disability legislation

anonymous asked:

If I ever try to vent or complain about my adhd and the trouble it causes me there's always someone who tells me to "get over it" and "be thankful you don't have a real disability" or talk about how I shouldn't complain because there people out there who have it worse. I absolutely hate it. They basically invalidate any difficulties and struggles I'm dealing with, just because someone somewhere is struggling more. Do you have any advice on how to deal with people like that?

Ableism and stigma. People can be so ignorant.

I have a few suggestions of things you can say, I’m not sure how well they will work but at least you can tell yourself you tried.

“ADHD is a real disability; it’s covered by the ADA.” (this works if you’re in the US or somewhere else with disability legislation)

“Sure other people struggle. I struggle too, just differently. That doesn’t mean my struggles don’t exist or aren’t valid.”

“If you can complain about traffic, I can complain about this.”

Followers, do you have any other good comebacks for this kind of garbage?

-J

cupcakes-and-queers  asked:

Hi you made a post about being in grad school with ADHD, Depression, and Anxiety. I just saw it and I was wondering if you had any more tips. I'm in that same exact position and I'm scared out of my mind. Grad school may or may not kill me.

Hi okay!  I see that you’re in Social Work, and since I’m in a similar field (Counselling Psychology) I’ll tailor my response a bit to that.

  • Remember that even if you feel like a fuck-up or like you’re being squeezed into a skin that doesn’t fit, THAT IS WHAT MAKES YOU VALUABLE.  The human services have traditionally depended on a basic division of the world into Us and Them: There is Us, the service providers, therapists and caseworkers and so forth, who are mostly economically privileged and neurotypical and who have our shit together, and there is Them, the people we help, who are poor, disabled, neurodivergent, and in need of help.  And this has been BAD MOJO THE ENTIRE WAY ALONG, and the more we can break this division down and realize that poor, disabled, and neurodivergent people possess power and wisdom and strength and can empower themselves (ourselves) the more we can help.
  • So even though there’s prejudice and stigma against being a mentally ill mental health professional, those of us who can straddle the fence are incredibly valuable because we know what it’s like, and if we can view our clients with empathy and solidarity, we can, in my opinion, be far more valuable than people who don’t live in both worlds.
  • Want an example?  This post on executive dysfunction.  It has useful advice, but also, it’s my go-to example for what happens when a lot of neurodivergent people sit down and discuss tips: hundreds of people saying, “Six years of therapy and I never heard anything as useful as this post” and “WHY DID NO ONE EVER TELL ME THIS ALL THE YEARS I HAD AN IEP.”  Why? Because this is basic wisdom that isn’t known in the professional field because people don’t think to ask ND people for advice in managing their symptoms.
  • Okay philosophizing done, practical advice
  • Get formally diagnosed and register with the office in your school that manages accommodation for people with disabilities.  They ought to provide you with service and support, but even if they don’t, the simple fact of being registered means you have a better legal footing on which to demand those things.  Almost anywhere in the world with disability rights legislation, it means your school has the legal obligation to provide you wtih reasonable accommodation.  I had a giant mental health meltdown towards the end of my degree and I’m fairly certain that being on file as mentally ill is the only reason my school didn’t expel me in frustration.  And now, look at that! I’m graduating!
  • Get a therapist ASAP.  My therapist’s advice to me, which I pass on to anyone going into a helping profession (counselling, teaching, nursing, medicine, you name it) is: Get a therapist before you think you need one.  Have that relationship established and spell out all your backstory BEFORE the crisis hits.
  • Figure out what would actually help, and ask for it at the beginning of the semester.  “Hi professor, I have anxiety and ADHD and have trouble completing my assignments on time.  Can we agree that I will send you a rough draft of my papers a week beforehand, and you will email me and ask for them if I don’t send them to you?” or “Hello fellow classmates, does anyone want to form a study group?”
  • Look for someone consistent in faculty, like an academic advisor or a success coach from disability services, who is okay with you being needy, using them to hold you accountable for big projects, and whining about how your classes are going.  This is useful not only for stuff in the last bullet point, but because it mans you have an ongoing relationship with a person at the school who knows you, and will be able to advocate for and defend you if you have a dispute with a professor or encounter academic discipline (oh yeah, I spent a year on academic probation, and would’ve spent more if my thesis advisor hadn’t protected me).
  • Give thank-you cards at the end of term to school staff who were good about making accommodations for you during a semester.  It’s not necessary, but it builds goodwill, leaves the relationship on a good note, and reduces your guilt.
  • Make friends with, or follow the blogs of, people in similar programs but different schools.  The different approaches and demands, and the similar recurring problems, can be enormously helpful to help you keep perspective.

I hope that helps!  The first two years of grad school were honestly the best my life has been this far–the amazingness of being able to socialize with classmates who understood and shared my passion for the field, and with whom I could commiserate about my difficulties and swap shit about professors, made a lot of hard things bearable.  So I really, really hope you work things out.

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My employers are amazing. They ordered me a Varidesk (a special one that fits my dual monitors on it) which moves up and down so I can vary my working position at intervals.

Changing my position frequently is a useful tool in managing my fibromyalgia and helps me stay as comfortable as possible when my joints are stiff, my limbs are aching and my neck is giving me a lot of pain.

Standing also makes it easier for me to remember to stretch frequently (which is one of the most useful tools in my armoury against fibro) and also refreshes me somewhat, helping me to keep alert even when the fatigue and lethargy are making concentration difficult for me. Switching things up helps me manage my brain fog.

I can rest my arms on the part of the desk that raises up and that is an immediate help as my arms get really tired without support. I can make sure the monitors are at exactly the right height for my line of vision and this really helps reduce strain on my neck.

I just wanted to post this to share some tips-and this marvellous product-with other fibro fighters who, like me, are fortunate enough to have employers who are willing and able to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ as suggested under disability legislation, to support and enable their employees to do the best job they possibly can.

Sending so much love to all my sisters and brothers out there fighting chronic illness, using everything they can to make a life of pain, a more manageable thing. Stay positive and stay strong 💕

But let’s talk about Jamie Brewer.

She’s awesome.

Jamie Brewer made her television debut on American Horror Story. Prior to her transition to acting on camera she was a theatrical actress. She has not left the stage, however, and still continues her training through theater and through improvisation at ‘The Groundlings Theatre and School’ .

Being an individual with Down Syndrome Jamie has made it a point to be active in the Down Syndrome community. Jamie was the youngest to ever be elected President of the ARC of Fort Bend Chapter. From there, she was appointed to the State of Texas ARC Board, then elected to the Executive Board as Treasurer. Jamie was then asked to serve on the ARC Governmental Affairs Committee for the State of Texas. She spoke with Senators at the Texas State Capitol to persuade them to pass the law for Texas to abolish using the “R” word from state legislation, and regarding the needs of people with disabilities in Texas. Texas now uses “Intellectual Developmental Disability” in their legislation. 1

Brewer is involved with a several non-profit organizations, including DSALA, DSiAM, BTAP, National Down Syndrome Congress, American Association of People with Disabilities of the United States, and Civitan International.

Is there a site/app to help disabled folks contact legislators?

I just Tweeted:

  • Thing that would be useful to me: a site/app that lets me say ‘I live in X state, I want my senator called, but I am disabled and can’t’.
  • Whether it’s physical disabilities, mental health issues, abusive caretakers, whatever.  Somewhere I can put my name and zip code.
  • Then TAB and neurotypical people can sign up to make calls.  It’d pair you with someone not from your state, who can then call your senator.
  • “I am calling on behalf of your constituent [$NAME] from [$CITY/ZIPCODE].  They would like you to know [$MESSAGE] about [$ISSUE].”
  • Then the caller could report back.  "Called your Senator on [$DATE/TIME] and I spoke to a staffer/left a message/etc.“
  • Folks who are not in swing states/affected states could help take direct action.  Folks who are disabled could make their voices heard.
  • You’d have to be careful about security, because there’d be some PID involved, but I think this is a pretty simple build.
  • Honestly this could be useful to anyone in a precarious situation.  Closeted folks who don’t want to be overheard being pro-LGBTQIA+
  • If you’re a developer and would be interested in working on something like this, DM me/contact me.  Let’s lay down a plan for this.

Does such a thing exist?  Do y’all know?

What is the Alternative?

Before you dive in: 

  1. Holy crap this got long. Sorry. Please read it anyway
  2. I’m sure there are flaws in the ADA. No law is perfect. But, unless you can point out the specific title and section that has a serious problem for both beneficiaries of the ADA and the people who have to obey it as well as provide a reasonable legal alternative, I’m not really interested in what you have to say.
    1. “It’s expensive and hard for me as a business owner” is not a serious problem.
    2. “Just remove that section from the law” is not a reasonable legal alternative.
  3. I’m not gonna sit here and do a re-blog battle where I explain to you why my civil rights are worth preserving. I’m not gonna sit here and explain to you how damaging disability discrimination is nor will I sit here and list all the good the law has done in some weird attempt to win you over regarding your beliefs on whether or not I’m a person. Do your own research on your own time.
  4. There are other alternatives than the ones I mention in this post and I promise that they’re just as shitty. I simply ran out of cynicism towards the end and decided to focus on the “alternatives” that I most commonly hear day to day.

Okay, on with the show….

The next time someone tries to argue about the logistical difficulties surrounding compliance with the ADA, I want you to ask them a very simple question:

What is the alternative?

What is the alternative to the the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990? Instead of this law, what should be done instead?

Some might suggest that the law should focus less on making existing spaces accessible to both disabled and non-disabled people and more on building alternative, separate spaces specifically designed to meet the needs of disabled people. For example, if the local elementary school can’t handle the burden of being made accessible, then a separate school should be built that is specifically designed to meet the needs of disabled students, right? Okay, what about other stuff? Movie theaters? Grocery stores? Pharmacies? Banks? Doctor’s offices? Bars? Restaurants? Who pays for all this? Surely it won’t be the non-disabled people. After all, they’re not the ones using these new spaces. Do the disabled people pay for it? How? With what money? From jobs? Which jobs? The ones at buildings that aren’t accessible?


Okay, maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic here. Maybe people agree things need to be accessible, but not “unnecessarily” accessible.

A lot of pushback I get when talking about the ADA involves mentioning how extra special the law is because people can sue a business and force it to be made accessible. According to some, I should just sue any business that isn’t accessible instead of expecting every business to be accessible from the start.

Accessible to whom? If I sue a restaurant for not being accessible to me because it doesn’t have a bathroom stall big enough for my wheelchair, that’s not going to help a blind person who tries to order their food without access to a braille menu. Does the blind person have to file a separate lawsuit against the restaurant so that they can have equal access?

And let’s take this one teeny, tiny step further. Let’s assume that each disabled person who sued the restaurant for being inaccessible asked the restaurant super duper nicely to make the necessary changes and we only sued them when they were huuuuuuuuuuge dicks about it and said “no”.  Let’s also assume that everyone who sued the restaurant won and the requested accessibility changes were made immediately.

Do you think that anyone who sued the restaurant is ever going to want to actually eat there? I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable frequenting an eating establishment I’d just finished suing, would you? Win or lose, neither I or any other disabled person, get to eat at this restaurant.


So the question still remains: what’s the alternative? What other direction are we supposed to take that lowers the burden on business owners and yet somehow ensures equal access to goods and services to people with disabilities?

Answer: There isn’t one. For nearly 30 years, the ADA has helped millions of Americans with disabilities live better and healthier lives. It’s provided access to employment, financial stability, and personal freedom and independence. 

The people who want to dismantle or weaken the laws aren’t doing it because they care about small businesses. They’re doing it because they actively don’t care about disabled people. They know that bringing a lawsuit entails so much red tape and financial resources that most disabled folk will choose not sue and instead go without necessary goods and services. They know that so-called “alternative” schools and businesses will only serve to drive disabled out of society and back into the isolation and destitution we experienced for over a hundred years.

The ADA is a civil rights law and there is no “equitable alternative” to civil rights. 


That’s all I’ve got for now, folks.

Fight. Resist. Take care of each other.

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Happy ADA day!

Today, July 26 we celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. This premier piece of legislation is key to the survival and civil rights of individuals with disabilities. Like much of the nations best civil rights legislation, the ADA was forward thinking - providing protections for individuals with disabilities as well as those perceived to have disabilities. When it was signed this protection offered solace to the growing numbers of individuals with AIDS and HIV who were being disenfranchised with very little legal recourse. As we enter the second quarter of what some might consider the modern disability movement, what new groups are we going to bring to the table with our advocacy? How we continue to use the ADA as a tool of inclusion? What do you think Our focus should be or the focus of our presidential candidate should be for the future?

Share more below and Happy ADA!

the way this country treats people with disabilities on a social, legislative, and institutional level is fucking atrocious and if you joke abt ableism or think its a nonissue i will kick your ass into next week