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Archive for the ‘cerebral palsy’ Category

US Airways ejects man with wheelchair: ‘Too disabled to fly’

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

From ABC News, CNN, Grand Rapids [MI] Press:

Johnnie Tuitel, a motivational speaker who uses a wheelchair, says he was forced to leave a recent US Airways flight before takeoff because flight personnel had decided that he was “too disabled to fly.”

Tuitel, who has cerebral palsy, said the incident occurred last month while he was waiting for his flight to take off from Palm Beach, headed for a speaking engagement in Kansas City, Mo. He said he was told that he could not stay on the flight unless he had an attendant with him. Tuitel was removed from the flight and missed his engagement.

US Airways said the decision to deplane Tuitel was because of safety concerns.

:”We just felt it wasn’t safe for him to fly that day, unassisted,” said spokesman Todd Lehmacher. “Our number-one priority, of course, is safety. We transport 80 million passengers a year. The crew just felt it wasn’t safe for him to fly.”

… “I just think that my civil rights were violated, and that I should have the same rights to fly as any other citizen so that I can do business,” Tuitel said in a press release. “All I want to do as speaker is to make a living and take care of my family.”

By Marybeth Hicks, writing in the Washington Times:

Being the reluctant flier that I am, and having visited Mr. Tuitel’s website and watched his videos, I would sit next to him on any flight. Most emergencies require strength of character, courage, tenacity and a sense of humor. It’s clear US Airways kicked off the most able of its passengers that day.

Complaint box: Whatever happened to tact?

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Poet Jennifer Bartlett writes in the New York Times City Room blog about her experiences with rude people who feel free to comment on her disability. Bartlett has cerebral palsy. An excerpt:

Bus riders have referred to me as mentally backward (while I was reading James Joyce), and waitresses routinely ask my companion what I want to order. In a club, once, an older man asked me to dance. Upon hearing my voice, he commented to his friend, “She’s some kind of retard,” and walked off.

… The problem isn’t exactly that people have these reactions. The problem is that they have no tact. It’s as though they have some kind of disconnect and think I don’t hear, or can’t process, their comments. Sometimes I feel like screaming: “Hello! There’s a human being in here. And she’s registering your stupidity.”

Bartlett’s first collection of poetry is “Derivative of the Moving Image,” University of New Mexico Press.

Family of girl with CP to Canada: Let us stay

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

From the Montreal Gazette, CBC News:

A French family is making a public appeal to stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds after their application for permanent residency was rejected because their seven-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy.

Rachel Barlagne was deemed “medically inadmissable” because her disability would pose an “excessive burden” on the state. According to court documents, the “excessive burden” amounts to $5,200 per year for special education.

“We hope the immigration minister understands our situation and takes steps to allow us to stay,” David Barlagne said outside Federal Court in Montreal, where his lawyers are fighting to keep his family in the country. “We are determined to do whatever we have to to stay in Canada.”

Earlier post here.

(Photo from CBC News)

ACLU: School violating girl’s rights by banning service dog

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

From the Jackson [MI] Citizen Patriot:

Michigan’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has accused a local school district of breaking the law by preventing a 5-year-old with cerebral palsy from bringing her service dog to school.

Ehlena Fry’s parents argue that her medically prescribed, certified service dog, Wonder, must accompany her to school in order to help her to become an independent member of the community. Ehlena’s IEP team in the Napoleon Community Schools concluded that the girl’s needs are being met by her full-time classroom aide.

“To force a 5-year-old girl with cerebral palsy to choose between her independence and her education is not only illegal, it is heartless,” said Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director.

Community members helped the Frys raise more than $13,000 last year to get the dog from 4 Paws for Ability.

Editorial: ‘Let family of girl with CP stay in Canada’

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Editors of the Montreal Gazette say the Canadian government has made a “bad mistake” and should reverse its decision to expel a family of French immigrants because one of their daughters has cerebral palsy.

Computer software business owner David Barlagne and his wife brought their family from Paris to Montreal in 2005 after being told there would be no barriers to their becoming permanent residents. But government officials later informed them that their seven-year-old daughter Rachel is “medically inadmissible” and “risks giving rise to an excessive burden on social or health services.”

An excerpt:

If word gets out about how badly Canada has treated the Barlagne family, we won’t have to worry about over-shooting our targets for top-calibre immigrants for years to come.

See also: Family threatened with deportation due to daughter’s illness — CTV.com

(Montreal Gazette photo)

Rock band’s goal: Worldwide fame

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

2009.12.01_flameFrom ABC Good Morning America: (with video)

Flame, a rock group from upstate New York, is believed to be the only touring rock group in the world that is composed solely of people with disabilities. Among the band members are people with conditions that include Down syndrome, cognitive delays, autism, cerebral palsy and blindness. Lead singer Michelle King (above) has autism. Member David LaGrange grew up in an institution.

The group was formed six years ago in Gloversville, NY, after an area talent contest turned up several accomplished musicians with intellectual disabilities. It has since blossomed, with CDs, t-shirts, a tour bus, a world tour, and a performance at Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s funeral last summer.

The musicians’ goal is have their music played on radio stations everywhere and to demonstrate what the disabled can do if they’re given the opportunity.

“Our disability will not stop us,” LaGrange said. “We keep going and the more we keep going, we want more people to see what we do.”

Montana teacher’s aides face felony abuse charges

Monday, October 26th, 2009

From ABC News (with video):

Two teacher’s aides are facing felony criminal charges for allegedly abusing Montana middle school students with disabilities last year.

Witnesses have accused Julie Parish and Kristina Marie Kallies of abusing 14-year Garret Schilling, who has Fragile X syndrome and limited verbal skills, by holding his head under running water, making him eat his own vomit, and leaving him sitting in his own feces for prolonged periods.

Other families have also come forward with allegations of abuse, including one report that a girl with cerebral palsy came home with chunks of hair missing.

The aides have resigned but deny the allegations.

See also:

Great Falls educators open window on special ed in wake of abuse charges — Great Falls Tribune

Editorial: Sunshine could help reassure special-needs community — Great Falls Tribune

Attorney general won’t investigate alleged school abuse — Great Falls Tribune

Special Ed Teacher Accused of Abusing Students – [Nashville, TN] WSMV

Lawsuit claims teacher abused special needs students – Nashville Newschannel5

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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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