1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child’s first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child’s father for that entire time.* 2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.* 3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don’t live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids’ lives. 4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult. 5. If you’re not officially poor, you’re doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America’s cities and regions. 6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were heads of household had a bachelor’s degree.** 7. We’re winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160 percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011. 8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012. 9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone, 22,000 children are homeless. 10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget. *Source: Analysis by Dr. Laura Tach at Cornell University. **Source: Census
Social skills: noticing when repetition is communication

So there’s this dynamic:

Autistic person: The door is open!

Other person: I *know* that. It’s hot in here.

Autistic person: The door is open!

Other person: I already explained to you that it’s hot in here!

Autistic person: The door is open!

Other person: Why do you have to repeat things all the time?!

Often when this happens, what’s really going on is that the autistic person is trying to communicate something, and they’re not being understood. The other person things that they are understanding and responding, and that the autistic person is just repeating the same thing over and over either for no reason or because they are being stubborn and inflexible and obnoxious and pushy.

When what’s really happening is that the autistic person is not being understood, and they are communicating using the words they have. There’s a NT social expectation that if people aren’t being understood, they should change their words and explain things differently. Sometimes autistic people aren’t capable of doing this without help.

So, if this is happening, assume it’s communication and try to figure out what’s being communicated. If you’re the one with more words, and you want the communication to happen in words, then you have to provide words that make communication possible. For example:

Other person: Do you want the door to be closed, or are you saying something else?

Autistic person: Something else

Other person: Do you want to show me something outside, or something else?

Autistic person: Something else

Other person: Are you worried about something that might happen, or something else?

Autistic person: Worried

Other person: Are you worried that something will come in, or that something will go out?

Autistic person: Baby

Other person: She’s in her crib, and the baby gate is up. Is that ok, or is there still a problem?

Autistic person: ok

that thing that people do whenever they complain about men being sexist where they sprinkle a random selection of privilege-related adjectives in front of “man”

like, “cis straight white men need to stop doing Sexist Thing”

I feel like this is rarely a product of a clear analysis of the ways that straightness, whiteness, and cisness interact with manhood to make people more likely to do Sexist Thing, and more a vague sense that they need to make it really clear they are talking about the Hated Enemy

Among the range of inadequate terms, I have chosen to use “disabled people” rather than “people with disabilities;’ preferring the former both for its directness and for its relation to the politicized social model of disability from which it has in part emerged; I choose “nondisabled” rather than “able-bodied;’ since there is no such thing as an entirely, unalterably able body and since “nondisabled,” refreshingly, places the “disabled” subject at the center and relegates its others to the zone of the prefix.
Social skill: Noticing a consent problem

I’m not entirely sure how to describe this, but I know it’s a thing, and I know a *little* about how to deal with it:

Some people have been systemically taught that they are absolutely never allowed to say no to anything. That their boundaries don’t matter, and that they’re not really people.

For this reason, some things you’d normally do in order to establish consent and find out someone’s preferences don’t work *at all*.

For instance, asking “do you want to eat a sandwich?” is a totally useless question when you’re asking someone who’s been taught to interpret this as a command. Which a lot of people have been, because they’re in the power of people who don’t want to perceive themselves as having power over others. So they use lots of things that *look* like questions and polite requests, but aren’t.

And people get really, really good at correcting identifying orders and giving every outward appearance of consent. Because that dynamic punishes everything else.

So you have to do it differently. You have to make more guesses (not the right word, but don’t know a better one). And you also have to ask questions differently. You have to ask in a way that *doesn’t* suggest an answer. And you have to remind people that saying no is possible. For instance “Do you want to watch TV now, or do something else?” is better than “do you want to watch TV now?”, but still probably not good enough. 

But you have to notice this. And take it into account when you interact with people. I know some of my followers on here know more about how to do this than I do — comments anyone?

if able-bodied people are now ‘nondisabled’, then I guess I have some news for all my nongay and nonlesbian and nonbisexual and nontrans friends

or are all of is just ‘nonstraight’?

when two words are defined in relation to each other and no one can agree on a ‘default’, language loses all meaning

45 books based on 15 votes: Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled by Nancy Mairs, Stricken by Peggy Munson, My Body Politic: A Memoir by …

For those of you who like to read, here’s a great list of 45 books about woman and disability/chronic illness!

Listening to people who have disability accents

People with certain disabilities often have heavy disability accents. Their speech can sound very different from the way most nondisabled people speak.

People with disabilities that affect communication are often pushed into separate programs, particularly in adulthood. Even when they are in the same classes in the same schools, there isn’t much of an expectation that any peers listen to them. This was even more true a generation ago. As a result, most people without disabilities are lousy at understanding people with disability accents, and don’t understand that this is a glaring hole in their social skills.

Many unskilled people tend to maybe ask people with disability accents to repeat themselves once, and then they get frustrated and start ignoring them. Sometimes they pretend to understand, and smile and nod rather than actually listening. Sometimes they hang up on them. Sometimes they pass them off to another person, who also doesn’t bother to actually listen. Sometimes they hang up. If they are medical workers, sometimes they write on a chart that someone is impossible to understand or has no communication (particularly if that person also has an intellectual disability.)

Do not be this person. If you can’t understand someone with a disability accent, the problem is your skills, not their voice. (If you have a receptive language disability that prevents you from learning to understand accents, then it’s no one’s fault and you need an interpreter to communicate. Neither their voice nor your brain is wrong. In that situation, the skill you need to develop is finding an interpreter. EDITED TO ADD: I got this part somewhat wrong, and someone reblogged it with an important addition).

If you listen, and make it clear that you are listening, you will learn to understand, and you will be able to communicate successfully with more people. 

An important phrase for this is “I’m having trouble understanding what you’re saying, but I care what you are saying.”

Make sure it’s true, and keep listening. The more you listen, the easier it will be to understand. Understanding . And practice. You get better with practice.

Too many people are ignored because others can’t be bothered to understand their accents. You can make this better by listening (and by insisting that people you supervise listen.)

anonymous said:

sorry if this is a weird question but i noticed you tagged your post about courfeyrac insulting marius in his new outfit as "ableist language". nothing stood out to me as particularly ableist, which makes me concerned that i'm saying things without realising that they're ableist or whatever. can you explain why you tagged it so that i can be more aware of what i'm saying in future? thank you.

of course! i’m not disabled myself, so i should never be the final authority on these things, but intelligence-based insults such as ‘stupid’ are ableist because they couple negative qualities with a level of intelligence below the norm established by nondisabled people — i.e., many nondisabled people perceive intelligence in a very rigid manner and believe that anyone who falls outside that standard to be worthy of insult, hence why ‘stupid’ is so commonly used

btw i was thinking abt scott a lot while i was at work today and i thought some about how he’d feel about the development of the hormone blocker, since his relationship with his mutation is pretty complicated (see: the time he’s depowered in fc)

also about being disabled, and the safety found in invisibility, and how people respect you more if you can pretend you’re nondisabled mmmmm

for anyone who has read the fic I posted earlier, especially any nondisabled people if there are any in this bar

Zoe is concerned that readers will not realize that Lily is not a reliable narrator and the school is still not good news.

I think most people are genre savvy about fictional institutions always being terrible, I think Lily reads as sort of frantically self-deceiving, and I think naming the school and the story Silverbrook when its about werewolves is kind of a tell.  

but I am biased because I wrote it and Zoe is biased because she is just slightly too paranoid in this arena for me to trust her interpretation on this (I love you Zoe)

Remembering that people with disabilities have always existed

Content warning: This post talks about institutionalization in graphic terms. Proceed with caution.

Sometimes people say things like this:

  • "When I was a kid, no one had all these learning disabilities and syndromes!"
  • "We’re all so much sicker these days. I never heard of all these diseases until recently."

And - people who say this? You know why you never met anyone like this as a child?

Because, when you were a kid, people with learning disabilities, syndromes, illnesses, etc weren’t allowed to go to your school. A good percentage of them weren’t even allowed to live in your town.

They were kept away from people like you, and kept in horrifying conditions, so that you and other more socially valued people wouldn’t have to see them or know they existed. (It’s not your fault. You were a child and didn’t know. But it was done in your name, partly.) And a lot of them did not survive childhood because they were not given the care that would have made it possible. And this isn’t over. This still happens.

(And people with disabilities are still afraid of it happening to them).

But thing are getting a bit better - or, more accurately, people who have been fighting this evil for decades are starting to win.

So, these days, many children like those who were carefully kept away from you and your peers are allowed to grow up in families. In schools. As part of their communities. Visibly. And, this means more of them are suriving childhood.

And some adults with disabilities are now treated as adults and allowed to acknowledge disability without forfeiting adulthood. Not everyone, not yet. Not enough. But some. More than there used to be, fewer than there should be.

People with disabilities have always existed. And the fact that everyone now has to notice that they exist is a dramatic improvement. It’s a good thing that you see more people with disabilities now. It means some of them aren’t brutally hidden in institutions. Your children are growing up in a better world than you did. Remember this.

First, the medical model of disability employed in EP places the blame for disability discrimination and disadvantage on disabled people themselves insofar as it represents disability as a property of individuals and their bodies. For EP, any person who is regarded as undesirable and/or unable to engage in biological reproduction is an anomaly and an outlier to the process of natural selection. In other words, disabled persons in general, whom many people perceive as undesirable, asexual, or non-sexual, as well as disabled and nondisabled women, in particular, who may not be able to get pregnant, are relegated to the realm of biological and evolutionary misfits. In such a cultural and intellectual climate, discrimination against disabled people and resistance to accommodations for those living with disability can be understood as, taken for granted as, and justified as adaptive behaviors encoded in our DNA. Since discrimination against women has historically been justified through appeal to biological difference, one would expect feminist critics of EP to recognize and address the similar treatment that people with disabilities receive within an EP framework; to date, however, this kind of feminist critique of EP—that is, feminist critique of the naturalization of disability discrimination within the EP framework—has rarely been done.

Feminism, Disability, and Evolutionary Psychology: What’s Missing?
Maeve M. O’Donovan, Ph.D.

This investigation compared attainment in 196,405 students with and without disabilities who were taking courses by distance learning with the U.K. Open University in 2009. When the effects of demographic variables were statistically controlled, students with mental health difficulties showed poorer course completion than nondisabled students; students with restricted mobility showed poorer course completion and lower pass rates than nondisabled students; students with unseen or other disabilities showed lower pass rates than nondisabled students; and students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties showed lower pass rates and poorer grades than nondisabled students. In addition, the presence of additional disabilities led to poorer attainment in different respects in students who were blind or partially sighted, students who were deaf or hard of hearing, students with impaired speech, and students with unseen disabilities. Accommodations to support disabled students in distance education need to be focused on different groups of students with particular disabilities.

"I hope that I will live one heartbeat longer than she does"

Content warning: This post is about sentiments leading to murder of people with disabilities. Proceed with caution.

At an autism conference recently, I heard the father of a 20 year old autistic man say in his speech to the whole conference, “I hope to live one heartbeat longer than he does. I’m sure many of you feel the same way about your children.”

That sentiment gets people killed. If you are the parent of a disabled child and you say things like this, it is a matter of life-and-death importance that you stop talking this way. The father who said this is probably entirely correct that many of the other parents in the audience felt the same way. I have heard this sentiment expressed by many other parents of children with disabilities (not just autism.)

Parents who hope to outlive their autistic children are talking about people who, barring tragedy, will almost certainly outlive their parents. Autism does not limit lifespan; most autistic people should live to be old. If you hope to outlive your autistic child, it means that you are hoping that their life will be tragically cut short. It means you think they’re better off dead than they would be living without you. That’s dangerous.

It’s not true. Nobody is better off dead. It is not a blessing to die young. Expressing a desire for someone to die young is not love. (People who say this may well love their children in other ways, but this sentiment is not love.)

Please stop implying that your child will be unable to live and be happy after you die. People just like your child live on in adulthood after their parents die, and your child can too. And they will have a much easier time of it if you accept that they will outlive you, and help them to prepare for their life without you.

The only way it’s likely to live a heartbeat longer than your autistic child is if you kill them and then yourself. Many parents who feel this way do exactly that. And, even if you would never kill your child, people who are considering committing murder can hear what you say. If you say that you hope to live a heartbeat longer than your child, it makes the murder that is the only way this can plausibly happen seem like a much more legitimate choice. Don’t give potential murders that kind of encouragement.

In the disability community, we observe a day of mourning and read a list of people with disabilities murdered by caregivers.

The list is long. And it’s only a list of the names we know. There are many others who died without making the news. 

I hope and pray that your child never ends up on this list. I hope and pray that they outlive you and have a happy and meaningful adulthood. I hope and pray that this list never gets any longer. 

One murder is too many. Not ever again.

Under the cut is the (as of this post) current list of the names we know. In loving memory; may these murders be the last:

Read More

In her groundbreaking book Claiming Disability, published in 1998, Linton begins her discussion of “passing” by tracing its roots in “African American [and] gay and lesbian cultures,” claiming that “disabled people” also pass as nondisabled “to avoid discrimination or ostracism” (19). In order to pass, Linton explains, “disabled people conceal their impairments or confine their activities to those that do not reveal their disability.” 

"Speaking of—and as—Stigma: Performativity and Parkinson’s in the Rhetoric of Michael J. Fox" by Nicole Quackenbush.

Write a note on : Advantages of Employing Disabled Persons

Write a note on : Advantages of Employing Disabled Persons

The most frequently cited advantages of employing disabled persons include their dependability, superior attendance, loyalty, and low turnover. Employers often find disabled workers to be more intelligent, better motivated, and better qualified than their nondisabled counterparts. However, the superior perfor­mance attributed to disabled workers could also be the result of hidden biases to­ward…

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About speech abilities

Some people can speak easily.

Some people always have difficulty speaking.

Some people never speak at all.

Some people can speak, but at a cost that’s not worth it.

Some people are better off communicating in other ways.

Some people speak sometimes, and type other times.

Some people have words all the time; some don’t.

Some people can speak fluidly, but only on certain topics. (Just like how one can be fluent in some topics in a foreign language, but be unable to read the news).

Some people lose speech at certain levels of stress.

Some people rely on hand movements and stimming in order to find words.

Some people have a monotone and convey tone through motion.

Some people make a lot of mistakes with words, and rely heavily on tone to make themselves understood.

Some people rely heavily on scripts, and only sound normal when they stay on-script.

Some people use phrases from television.

Some people communicate by repeating themselves, and tend to be perceived as not communicating.

Some people say a lot of words they don’t understand, and are perceived as having meant them.

Some people substitute one word for another a lot, and don’t always realize it.

Some people can answer questions even when they’re having trouble initiating speech.

Some people who find speech easy sound odd.

Some people who find speech difficult sound normal.

You don’t really know how someone communicates until you’ve communicated with them substantially, and even then, you only know in the context you’ve communicated in. Appearances can be deceiving. 

And it’s important to be aware that all of these things exist.

Don't teach kids that their body is wrong

Something that can happen in therapy for disabled kids is:

People hold out hope that the kid won’t be disabled anymore, when they grow up.

So they push the kid as hard as possible in childhood, and tell them (often without saying this explicitly) that if they just work hard, their body won’t be wrong anymore.

This doesn’t work.

People who are disabled as children are usually still disabled as adults. Even if the therapy helped them. Even if they gained new physical abilities. Even if they learned things from it they wouldn’t have learned without it.

Even if they learn to walk. Even if they learn to talk. No matter what other skills they acquire. Their body is probably going to stay very different from most other people’s bodies, and far from the cultural norm.

And… part of living well as a person with a disability is accepting the body and the brain that you have, and working with it rather than against it. 

Because you can’t live in an imaginary body; you can’t live in an abstraction. You have to live your own life, as you actually are. And sometimes that involves medical treatment, sometimes it involves equipment, sometimes it involves therapy - but always, it involves reality. You can’t willpower yourself into being someone else. 

Disabled kids tend to get taught the opposite message, because childhood therapy is usually cure-oriented even for conditions that aren’t anywhere close to curable. It’s about normalization, much more than functioning well.

Then they go through all manner of hell unlearning this once they’re old enough that everyone gives up on pretending that a cure is going to happen.

If you’re responsible to or for kids with disabilities, do what you can to protect them from this. Make sure they aren’t being pushed to hang their self-worth on accomplishing things that are physically impossible or implausible. Help them to understand hat their bodies aren’t wrong. Teach them that they already have lives worth living.