It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just the Story For Now...

and the commentary later. I didn't get a soundbite (wasn't expecting to) but you can see me at 1:29. From ABC 7 and News Channel 8 in DC:

Autism Walk on National Mall Stirs Controversy

WASHINGTON - Thousands of people converged on the National Mall Saturday for a great cause -- fighting autism.

Several protesters, many of whom also fall on the autism spectrum, used the annual "Walk Now for Autism" event to point out the flaws with the event sponsor.

Michelle Parris came out the Mall ready to walk 2.5 miles for her son Miles. "I just want other people to not have to deal with the same difficulties that my son has dealt with," she said. "If there's a way that we can end it that would be great."

Her cause, along with thousands of others, is for autism, a neurobiological disorder that affects one in 150 children.

"My little boy who turns 8 in two weeks is mildly autistic and I have many friends who have children who are autistic," said Yitbarek Arefeaine.

Early intervention was key for 7-year-old Ahadu Arefeaine who is now making great progress through speech and occupational therapy. He sometimes even teaches his parents a thing or two.

"He can tell you everything you wanted to know about a bee -- more than I ever knew," said Arefeaine.

The annual walk sponsored by Autism Speaks drew families and supporters from all over the D.C. area. Together they raised closed to $700,000.

"This money goes toward research and autism awareness," said Joe Galli, chair of the D.C. chapter of Autism Speaks. "These kids are struggling to get the treatment that they need."

On the other end of the Mall, protesters held an event of their own questioning the practices of Autism Speaks.

"They use fear and stigma and pity to try and raise money off the backs of our people," said Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

The group says the money raised Saturday and at future events won't all go to help those with the disorder. "Its funding goes overwhelmingly toward things like genetic research to create a prenatal test to end our existence," said Ne'eman.

The protesters were set up where they could be seen, right near the path of Saturday's walk. They said they did get some backlash but most people were receptive and wanted to learn more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SERIOUSLY?!?!?! (Wordless Wednesday)

Found through someone's facebook album:

On a bus:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Now This is Somewhat Creepy

Facebook uses cookies to track everything you do there. They use this data to be able to target ads to you. My profile says I like horses so I get a lot of ads about buying horses or sales on riding boots. It also says I'm single, so I get a lot of dating service ads, usually non discriminatory or Jewish although I get my fair share of christian dating site ads as well, even though it says I'm Jewish. I'm a fan of 3elove so I constantly get there ads too (FYI I want a kelly green hoodie size M if anyone wants to buy me one).

All that I understand. I get. What I don't get is that I just got an ad that I may be eligible to participate in a research study testing the efficacy of investigational pain meds after bunion surgery. Seriously, how do they know I need 2 bunion surgeries in the somewhat distant future (it seems)??? I don't think I've ever mentioned that on facebook or this blog... Creep anyone else out?

[image description: 3 pairs of feet in cute socks]

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Music Video

Yet another thing found through my facebook newsfeed the other day. I know it's Miley Cyrus, but the Dude's cool and the song kinda grew on me

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another ATLANTA Wordless Wednesday

Hopefully the last Atlanta post
pictures taken from NationalADAPT on Twitpic or various Facebook accounts.


The group at the rally

Singing We Shall Overcome to the residents of the Parkview Manor Nursing Facility (which, as previously mentioned, is surrounded by barbed wire)


I'd be too scared to hang on like that

PhilosopherCrip I believe he's wearing a feisty and non compliant shirt


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Only an ADAPTer...

I hope this person doesn't mind I'm posting their facebook status, but I'm leaving it anonymous so...

So-&-so is pondering the properties of tomatoes.
response 1: love tomatoes!
response 2: ok... (that was me)
response 3: They're a fruit and they have lycopene.
response 4: And when they get overripe, you can throw them at ableists. ;-P

Monday, October 19, 2009

FINALLY a Music Video on the Internet that Doesn't Need Captioning.

Thanks Beth!

The official Signmark website

edited to add this video. I like the lyrics more

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Footage of Delores Bates' 57th Birthday Bash

And the story of Bodie

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Life is a Boomerang

So my acupuncturist I was so happy to see, the one I was so happy had a $20 copay and was across the street from school, won't see me.

says you: why not?
says me: she says there's nothing she can do for me. says my issues are therapeutic issues so she kicked me back to my shrink.
The first guy I saw, who was way further away, did not say that, but I did not like him and will not go back. So do I see another acupuncturist or do I just give up? Right now I just want to cry or tear my hair out. Either one will do. See there is a history of this regarding me.

I kept being referred by professors to disability support services for school related anxiety. After I got diagnosed with bipolar II they bumped me off the case worker I'd been working with and onto the caseworker that handles the psyc students. She's an LCSW-C (the same thing my shrink is). Whole thing makes sense, right? Except she keeps telling me that my issues are therapeutic issues, not her issues, and every time I met with her she kicked me back to my shrink, leaving me with roadblocks she should be more equipped to deal with.

Then there's my physiatrist. The one doctor I have who is never allowed to retire (unless I die first). She's doing her job to the best of her ability, but it's not enough. She's supposed to be the one that coordinates everything, used to, can't anymore cause this is completely out of her element. The one piece she has complete control over is my pain management. Like I said, she's doing her job to the best of her ability, it's just not enough. She gives me as much botox as a person can have. I don't want it to kill me. She's given me pills that help, but they too have life threatening side effects if I take as much as I need when I'm in a serious anxiety crisis. She too says my pain has origins that are of therapeutic nature and kicks me back to my shrink. This at least is not her fault. She can't do anything else for me unless I want to die. This doesn't make it any less frustrating.

Oh and a sleep specialist, guess what he did? That's right... kicked me back to my shrink. At one point I had a crazy idea that maybe my shrink could coordinate with one of the shrinks that work at the counseling center at school. She was open to it, but they said they don't do that.

My psychiatrist, well lets just say that in this case psychiatrist and shrink are one in the same. I'm being repeatedly kicked back to both of them. My psychiatrist was not doing her job so I ditched her in June, waited til I had a new one in place I was pretty sure I liked. New one is doing all he can as well, which is nothing. A decision was made to keep things status quo. He was open at least to trying something different, but when we did, those same life threatening side effects came back (some pain meds and anxiety meds are exactly the same).

What does all this mean? This means that my shrink can't do her job as well as she could if she wasn't responsible to cover everybody else's. We'd both like to kick some of my "therapeutic issues" to somebody else, but my supposed support system has turned into a perpetual boomerang. A person can't have a one person support system. One person isn't a system, it's a dyad (I guess it's 1.5 cause there is finally at least one person she actually coordinates with).
says you: but didn't you say you go to a support group?
says me: it's only a tiny chip off of a very large ice berg.

Friday, October 16, 2009

More on Service Dogs

Sunday's service dog post had me pineing for a service dog again. I've been pineing for a service dog for the last decade. I'd never heard of service dogs, only seeing eye dogs, but then I saw a Dateline story and there was a little person who had a tiny dog that would do things like hop inside the dryer and grab clothes from the back cause, well, little people have short arms. "How COOL" I thought. Jokingly out loud I said "I want one!" But like really, what do I need a service dog for? I can open my own doors, grab my own laundry, stand up and flick my own light switch. A dog can't help me get awkward things out of the oven or hoist giant bags of dirty laundry onto my lap to take downstairs.

[image description: 4 service dogs around a wheelchair]

Strangely, not long after (in 9th grade) my physiatrist brought up the service dog discussion unprompted. Lists can be as long as 5 years if you don't have an emergent need and she suggested a dog would be helpful in college.

Says you: for what??? You just said you don't need any help.
Says me: to carry my books.
For reasons I'd rather not discuss putting my name on a list was a no go for my mom. People have suggested putting my name on a list behind her back cause I wouldn't have to deal with the ramifications for 5 years, but it's something I just cannot do.

A dog could carry heavy things for me, but I just put them on the back of the chair. A dog could give me much needed daily exercise, or I could be lazy and walk it in the chair. At the very least I'd have to get dressed and go outside daily. A dog could help me get up if I fall outside where there is no furniture to assist, but that doesn't happen often. A dog could help me up curbs, or I could just walk to a curb cut or lean on a random person's car. A dog could help me pick things up from the floor when I'm standing, or I could just sit down to grab it. I don't have an emergent need for a dog.

I'm not saying I don't need a dog, I need a dog desperately. Just not a trained service dog. I feel like I'd be wasting highly trained skills that someone else needs more. I need a dog because I'm very often mildly to moderately depressed. I wouldn't be depressed if I had a dog to come home to everyday. Anyone who's ever seen me with Oreo can vouch for that. He runs to the door even before I am there. He can hear me from the hall. He doesn't even let me sit or get my coat off before jumping on me. The second I sit on the couch he becomes glued to me. Who wouldn't feel better? I once had to have an incredibly difficult conversation and he calmed my nerves. When I was even more then moderately depressed, he stayed on the couch for hours while I practically layed on top of him (it was too much effort to even sit up). He just knew. If I ever got a service dog I'd have to get a big one to do more physical tasks. What I want is a small dog to curl up on my chest while I lay on the couch after a bad day or ride around on my lap in the chair. Oreo is 8lbs. Perfect.

This brings me to the topic of psychiatric service dogs. I don't have social anxiety, PTSD, or agoraphobia. I'm very rarely very depressed. When my panic attacks and nightmares start again it would be a g-d send to have a dog by my side, but that isn't all the time. I don't know what training for a psychiatric service dog is, what it entails. I don't know if I need one. My building allows cats but not dogs. There is a seeing eye dog that's lived here for years. It'd be illegal to deny one. I can't afford a dog, but Canine Assistants provides help for food and vet bills.

I pine for a dog.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Very Late Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful because...

  • I am home
  • and I am breathing
  • and I am calm (for now).
  • although I fell yesterday while barefoot & my toe still hurts, it is not broken. It would hurt like a mother f--- and be really nasty looking.
  • it looks like I have some new friends.
  • I updated my txting plan a few months ago and all the crazy tweeting from Atlanta won't put me over for the month. So far I have sent 56 and received 295!
  • I found $3 crumpled up in a newly washed pair of jeans.
  • at least my apartment is easy for paratransit to find.
  • of Oreo.
  • I will see some old friends tomorrow.
  • we were VICTORIOUS in Atlanta!
Quote for the week is yesterday's status update: Goveners Office? CHECK! hhs/ocr? CHECK! hud? CHECK! cnn? CHECK! We KICK ASS!

[the middle brick in the photo above says ADAPT USA. It's from a park in Atlanta. I don't know how long it's been there]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From ADAPT: Call/Tweet Sanjay Gupta @CNN Now!

call cnn to report the news in their building at 404 827 1500
e-mail sanjay at to tell him to address community choice on national tv

tweet sanjay gupta at @sanjayguptaCNN to say community choice is a topic of national debate

ADAPT Confronts CNN on Freedom for People with Disabilities

Who: ADAPT, National grassroots disability rights organization

When: NOW (9:30 a.m. Eastern time, and continuing)

Where: CNN HQ in CNN Center, Atlanta


Get the Facts Straight on the Community Choice Act!

For nearly 20 years, ADAPT has been fighting to eliminate the institutional bias that forces seniors and people with disabilities into nursing facilities and other institutions. With very rare exceptions, this issue has been ignored by the major national media.

Even now, when the country is discussing the need to reform health care, the national media has overwhelmingly failed to recognize this critical issue. Even worse, CNN got it wrong! In August of this year, Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN mentioned the Community Choice Act (S683/HR1670) during a segment on health care reform, but he stated that the legislation addressed the need for accessibility in medical settings. ADAPT contacted Dr. Gupta and CNN asking them to correct their inaccuracy and follow our efforts while we are here in Atlanta. They did not.

It is clear that the media plays a significant role in shaping American politics and public policy. We understand that if we want to change public policy, we need the media to understand this issue and call for change. ADAPT members have tried everything we can think of to raise awareness of the institutional bias and alternatives to institutionalization. Literally hundreds of us have been arrested. We have shut down streets, taken over buildings, and even marched 144 miles from Philadelphia to Washington, DC!

Because we are a grass-roots organization, ADAPT doesn't have the expensive public relations firms that can "place" our story in the national media. So ADAPT members have come directly to CNN's national headquarters to educate the network on our issues. We are here to ask CNN that:

* Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his colleagues at CNN meet with ADAPT to learn about the institutional bias, the Community Choice Act (S683/HR1670), and consumer-directed/community-based alternatives to institutionalization;
* Dr. Gupta correct his inaccurate report about the Community Choice Act;
* Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN acknowledge in their reporting that there are disability rights and civil rights issues embedded within healthcare issues;
* Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN report about the efforts of the disability community to eliminate the institutional bias and give people a REAL CHOICE in how and where they receive long term services and supports; and
* Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN report about community-based and consumer-directed models of assistance that are more cost-effective and give seniors and people with disabilities real control over their lives.

ATLANTA Wordless Wednesday

Photos courtesy CDRNYS' Facebook albums:

Real People--Real Voices
No More Stolen Lives

Institutions are not the solution

Johnny singing

Boy are they all wet!

The cops are wet too, and are trying to look intimidating, but they're not!

Photos copyright Atlanta Journal Constitution:


A sea of orange at the rally
Next 3 are inside the capital:

ADAPT Media Advisory from Oct 13, 2009

For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2009

For Information Contact:
Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

ADAPT Confronts HHS OCR; Demands Enforcement of Civil Rights for People in Institutions

WHO: 500 members of ADAPT, nation’s largest grassroots disability rights organization
WHAT: Confront HHS Office of Civil Rights
WHERE: Sam Nunn Federal Center, 61 Forsythe Street S.W., Atlanta, GA
WHEN: 11 a.m., Tuesday, October 13, 2009
WHY: To demand that the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights hold Georgia accountable for violating the civil rights of thousands of older and disabled Georgians, and demand that Georgia start following the law (ADA) and finally comply with the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W.

In May 1999, the state of Georgia lost the “Olmstead” case in the U.S. Supreme Court, and was told to stop segregating people with disabilities and older Americans in nursing facilities and state hospitals and institutions. The court stated that the way Georgia had been doing business had constituted illegal discrimination and must stop.

Three years later while in office, Gov. Sonny Perdue promised to make changes that would put Georgia in compliance with the Supreme Court’s decision against the state in the Olmstead case, and thus, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Well over a year ago, after again being taken to task for non-compliance, Gov. Perdue signed a Voluntary Compliance Agreement (“VCA”) with the HHS Office of Civil Rights, pledging to marshal the resources to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are transitioning out of the hospitals, and nursing facilities receive the community services they need.

As history will show, the state again has done nothing. And so, twenty years after the passage of the ADA, ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead, more than six years after Perdue’s campaign promises, and over a year after signing a “Voluntary” compliance agreement, the state of Georgia remains “substantially out of compliance” according to an August letter to Roosevelt Freeman
Regional Manager, Region IV, Office for Civil Rights, HHS from the Georgia Advocacy Office, the Georgia Legal Services Program, and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

“Georgia’s complete disregard for the law and the decision of the Supreme Court is nothing short of outrageous,” said Becky Ramage-Tuttle, Executive Director of Atlanta’s Disability Link and a member of Georgia ADAPT. “What does it take for the federal government to hold Georgia accountable after twenty years of the ADA, ten years of the Court’s Olmstead decision being in effect, and even after the Governor signed an agreement to keep his campaign promises and do the right thing? If I thumbed my nose at the law so consistently, I’d be in jail…why isn’t he?”

ADAPT demands that the US Department of Health and Human Services:

· Announce its public support for S683/HR1670, the Community Choice Act, legislation which would eliminate the institutional bias in the systems that provide long term services and supports;

· Establish a process to provide the assistance and supports needed by someone to allow them to live in the most integrated setting for those individuals who respond to MDS question Q1a indicating they want to return to community living so they are then referred to community based organizations;

· Modify the Medicaid rules to allow states to develop cross-disability 1915(c) waivers which would help break down the segregated funding system; and

· Develop rules, regulations and procedures that mandate consumer direction as a part of all home and community service programs, including Medicaid and Medicare Home Health.

Furthermore ADAPT demands that the HHS Office of Civil Rights:

· develop accountability measures and benchmarks for how states must implement the Olmstead decision;

· systematically review the level of state compliance with the Olmstead decision and publish all results of these reviews on the HHS website;

· accept, review and resolve individual as well as systemic complaints against a state and withhold Medicaid payments to states for non-compliance with the Olmstead decision; and

· exercise its authority to hold states accountable for implementing the Olmstead decision with referrals to the Department of Justice for legal action when necessary.

ADAPT Media Release from Oct 12, 2009

Since the time this media advisory went out this morning, nearly 500 members of ADAPT did in fact occupy both the first and second floors of the Georgia Capitol. After several hours of negotiations, the Governor committed to a meeting between ADAPT and the Governor's Chief of Staff. That meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 13 at the Capitol.
Follow ADAPT in Atlanta on Twitter at

and read the ADAPT Daily Report at

For Immediate Release:

October 12, 2009

For Information Contact:
Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
Marsha Katz 406-544-59504

ADAPT Visits GA Governor at Home; Demands “Home” for People in Institutions

WHO: 500 members of ADAPT, nation’s largest grassroots disability rights organization

WHAT: Went to Georgia Governor’s Office

WHERE: 206 Washington Street on Capitol Square

WHEN: 9 a.m. Monday, October 12, 2009

WHY: To demand that Gov. Sonny Perdue stop denying civil rights to older and disabled Georgians and start following the law (ADA) and finally comply with the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W.

In May of 1999 the Supreme Court found the state of Georgia guilty of segregation and discrimination against Georgians with disabilities because it forced people with disabilities (and older Georgians) into nursing homes, state hospitals and institutions, rather than serving them in the community.

In Governor Perdue’s first term, he acknowledged the state had made little effort to provide community- based services for people with disabilities, and promised to “…make alternatives to institutional care a priority by making Georgia's waiting lists for home and community based services a state funding priority.” He further promised to cut the waiting lists for services and the bureaucratic red tape involved in receiving state services, and to give families and communities a voice in the monitoring of services.

From 2002 to 2007, the percent of nursing facility residents under age 65 grew from 11.6% (7,211 people) to 14.2% (9,273 people). Of the approximately 230,000 non-institutionalized Georgians with disabilities age 5+ who require daily assistance, only about 17% of them get any assistance through the state’s Home and Community-Based Services system. And recently, the state’s Division of Aging has announced that due to budget cuts it is discontinuing its participation in the federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, a program created in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 that allows people to move from more expensive institutional settings back into more cost effective community settings.

“It’s a shame that ten years after Olmstead, more people are going into nursing homes than ever before,” said Bernard Baker, an organizer with Atlanta ADAPT. “Living in the community isn’t a privilege, it’s a civil right, and we are being denied our civil rights.”

ADAPT Demands that Governor Perdue:
1. Meet with ADAPT;
2. Appoint an Olmstead “Czar” to divert from nursing homes people who wish to remain in the community, and transition others already in nursing facilities back into the community;
3. Adequately fund community-based services so Georgia complies with Olmstead and the ADA;
4. Freeze institutional funding at current levels and work with advocates to rebalance long-term services and supports funding so the majority is spent on home and community services;
5. Modernize Georgia’s Nurse Practice Act to allow trained attendants to perform health maintenance tasks;
6. Fund community organizations to identify & assist people in institutions to return to community;
7. Issue an Executive Order requiring the Division of Aging to keep implementing MFP, and remove the “cost share” from Community Care Services Program services; and
8. Demonstrate leadership by publicly urging other southern state governors to develop and implement Olmstead plans and policies in accordance with the ADA and the Olmstead decision.

[photo courtesy CDRNYS' Facebook album]

ADAPT Rally Recap from Oct 11, 2009

Rally Recap
For Immediate Release:
October 11, 2009
For Information Contact:
Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
Marsha Katz 406-544-59504

ADAPT Rally at King Center in Atlanta Sets Tone for Week of Olmstead Direct Action

Atlanta, GA--- Today, for the first time in 43 years, Delores Bates celebrated her birthday outside institutional walls. She turned 60 years old by speaking at the King Center surrounded by 500 ADAPT activists from Georgia and across the country who all sang Happy Birthday and celebrated her freedom with her. The fact that Georgia kept Delores institutionalized most of her life, in violation of her civil rights, is one of the reasons ADAPT is in Atlanta this week.

[photo of Delores and her cake courtesy CDRNYS' Facebook album]

“Bodie” is another reason ADAPT has returned to the city where it first launched the fight to give people a choice to live in the community instead of being forced into nursing facilities and institutions. Bodie loves the outdoors and he has been waiting 52 years, since he was ten years old, to be able to go outdoors without having to ask permission. He has been moved from one institution to another without anyone ever so much as consulting him. People keep promising him he will move to a house in the community, yet 52 years later, Bodie still lives in an institution.

More than 500 people marched today from the CNN Center, past historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, to the King Center for a civil rights rally. Invited speaker Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t show, but Delores and Bodie did, and so did Lois Curtis and Sue Jamieson. Curtis is the surviving named plaintiff in the historic Olmstead lawsuit where she and Elaine Wilson sued the state of Georgia for the right to move from a state hospital to live in the community. Sue Jamieson is the attorney who represented Curtis and Wilson and won the landmark decision before the U.S. Supreme Court where the court found that Georgia’s practice of inappropriately institutionalizing people with disabilities who could live in the community represented illegal segregation and discrimination.

“Ten years after the Olmstead decision, and twenty years after ADAPT first launched the fight for older and disabled Americans to have a real choice in where they receive their long-term services and supports, the state of Georgia continues to thumb its nose at the law, “ Said Mark Johnson of Georgia ADAPT. “The state has never adequately funded community services, and is now cutting them, despite the promises made by Gov. Sonny Perdue when he first took office. In fact, since the Governor first made those promises, nursing home admissions of people under 65 have grown, not decreased.”

Like other states across the country, Georgia’s failure to develop and implement an action oriented Olmstead plan with goals and timelines to reduce unnecessary segregation of older and disabled Georgians has left it seriously out of compliance with both the Olmstead Supreme Court decision, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. State differences in compliance have presented the best argument for national legislation like the Community Choice Act which would guarantee residents in every state the right to choose to receive long-term services and supports in their own homes and communities.

Startlingly, the King Center, an undeniable symbol of freedom, sits next door to a nursing facility, a concrete reminder of lost years and lost lives. At the conclusion of the rally, Lois Curtis led the crowd in a chant as people gazed at the adjoining property, “Free our brothers, free our sisters, free our people, now!” ADAPT will spend the coming week in Atlanta working on exactly that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Human Rights

[image to the left says EVERY HUMAN HAS RIGHTS]

This post is a continuation of yesterday's, in fact I was thinking of just going on about it in that post, but I decided it was a separate topic.

So that march I went to on Sunday, the march started 1hr after it was supposed to. Plus, Going from Baltimore to DC on the weekend using public transit takes 3hrs each way. Needless to say, there was a lot of time to talk.

What did we talk about? We talked about human rights without ever really using the term "human rights." We talked about the "DD world," the "LGBT movement," and the "consumer movement" (mental health)

  • We talked about how the DD world has it together way more than the consumer movement (at least here and mostly in terms of legislative POWER).
  • I brought up "mad pride" and how that seems very new, although I know nothing about it really.
  • She talked about the LGBT movement and how people are afraid to associate with the consumer movement because people still conceive LGBT as being a "mental illness" and it is not. They want to get far away from it.
  • I talked about how I wondered why On Our Own isn't part of the Cross Disability Rights Coalition when psyc issues are disabilities? Plenty of people are on SSI/SSDI and medicaid because of them. CDRC is comprised of People on the Go and ADAPT. I was told that when it was formed the "DD folk" wanted to stay away from the "psyc peeps" because people often assume that they have psyc issues and they do not.
  • She said that from what she's seen it goes both ways. Some people in the consumer movement don't want to hang out with DD folk because people think they have a DD.
I've tried to get people involved in CDRC and I've gotten the impression that they don't consider their issues disabilities (even people on medicaid/SSI/SSDI). They don't seem to care what disability, it's not specifically DD that is getting to people, it just seems like they think disability issues aren't their issues. My roommate seems to think that LGBT issues aren't my issues. Well I've got news--THEY'RE EVERYBODY'S ISSUES.

We couldn't really hear anyone at the rally, so we left early, but the little I got was that employment discrimination (specifically 'don't ask don't tell') and feeling like a second class citizen are big things. I know I've written on here about feeling like a second class citizen and I'm pretty sure I've written about the fact that 70% of PWD 18-64 who can and want to work are unemployed in the US (WAIT! I did, and it was in a post bout psyc issues. See... cross-issue) A lot of PWD can't get married, very similarly to LGBT. If they get married they lose their services--their SSI, their health insurance, their attendant care, things that they need to survive. I told my friend that the aging community was involved in COMMUNITY NOW as well as the disability community. There isn't anything different about their imprisonment. She wonders why more things can't be like that. Why people stay in their silos. So do I.

The picture below was taken on Sunday in Atlanta. The man in the picture is within the grounds of the nursing home where he lives--THAT IS SURROUNDED BY BARBED WIRE. These are HUMAN ISSUES. No one should have to live like that.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Power is Sexy and...

Action is HOT!

[image description right: a picture of a sticker on my knee from the national gay and lesbian task force. It says "ACTION IS HOT." I wish I'd managed to get a "POWER IS SEXY" one]

This week ADAPT is in Atlanta fighting for "COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, NOT INSTITUTIONS!" I wish I was there. I wish I was chanting along with everyone while Randy, Anita, and Dallas lead while marching past Ebenezer Baptist Church (Home of Martin Luther King Jr). I wish I was there to hear Sue Jamison and Lois Curtis of the Olmstead Case. I wish I was there to meet Dolores and sing Happy Birthday to her. It is indeed a very HAPPY birthday for Dolores -- her first one on the outside after being institutionalized for 43 years. I wish I was there to invade the Georgia state capital building right now as I am writing this.

[image description left: Sue Jamison, lawyer in the Olmstead case speaks to ADAPT with a sign language interpreter (?) to her right image description right: HAPPY birthday Dolores!!!]

But I am NOT down in Atlanta; I am here at home in Baltimore and I am missing my brothers and sisters terribly.

says you: If you are not there how do you know?
says me: TWITTER.
As luck would have it, on Thursday, the Disability Policy Collaboration was lobbying congress for the Community First Choice Option and the CLASS act. ADAPT couldn't be there, some were already down in Atlanta, so another Maryland ADAPTer and I attempted to go down. It made me feel better about not going. We felt like we were doing our part. But of course there was a big transportation SNAFUBAR and that didn't happen.

BUT... as I was lamenting on Friday someone I haven't known all that long realized I was an activist and came over. She's an activist. She's involved a little in the LGBT movement and the consumer movement (mental health) and has worked some in the DD world. She wanted to know if I wanted to go to the National Equality March in DC yesterday.
says my roomate: But you're not gay...
says me: So... My friend is Bi and I'm down with it.
Again, it was my opportunity to do my part, even if it was a different movement (hence the sticker). She hadn't heard about the Town Hall/Mixer for the LGBT and disabled community. We both wanted to go, weren't able to figure out the logistics. So we went to the march/rally. What was cool was that I was marching in DC at the very same time ADAPT was marching through the streets in Atlanta and I was checking my twitter txts all along the way. We were playing drums when they were playing drums! It wasn't the same though. I don't know if it was because they weren't my people so I didn't have the same feelings or it really wasn't as good. My friend thought it was just ok too. There wasn't any energy. As one "march"er said, "We're not marching, we're strolling."

I wore my teal/purple ADAPT shirt with my solid long sleeve orange shirt underneath and a borrowed ADAPT zip up hoodie hoping someone would ask questions and no one did. Should I have started shouting "COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, NOT INSTITUTIONS?" That would have gotten me attention :-)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Milkbone Service Dog Ad

Again, I got to an article through Beth. The above ad is a current campaign running nationally in the US. I don't know if I would have found out about it if it wasn't for Beth--I don't have a TV. Apparently ads like this are called "cause marketing" in the advertising world. I wonder, is this a good thing? Are these commercials bringing much needed awareness to the disabled community or are we being exploited to make a few bucks? It will most certainly help out Canine Assistants recipients who are given dogs at no cost and can also receive financial assistance for vet bills and food. I'm undecided on the matter, so I thought I'd reach out and see what others thought.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ADAPT Demands Full Civil Rights in Georgia; Atty. Gen. Holder Invited to Speak

For Immediate Release:
October 10, 2009
For Information Contact:
Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
Marsha Katz 406-544-59504

ADAPT Demands Full Civil Rights in Georgia; Atty. Gen. Holder Invited to Speak

Atlanta, GA--- National disability rights organization ADAPT has invited U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to address a disability rights rally at Atlanta’s King Center on Sunday, October 11. The rally kicks-off ADAPT’s week in Atlanta, and will follow a march from the CNN Center, past historic Ebenezer Baptist Church to the grounds of the King Center. There, ADAPT will pay respect to Martin Luther King, Jr., the major architect of America’s civil rights movement, and in the shadow of his memorial remind America that Americans with disabilities are still waiting for freedom and full civil rights.

“We’re here in Atlanta to demand freedom from nursing homes and institutions for people with disabilities and who are older,” said Randy Alexander, Organizer for Tennessee ADAPT. Currently, Medicaid law is biased in favor of forcing people into expensive nursing facilities and other institutions, rather than mandating that people can choose to stay at home with the assistance they need. As a result, hundreds of thousands of older and disabled Americans have lost their homes and their freedom, and have been virtually locked up for the crime of disability or age. It’s a violation of our civil rights!”

Legislation currently in Congress, the Community Choice Act (CCA), would give Americans across the country the choice to stay in their own homes to receive the services and supports they need in their daily lives, thus removing the institutional bias in Medicaid. Without change in the federal law, it is left up to states to decide if they will offer any home and community-based services, and if so, how many people will get them. In the current depressed economy where many states are making deep budget cuts, optional services like home and community-based services are often the first to be cut.

“Georgia is the poster-child state for why we need a federal law like the Community Choice Act,” said Becky Ramage-Tuttle, Executive Director of Disability Link and a member of Georgia ADAPT. “Ten years ago the U.S. Supreme Court told Georgia it was engaging in unlawful segregation of and discrimination against people with disabilities by inappropriately institutionalizing them. The court mandated that Georgia provide services in the community to the people who can live in their own homes.

Ten years later Georgia continues to not comply with the Supreme Court’s decision and has no completed plan to do so. This is an outrageous flaunting of the law!”

ADAPT came to Atlanta in 1990, just after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and again in 1996, both times pressing=2 0Georgia officials to provide home and community-based services instead of forcing Georgians with disabilities and older Georgians into nursing facilities and other institutions. Today, over 62,000 older and disabled Georgians are warehoused in Georgia nursing facilities, and at least 6000 of those people have indicated they want to live in the community.

ADAPT is in Atlanta for a week of direct action following Sunday’s march and rally. Speakers at the rally include people involved in the original “Olmstead” lawsuit against the state of Georgia, and individuals who have suffered, and continue to suffer harm as a result of Georgia’s segregation and discrimination practices, and the state’s lack of compliance with the 1999 Us Supreme Court Olmstead decision.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Two Videos

Michigan Disability Rights Activists Talk Disability Pride
From The Michigan Disability Rights Coalition and Joe

Support HR 3101
From Purple communications (I'm very proud to say that my state [MD] government is really pushing our federal reps on this issue)

Oh, and I also just found out about Reachout USA
It is the goal of ReachOut USA to erase the stigma that is associated with disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV/AIDS status by helping to educate not only social service and independent living agency staff, but also medical professionals so that no one would need to feel that their rights or dignity has been compromised.

Paratransit in Baltimore

Annual Public Forum
Update: MTA – Mobility Services
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 1:00 p.m.
The Workforce and Technology Center (WTC) Auditorium
2301 Argonne Drive Baltimore, Maryland, 21218

Presenter: Ms. Lauren Skiver, Director, Mobility Services, Maryland Transit Administration, Maryland Department of Transportation

If you need assistance please contact Dr. Nollie P. Wood, Jr., Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities at by Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thankful Thursday is Back!

These last few weeks I have been thankful because...

  • I have new chair batteries and no longer have to plug it in several times a day (rather only once a week!)
  • I have a ride to DC today to go lobby for the CLASS act and CFC
  • someone else who is going lives near me again so we get to ride down together
  • my feet haven't been itchy
  • the new seasons of Grey's & Private Practice have started
  • I finally got the code for my new left sidebar all figured out
  • I got a free massage and a (not free) haircut @ FX Studios last weekend due to their facebook deals
  • J came to on our own after missing a month and I got to ride the bus home with her. Much more fun.
  • although my plan for life is non-existent, I now have a plan for therapy that will be self-initiated
  • I had a little courage to do something yesterday I didn't want to do
PS Follow the ADAPT fall national action by scrolling to the bottom of my left sidebar!


Monday, October 5, 2009

The Fall 2009 ADAPT Blogswarm

From Nick Dupree:

ADAPT will be in Atlanta, October 10-15, demanding the end of unjust segregation of people with disabilities. Read ADAPT’s page on the action here.

You can help raise awareness around the Fall National Action by blogging!

The ADAPT Blogswarm


  1. Post a comment here to say you intend to join in with a post on your blog. He will then add you to the list of participants. All are welcome.
  2. Write a blog post on either: ablist and unjust institutionalization, lack of community-based services, long-term care reform, the Olmstead decision, ADAPT, and/or the Fall Action, and publish it on your blog before October 12th – or as close as you are able. Podcasts or videocasts are also accepted. Any posts about the topic are welcome, regardless of your background, disability, or your blog’s typical scope.
  3. To add your blog post to the ’swarm, comment or email Nick a link to the post (to before or on October 12th. Then he'll list it as part of the blogswarm.
  4. Spread the word by linking to Nick, displaying a logo [below, click to view larger] and telling everyone about it. The entire success of the blogswarm depends entirely on bloggers telling other bloggers and readers in advance.

A blogswarm is like a blog carnival on a larger scale, where as many as hundreds of bloggers (as opposed to 10s like in a carnival) commit to blogging on a certain topic on a certain day, usually in hopes of gaining mainstream media attention. Here is the Anti-telethon Blogswarm (Kara, please update your blog) & DUH City & of course the ever popular blogging against disablism day 09.

Also, here is a video of ADAPT Atlanta 1990:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Urban Collectives Meet Anti-Ableism

[image description: a for rent sign]

I was drawn to this article through Beth's blog (I just LOVE Beth's blog btw). Frankly, I LOVE the idea of of urban collectives. If I or my roomate should ever move out (when?) I think I'll post an ad similar to the women in the article. It is really hard for some people to "get" an activist. I think I'd LOVE to live with that particular group of people. ANTI ABLEISM? What able bodied person has ever heard of ableism? I myself just ran across the word 3 years ago, completely by accident (although the concept has always been way too familiar). SO COOL!

The purpose of Beth's post was to comment on just that, rightly so, and not the over all concept of urban collectives. In fact, she only posted that section of the article. I take issue with the fact that the article refers to these arrangements as "group homes," as well as the handling of ableism. That the journalist had no idea what ableism is, as I said, is no surprise. And she sort of has a duty to explain the concept to readers as well, but I agree with Beth that she did it in a rather sarcastic and disrespectful way. I think explaining ableism in detail would detract from the purpose of the article, but there is certainly a better way to explain it then how she did. In (parentheses) or with an -- em dash perhaps. Ableism, like ageism, classism, racism, sexism, is an "ism." It's a predijuce in which people believe (consciously or subconsciously) that people with disabilities are inferior to non disabled individuals. Something less wordy, but that's my definition in case some readers do not know the term either.

Is it really that hard to be respectful?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Get your own free Blogoversary button!
design by