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Chinese Father Carries His Disabled Son 18 Miles To School Every Day

A parent’s devotion to their children can sometimes be one of the strongest natural forces in the world, and Yu Xukang, a proud and loving father in Yibin county in China, is no exception. Every day, he travels a total of 18 miles to ensure that Xiao Qiang, his disabled 12-year-old son, can go to school.

Xukang’s day begins at 5 A.M., when he wakes up to make the day’s lunch for his son, Qiang. He then carries his son 4.5 mi (7.2 km) to the nearest school that would accommodate him and walks back home to work, making the same trip again to pick him up and take him home.

Qiang cannot make the trip because his legs and arms are twisted. ‘My son with his disabilities is not in a position to walk on his own and it also means that he can’t ride a bike,” explains Xukang. “Despite being 12 he’s just 90 cm tall. But I am proud of the fact that he is already top of his class and I know he will achieve great things. My dream is that he will go to college… I know that my son is physically disabled but there is nothing wrong with his mind.”

The Chinese government, having heard of the distance Xukang travels every day, has offered to rent out an apartment closer to the school, and the school has begun preparations for accepting boarding students.

AB-SO-LUTE-LY!

I usually try to be a very modest person. In fact, that’s probably the most arrogant thing that I will ever say. But yeah. I do. I sincerely do. Because I’ve spent the better part of a decade thinking about Remus and disabilities and disabilities in the wizarding world. And when you spend nearly half of your life thinking about that, you tend to become passionate about it. And when you become passionate about it, you tend to do a pretty good job at it. In fact, the only reason why I haven’t written a really long fanfiction about Remus is because I know that I would get too passionate and too emotional about it. Because I would pour all of my real-life experiences as a person with a disability into said book. The funny thing is that I’m not a fan of metaphorical representation; I prefer representation to be outright. But if you’re going to use a metaphor, you need to go all the way through with it! You need to really explore all of the creative possibilities.

So, at the risk of sounding more arrogant than James Potter, here’s some of the possibilities that I’ve personally thought of over the years:

Show every single detail about the night that Remus was bitten and the days following. The pain, the terror, the confusion. The blinding lights on the ceiling of St. Mungo’s as Healers are all talking very fast while levitating him on a stretcher and zooming him through the corridors. Potions being shoved down his throat. Remus coming in and out of consciousness. His mother crying. His father screaming. Pain. Pain. More pain. He doesn’t understand what’s going on. He thinks that he did something wrong. Why else would his mother be crying? And then the Healers and MediWizards are talking to him about something called lycanthropy but he doesn’t understand, he’s too young to understand, but he has no choice, he needs to understand. But he’s scared and confused and in pain. So much pain.

Remus finally understanding what happened but not accepting it. Instead, Remus going through the five stages of grief. He’s in shock, he’s in denial, there’s no way that he’s a werewolf. He’s read a few children’s books about werewolves and they’re all really nasty. He isn’t really nasty. He’s angry. Angry that the Mediwizards would even say such a thing. Angry that his parents aren’t correcting them. Angry at everything and nothing at all. And then he becomes depressed. He’s four/five/six (it’s not quite clear what his age was) years old and his life is already over. The other kids in his village are going to make fun of him. He’d do anything, anything to get rid of it, anything to be normal again. But he ultimately realizes that he can’t…he’ll never be normal again…

Show the reactions of those closest to him. What do his parents feel? What do they think? What are their approaches? Does one act like nothing’s happened while the other’s insisted that everything’s changed? Does one say that Remus needs to be independent while the other insists that he’ll be dependent for the rest of his life? Can they handle this? What about his extended family? Have his extended family visit but ultimately stare at him or say the wrong things and the Lupins realize that they haven’t received an invitation to the Christmas party, nor the New Years Party, nor their aunt’s wedding, etc.

Have rumors sweep through the whole village. Have the children run away from him because they heard that he has a tail or that he likes to eat raw meat. Have Remus be hopelessly confused and sad because he doesn’t understand why people keep staring at him or why nobody wants to play with him. He didn’t do anything wrong!

Have the Lupins pour all of their money into medical bills because they don’t have insurance. Ever wonder why Remus was poor? Well, there you go! Have Remus wake up in the middle of the night to his parents arguing over where they’re going to get the money for the newest round of potions that he needs. Have his parents take on extra jobs. Have them finally be able to get insurance but most of the things that Remus needs aren’t covered so really what’s the point!?

Lycanthropy Speaks! Have an organization come out called Lycanthropy Speaks that claims to know more about Remus’ condition than Remus does. But in the end, the organization simply tells the parents of children with lycanthropy that they’re monsters. And instead of looking for ways to help those children, the organization looks for ways to cure them. I mean do you realize how much potential this has!

This is fun. This is really fun.

Show Remus finally being old enough to go to Hogwarts but his parents aren’t sure if he can go. And when he finally does, they’re all shocked to realize that he’s having the time of his life. Madam Pomfrey is taking care of all of his medical needs, the Marauders are taking care of all of his social needs, and for the first time in a long time, Remus Lupin is actually happy.

But if you’re like me and you’re twisted, that happiness can’t last long. So show how the wizarding world is become more and more prejudiced against werewolves. Show Remus hiding his condition from everyone, even his best friends. Show Remus breaking down and absolutely sobbing when his friends finally reveal that they know. Because he knows that they’re going to leave.

But they don’t.

They love him as if he was their brother and his lycanthropy doesn’t change that.

But that doesn’t mean that the rest of the world is as accepting. Horrendous propaganda begins to surface. Saying that you can become a werewolf if you kiss a person with lycanthropy or if you share a drink with a person with lycanthropy or if you use the same toilet seat as a person with lycanthropy. Everyone see where I’m going with this? GOOD!

It just occurs to me the format and tense of this post keeps changing. But it’s too late to change it now; I’m on a roll here!

DID SOMEBODY SAY EUTHANASIA MOVEMENT!? Yeah! The war would have been starting at this point. Have Voldemort introduce a new phase: Action W4 (instead of T). Have Death Eaters go around, killing men, women, and children with lycanthropy. 70,000 of them to be precise. Have an action-packed, suspenseful, story where the Marauders need to help Remus escape because he’s literally being hunted by Death Eaters and he doesn’t want to die. 

You know what, we can take this to the next level. After Voldemort’s first reign ends, have the Ministry create asylums all throughout the wizarding world. Have people with lycanthropy be dragged there and admitted against their will. Have the conditions be awful. The worst that you can possibly imagine. Have them try controversial treatments to try to cure the lycanthropy. Did somebody say Crucio therapy? Well, why not! Maybe you can Crucio the lycanthropy right out of them! Seems like a great idea to me! And hey, if that doesn’t work, you can always do a Diffendo spell to their brain. Yep, I went there. At this point, this metaphor is all or nothing.

And then, at this point, have Voldemort begin recruiting people with lycanthropy because he sees them as useful weapons. And have him make a point to treat all of them with respect because he knows that you can catch more pixies with honey than with vinegar. Literally have the villain treat them better than their own government treats them and that’s why so many werewolves joined his cause.

And then have those asylums be shut down because seriously, who’s bright idea was it to have those anyway? But that still doesn’t mean that we can’t have…*drummroll*…the EUGENICS MOVEMENT! Remus and Nymphadora want to conceive and have a child. Well, there’s just one problem. The wizarding world doesn’t want them to. In fact, people with lycanthropy are once again being dragged to buildings against their will. Have them be sterilized! Lycanthropy might be hereditary after all. That’s why Remus and Tonks were so hesitant for anyone from the Ministry to see them. Because they wanted to have a child. Have Teddy’s very existence be a slap in the Ministry’s face.

*Gasps for breath*

These are just some, some, of the possibilities that Jo could have explored! I could sit here all day and continue to list them. I’m that passionate about it. In fact, I’m shaking as I’m typing this.

In all seriousness…could I do a better job than her? I don’t know. But at least I can see the potential of this metaphorical representation instead of just focusing on how many Werewolf McWerewolf puns that I can make. 

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:

change.org/p/the-walt-disney-company-create-a-princess-with-a-disability

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.

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.  

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.

(via the Guardian)

Finnish punk band with a difference take a punt at Eurovision title

“After a transgender diva and a bearded drag act, a group of middle-aged punk rockers with learning disabilities could be the next performers to challenge prejudice at the Eurovision song contest.

They are far from the kitsch and camp of Dana International or Conchita Wurst, who became heroes for Europe’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community after Eurovision victories in 1998 and 2014.

But Finland’s PKN are aiming to raise awareness of people with learning disabilities – and “have a fucking good time” along the way, the band say.”