I can call them whatever I want, OK? I bust my ass to help these special-needs children!"

The psychiatric case files of two female suicide bombers who killed nearly 100 people in Baghdad this month do not contain information indicating they had Down syndrome.

Nearly 2,,000 Georgians (Atlanta) with disabilities gathered Thursday for the 10th annual Disability Day.