Disability news, Accessibility Issues, Disability Issues, Accessiblity News

Archive for January, 2008

Sacramento officials strip name of eugenicist from public park

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

From the Sacramento Bee:

In a 5-0 vote, the board of supervisors in Sacramento County, California, removed the name of eugenicist Charles M. Goethe from one of the busiest parks in the area around the state capitol.

Goethe, a founder and major benefactor of California State University, Sacramento, was a public advocate of compulsory sterilization of the “unfit” and “feeble-minded,” and railed in his writings against Jews, Mexicans, African Americans and Japanese Americans.

A significant figure in the American eugenics movement, Goethe also praised German scientists who used sterilizations to “purify” the Aryan race before the outbreak of World War II. (more…)

‘Amazing man’ awaiting his turn on Good Morning America

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

From the [Cherry Hill, NJ] Courier-Post:

Brad Hennefer will appear on an upcoming segment of “Good Morning America,” possibly as soon as Friday. Brad, who has Down syndrome, is a four-year-member of the golf and basketball programs at Cherry Hill High School East “and a media darling to boot.” Earlier post of video of his three-pointer in a regular season basketball game.

Bob Hennefer couldn’t be more proud of his son, and also gives praise to the Cherry Hill East principal, teachers and coaches, namely Valore.

“John Valore has been remarkable, the way he teaches,” Hennefer said. “We attribute everything to his teammates, his school staff, coaching staff. They’ve just been phenomenal. Thinking outside the box to create an opportunity for Brad. His teammates, they all treat him like he’s family. It’s just inspiring.

“We didn’t think a lot of stuff was going to happen, but it’s just about creating opportunities. Brad does well. He’s a visual learner. He learns a lot from his teammates and he just keeps going. It’s a tribute to the school and his teammates, what he’s doing. His teammates also have learned a lot from Brad. They see it’s a lot of hard work. We learn about stuff every day from Brad.”

Down syndrome advocates increase efforts to educate medical community, pregnant women

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

From Medical News Today.

Manitoba doctors claim right to pull life-support

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

From the Winnipeg [Manitoba, Canada] Free Press:

Manitoba’s college of physicians has waded into an emotional debate over whether doctors or a patient’s family get to decide when life-sustaining medical treatment should be stopped.

A new policy from the college says the ultimate decision lies with the doctor. (more…)

UK care rationing denies help to elderly, disabled

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Said to be ‘virtually trapped in their own home’

From the [London] Times:

A growing number of elderly and disabled people are being denied help with washing, dressing and eating as more local authorities ration social care.

A report showed that seven out of ten councils restrict help to very serious cases, leaving others to pay for themselves or rely on family and friends.

The annual report from the Commission for Social Care Inspection found that thousands fewer people qualify for care now compared with three years ago, despite a 3 per cent rise in the number of people over 75.

… “People who only five years ago qualified for council-arranged help are today excluded by the system and left to fend for themselves,” said Dame Denise Platt, chairman of the commission.

… “People unable to rely on families or friends and unable to pay for care services themselves are simply left to cope with everyday life, while some become virtually trapped in their own home.”

Economists’ point-counterpoint: Suspend the ADA

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Writing in the Lost Angeles Times, two economists analyze the causes of the current slump and try to place blame. Is there a villain, the headline asks? One writer points at the ADA.

Stephen Landsburg, professor at the University of Rochester:

Our assigned topic for today is, “What’s wrong with this economy?” My answer is, the same things that are always wrong with it: bloated government, a badly designed tax system and an excess of regulation.

Addressing those fundamental problems would do far more good than shuffling a bunch of checks around. If you really think the economy needs a jump-start, let’s try suspending the Americans with Disabilities Act for a year.


Jason Furman, senior fellow and director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution:

We can debate whether the economy is slipping into recession or about to rebound. We can debate whether the best tools are for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates or Congress and the president to apply fiscal stimulus. And we can debate the most effective forms of fiscal stimulus.

But to argue that the downturn could be solved by temporarily permitting discrimination against people with disabilities is just daft.

ABC autism debate: Round two

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

With ABC’s new surreality series “Eli Stone” set to debut tonight, controversy continues to swirl about the plot line that links autism with vaccines. The American Academy of Pediatricians called on the network to pull the show. ABC has said it will run a disclaimer before the episode to remind viewers that it is, after all, only make-believe.

Writing in the Boston Globe, two doctors say the program is factually inaccurate, dangerous, and should be yanked.

Many viewers of this episode of “Eli Stone” will undoubtedly walk away from the television set convinced that vaccines do, in fact, cause autism – a position no more credible than the belief that snake oil cures rheumatism. Some viewers may be reluctant to vaccinate their children.

The fueling of this negative trend through the careless use of a storyline based on bad science is inexcusable. ABC should rethink its decision, and viewers should understand that the episode is a scriptwriter’s fantasy rather than health education.

From an op-ed in the New York Post: (more…)

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More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans. This website attempts to aggregate news and commentary about disability, and to document the efforts of people who are seeking new ways to address familiar challenges.

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