Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday round-up

From The Associated Press (May 7) - In an appearance on NBC's "Today" program, 46-year-old Connie Culp, the nation's first face transplant recipient, said she wants to help foster acceptance of those who have suffered burns and other disfiguring injuries."When somebody has a disfigurement and don't look as pretty as you do, don't judge them, because you never know what happened to them," she said. "Don't judge people who don't look the same as you do. Because you never know. One day it might be all taken away."

From The Shelby Star in Lattimore, North Carolina, (May 7) - Martha Mason, 72, who lived in an iron lung for 61 years, died early May 4 at her home in Lattimore. Ms Mason told an ABC News reporter just before her 71st birthday, "My story's been one of joy, one of wonderful experiences. It has not been perfect. But that's what people need to understand - that I have had a good life."

From the Boston Globe (May 5) - A controversy is growing over the use of physical restraints in schools, triggered by a surge in the number of students of who have behavioral issues and a teacher population that is nervous about increasing school violence. Lack of teacher training and budget-driven staffing shortages have compounded the problem, critics say. Advocates say students in special education are especially vulnerable to mistreatment.

From Reuters (May 4) - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 1 in 5 Americans have a disability and that will increase as baby boomers age. The number of Americans with a disability rose 7.7 percent, or by 3.4 million people, to nearly 48 million between 1999 and 2005, the report says.

From the Austin American-Statesman (May 4) - Owners of an Austin-area clinic which treats children with autism using controversial techniques say the center is facing a financial crisis in the wake of investigations by three major insurers. The Texas Medical Board is also investigating the clinic’s medical director. Among charges disputed by insurers is the clinic’s use of chelation, which is not approved by the FDA for treating autism. Doctors say it is risky and has not been proven effective.

From Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio (May 4) - Columnist Connie Schultz commends Ohio for moving toward banning the word “retardation” from state and county agencies that serve those with developmental disabilities. Ohio’s bill has already passed the state senate. Forty other states have approved the change.

From The Hindu in New Delhi, India (May 3) - The advocacy of an Indian women with disabilities who uses a wheelchair has led to great accessibily for wheelchair users in New Delhi's Central Park. (h/t Media dis&dat)

From the Guardian in the United Kingdom (May 2) - According to a report by the UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission, people with disabilities are more than four times likely to be victims of physcial and verbal abuse and urgent action is needed if a “hidden catastrophe” of violence and hostility towards disabled people is to be tackled. The report paints a bleak picture of disabled people’s experience of physical and verbal abuse and reinforces persistent warnings from disability campaigners that the problem has not been taken seriously enough.