The Reading Room

Callum July 24, 2015 0
The Reading Room

New disability hate crime research tries to unearth the motivations behind why it happens; the limits and fallacies of person-first language; the critique of Italy’s troubling approach to mental healthcare in decades past that you can play; and things that you shouldn’t ask a disabled person…

Scapegoat author Katherine Quarmby summarises the findings of a survey carried out by the Disability Hate Crime Network into the demographics and motivations of disability hate crime perpetrators: “‘I was verbally abused as a scrounger whilst shopping … using a mobility scooter,’ said one respondent. ‘I was asked why I use a wheelchair sometimes, but sticks on other days. I tried to explain my condition varies from day to day. I was then told I was just fat and lazy and was doing it to get benefits,’ said another.

• See also the Adam Pearson-fronted BBC documentary, The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime, which was broadcast this week.

• What’s ‘person-first language’? It’s a way of referring to people as “[person], who has/lives with [disability]”, rather than “[disability]-ic/sufferer [person]”. Person-first language tends to be our default setting here at Access – indeed, there are examples of it elsewhere on this very page – but Emily Ladau’s point that “PFL essentially buys into the stigma it claims to be fighting” in this thoughtful article is one worth thinking about….

Housing and Support Alliance Chief Executive Alicia Wood is now contributing a series of regular articles on housing over at Disability Horizons – kicking off with a look at whether independent living should be seen as a ‘luxury’: “Local authorities and housing associations should be ensuring that they have enough adapted or adaptable properties for disabled people in their newbuild programmes but they cannot magic up a property that does not exist. You need to be inventive and determined.

• Ray Flynn, an 80-year-old resident of Manchester, has become the first user of a unique bionic sight system designed to help manage the symptoms of advanced dry age related macular degeneration.

• Computer and video games aren’t usually known for their nuance and subtlety when it comes to exploring the topic of mental illness – think frightening horror games set in dilapidated asylums featuring serial killers. The Town of Light, a new game by Italian developer LKA.it is…set in a dilapidated asylum. But as UK gaming site Rock Paper Shotgun discovers, there’s apparently more to it than that: “At the beginning there is some typical horror elements which are introduced, but this is just a tool to discover later that the real horror is not these elements, it’s the effect of mental illness and the way the institution used to work.

• An eight-year-old girl has been prevented from using the water slides at Oklahoma City’s Frontier City theme park. Why? Because her gel sleeve-covered prosthetic leg would have allegedly scratched them. (The company has since added an additional note to the water rides page on its website).

• A 21-year-old woman looking after a toddler with Down’s syndrome takes a picture after he clambers inside an unplugged washing machine. She posts said picture to Facebook. Outrage ensues. The same woman is then filmed days later with the same child behaving in rather boisterous manner on a bouncy castle

• And finally, as the BBC’s Defying the Label season gets underway, here’s a concise trailer video detailing those stupid questions that you shouldn’t ask a disabled person.

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