Deaf/HoH in a HEARING family..

Lately my hearing aid (HA) hasn’t been working well as I need my ears cleaned out and my hearing has been deteriorating. We are working getting this addressed, but that does’n mean it’s been easy for the last month or two. 

Usually my family understands that I may not answer them if I have music in, am playing music, or can’t distinguish something in loud rooms and conversations. 

Lately however, my family has been getting irritated when I have to ask them to repeat things, don’t answer, or ask them to speak slower or more clearly, or even spell things out for me. I’ve been using closed captions on television/movies more, which they say they find quite distracting and would prefer I not use. 

These are realities and needs for many hard of hearing and deaf people. It’s not as easy as You Have A Hearing Aid - You’re Okay Now. Hearing aids do help immensely for lots of people, however they do not fully correct hearing and it can be difficult to distinguish certain situations. HAs do get old and start to not work well, or if you have wax build up they may not work, or may squeal. Sometimes our batteries die and we don’t have ones with us. These are things it’s helpful if you try and be understanding of. Although it’s not a reality for you, these are realities for someone you care about - and lots of times realities they manage well with. Not everyone sees their disability as a negative situation - lots of people view their disability as a part of them, something to be proud of that provides them a community and unique identity.

Please be respectful of your family and friends who have different realities, and sometimes different needs than yourself.  

If you’re not prepared for your child to think differently from you, don’t have children. If you’re not prepared for your child to be disabled or chronically ill, don’t have children. If you’re not prepared for a child with autism or mental illness, don’t have children. If you’re not prepared for your child to be transgender, gay, bisexual, pansexual, lesbian, or asexual and/or you can’t accept that, don’t have children. This is not up for debate.

For people with dwarfism, a fashion line of their own

New York Fashion Week is well underway. And while the designs that are gracing the runways in Bryant Park will trickle down to the rest of us throughout the year, most of us will never wear the actual clothes on display. Whether we can’t afford couture or whether we’re not quite what labels had in mind when they designated clothing lines ready-to-wear, Fashion Week is often more about fantasy than realistic aspirations. And the gap between dreams and reality can be particularly stark if you’re a person with dwarfism, a part of the market the already-myopic fashion industry ignores almost entirely.  –>Read on Washington Post

There should be a selfie day for disabled people similar to “Blackout day” because disabled people also aren’t portrayed as beautiful by the media and also it’s disability awareness month. Tumblr let’s make this happen. (PSA: not trying to detract from blackout day because that was very important and much needed.)

Reblog or note if you think this is a good idea. If it gets enough notes we can pick a day

Tumblr, I need your help!

So as many of you know (because so many of you have been supportive) my friends, followers, my classmates/professors at college, and I are advocating for Disney to create a princess with a disability.

In the past couple of months, the response to this petition has been utterly amazing! People have sent letters sharing their personal stories, people have made fanart of princesses with disabilities, the petition was even on the news!

And 7,772 people have signed it so far!

It’s unbelievable!

Unfortunately, the semester is rapidly drawing to a close. And while we’ll still keep advocating for this over the summer, it would be immensely helpful and immensely appreciated if we could reach the next milestone of 10,000 signatures before then. But here’s the catch…the semester ends in three and a half weeks.

Three and a half weeks to get 2,000+ signatures.

I know that it might seem impossible but hey, everyone told Walt that it was impossible to make a full-length animated movie and look how wrong they turned out to be! I’ve been on tumblr for over three years and in that time, I’ve realized that this blue website can make anything happen!

If you’ve already signed it, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

If you haven’t signed it, please consider doing so.

Either way, please signal boost this.

We can do this, tumblr!

Link to the petition:

Self Diagnosis and Entitlement: The Tumblr Culture

I’m a 25 year old autistic woman who has spent her entire life working with disabiled, mentally ill, and generally disadvantaged people. I know these people, I know how to work with them, I am one of them. Tumblr has hurt these communities so deeply I can barely even look at the political side of this site without either breaking down in tears or wanting to break things I kid you guys not.

A little on my background: I have a brother with down syndrome and autism and I was diagnosed with autism at age 11. My parents decided not to tell me until I was 14. I begin having serious issues in school and was transferred to a school for those with social issues. I improved through therapy and was able to go to college (over coming panic disorder as well) and actually graduated highschool as prom queen and top of my class. I now work as a special needs caregiver but spent most of my career in county nursing facilities with many mentally ill clients. You can now see I am disabled, I am a caregiver, and I am a sibling this is my life and my calling.

The idea of self diagnosing is harmful because it causes people to think they have disorders and create symptoms. When you create symptoms it reaffirms the delusion that an already hurt, an already ill person has a disorder that may very well be the wrong disorder.

Self diagnosing also causes people to not seek treatment. It creates a victim complex, a complex where one thinks they can never get out of the hole they’re in. They begin to think getting help makes you privileged and is a bad thing. It isn’t it is the goal of treatment and should be everyone’s goal.

The common complaint, excuse, I see is that they can’t afford to get diagnosed. This is completely off base especially with increasing access and a multitude of programs private and government run to help people get help this is from people who have not looked, who are lazy and resting on the victim complex sites like tumblr coddle.

I have experienced the harm tumblr causes first hand. My own aunt claims I’m faking autism “like all those people online”. The fact that tumblr encourages self diagnosis and it is leaking into the real world which shelters people like my aunt and gives them a reason to question an already poorly understood group. I just wish this site would focus on true education and the actual issues instead of focusing on being victims.

It just breaks my heart.

The PS4 just released a new update that includes a feature that might not seem all that significant at first glance. The system now allows players to re-map the buttons to any configuration they wish. This was normally done within individual games, but doing it at the console level makes the system immensely more accessible to disabled gamers.

As Ben Kuchera of Polygon writes:

“Now players don’t have to wait for the feature to be patched in, and they don’t have to worry about buying a game only to find that it doesn’t offer a feature that would allow them to play. The PlayStation 4 became, with one feature, a much more welcoming console for a huge audience.

“This is the gaming accessibility version of changing your maps after a major battle has been won, and the PlayStation 4 just earned many new customers by default since neither Microsoft nor Nintendo offer anything close to this feature.“

Other systems will likely follow suit, but this gives the PS4 the lead in accessibility options and no doubt earned the system a lot of new fans.

(Image via Polygon)

Schizophrenia in the Media

[Image shows a vintage movie poster titled “Schizophrenia… When the left hand doesn’t know who the right hand is killing!” depicting a frightened woman fleeing down a flight of stairs from a presumed killer with schizophrenia]

   Negative portrayals of schizophrenia are far from being a rarity in the entertainment industry. From the above titled “Schizo” to more commonly known movies such as “Face/Off”, it’s commonly being portrayed as violent, with exaggerated positive symptoms (i.e. delusions and hallucinations) and/or a link to high intelligence, despite the disabling cognitive effects of schizophrenia.

In a study assessing the prevalence of misinformation surrounding this disability, researchers reviewed 41 movies containing at least one main character with schizophrenia made between the years of 1990 and 2010.

79% of the characters were male and 95% were white. Only two characters, both black men, represented minority groups. A whopping 83% of the characters displayed dangerous or violent behavior towards others and nearly one third of violent characters were homicidal.

The reality is, however, a mere 8% of schizophrenic people without co-occurring substance abuse are violent. 5% of the general population is violent, deeming the 3% gap insignificant and schizophrenic people no more likely to be violent, a Swedish study concludes, mirroring similar studies done in the United States.

Yet when we review public opinions regarding schizophrenic people, 71% of people fear for their safety around a person not being treated for their schizophrenia and 21% if they’re being treated, despite the low risk of violence.

  This brings us to question just how influential the serial killer stereotypes in movies have been in contributing to this belief, along with scapegoating from the media to explain away male violence stemming from patriarchy. 

More criticism and public outrage is necessary to address the ongoing issues schizophrenic people are facing due to stigma.

Vincent Van Gogh: Mental illness

Walt Disney: Learning disability

Stephen Hawking: : Motor Neuron disease or a variant of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

Helen Keller: Blind, deaf, mute

Ludwig van Beethoven: Deaf

Christy Brown: Cerebral Palsy

Marla Runyan: Stargardt disease

Tanni Carys Davina Grey-Thompson: Spina bifida

Tom Cruise: Dyslexia  

Robin Williams: Depression

Frida Kahlo: spina bifida, polio