Friday, March 21, 2008

Feminist-disability news links

for the week 03/14/08 - 03/21/08

During a lecture on Tuesday at Emory University in Atlanta, feminist-disability Professor Rosemarie Garland-Thomson asked for a review of cultural images of people with disabilities. "Images of people with disabilities are out in the world ... They are made to be displayed in public, and they do a lot of important cultural work," she said.

A woman has been charged with murdering her 14-month-old adopted son, who had Down syndrome. She is also charged, along with her husband, of abusing their adopted 4-year-old son, who also has Down syndrome. Both children were adopted in Russia.

A New Zealand woman sues over disability bias in a ground-breaking case "with the potential to change the lives of thousands of New Zealanders with disabilities."

San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier has promised to sue the city for rejecting plans to build a wheelchair ramp to the podium used by the Board of Supervisors president. Alioto-Pier, who uses a wheelchair, wants the city dais made wheelchair-accessible. Critics say the one million dollar expense can't be justified.

Women admitted to psychiatric wards in Australia commonly suffer sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the male patients they are treated alongside, a new survey shows. A study presented at an international mental health conference in Melbourne shows more than 60 per cent of women questioned had been the victims of harassment or abuse by male patients. The disturbing findings were supported by a survey of mental health staff, with 70 per cent saying they were aware of harassment or abuse of female patients.

Living conditions inside Cincinnati nursing homes have been described as "deplorable" by police, fire, building and health officials. "We had residents crying 'help us'," according to a Cincinnati police captain.

Here is Carrie Rickey's review of the recently released documentary Praying with Lior, which is about the life of 13-year-old Lior Liebling, who has Down syndrome. On reflection, the film, according to Rickey, is a "complex account of difference and acceptance, of the emotionally fraught journey from grief into joy."

Robert Latimer hopes he will be granted a new jury trial. Latimer, who has served seven years in prison for killing his disabled daughter, Tracy, has just begun serving day parole.