Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday roundup

From The Standard-Times (February 5) - A New Bedford (Mass.) woman has been charged with abandoning a 24-year-old man with cerebral palsy in a van for nearly two hours while she visited people in New Bedford and Fairhaven. Kim Borges, 50, a former bus driver for Community Connections, is charged with permitting abuse on a disabled person.

From CNN (February 4) - British woman Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis, is attempting to clarify the law on assisted suicide, an option she has said she wants if her pain becomes unbearable. Ms Purdy, who wants the option to travel abroad to have an assisted death should her suffering become unbearable, is appealing an October judgment from the High Court, which refused to clarify the law.

Disability activists who will be protesting at the Academy Awards on February 22 have created The Trouble with Jerry Web site. More than 2400 individuals have now signed a petition calling on the Motion Picture Academy to cancel its plans to give Jerry Lewis a humanitarian award. The petition is available on the Web site. (h/t to Media dis&dat)

From the New York Times (February 3) - Four Google executives are being tried this week in an Italian court on criminal charges of defamation and privacy violation over a cellphone video posted on a Google site in 2006. The video showed four youths in Turin taunting a boy with Down syndrome.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (February 2) - Parents of St. Louis students with severe disabilities are suing the state of Missouri, asking a federal judge to close 35 state-run schools because of a “continued and persistent failure” to properly educate students.

From Air Force Times (February 3) - Disabled Iraq war veteran Major Tammy Duckworth will soon be nominated to be part of the President's team at the Veterans Affairs Department. Ms Duckworth, who lost both legs in 2004 after the helicopter she was flying was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, will be nominated to be assistant veterans secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs.

Michael Reynolds (of Independence Today) has created a blog about the "Disability Pride and Power Ball" at the Inaugural. It has lots of pictures and videos. (h/t to Media dis&dat).

From the Chicago Tribune (January 31): Mental health care advocates say the calling of Rod Blagojevich "crazy," "psychotic," and delusional is offensive and blames mental illness for alleged criminal behavior.