Bad Sports

I just finished reading your cover story "Bad Sports" (September/October). Bravo! We have a club under the hearing NGB and so far have been supported as to coaching and training! But I know that if it came down to a 100% support of a deaf wrestling team to compete equally that we would have possible conflict!

There needs to be more progress!

Rob Vialpando
USA Deaf Wrestling

I was a member of that exhibition race in 1984 and it was very important. But you are exactly right: it is time for action. Randy Snow

I found your article on the United States Olympic Committee a little one-sided. You need to take a little time interview people who appreciate the USOC's support of disability sports as well as looking at the real reasons, including lack of numbers, poor training and the relatively short time disability sports has been involved in the USOC.

When compared to the struggle women and minorities went through to get an equal place at USOC, disability sport is doing well.

How many Disabled Sports Organizations would be operating if it were not for USOC funds?

Add all the active athletes in all 5 Paralympic DSOs and I believe you will see it is less than the smallest of the 34 NGBs.

Should the USOC give more? Absolutely! Is it right that none of that grant money was set aside for Paralympic athletes? Absolutely not! But there are two sides to every story, and the USOC is changing for the better.

I hope you will consider doing a follow-up story and spend some time talking to a more representative group of people.

Jeff Jones

Silence on Title II ruling

I have contacted a lot of people within the disability movement about the recent Circuit Court decisions ("ADA Title II Ruled Unconstitutional in 8th Circuit; Supreme Court case likely," D.R. Nation, September/October) but the silence out there is overwhelming. The only people who are covering the issue seem to be you and Adrienne Barhydt from the Disability Rights Activist.

How does this affect people in the trenches? At a recent educational conference, I spoke up" Say, what do you think about the 8th Circuit Court decisions ruling the ADA and 504 are unconstitutional?" Most of the folks sitting around the table did not know what I was talking about.

Doreen Nickels

The Disability Rights Activist is an online publication available at http://www.disrights.org ed.

Cruel, evil trickery

That "Declaration of Disability Rights" you published on page 4 of your Sept./Oct. issue is cruel, cold evil trickery. It will be signed by many beautiful people who will be put to death against their wishes someday by "someone appropriately authorized." Legally.

These beautiful people who signed have been duped and trapped in the net of those who want to do away with them because the are seen as a burden or cost to others: absolute genocide!

The Holocaust was not so evil.

You have done grave harm.

A former friend

Parking outrages

I read with great interest Carol Cleigh's story about giving tickets ("A Volunteer Ticketing Program From the Volunteer's Perspective," May/June). I am a nondisabled person. I wonder if you could get a law passed which would allow you to park behind someone who is illegally parked in a blue spot and block them in. (I'm not being completely serious, but...)

My neighbor's husband is disabled, and she does all her shopping using the blue spots without him in the car. Would it help if the photo of the person to whom the card was issued were on both sides of the rearview mirror card?

Carol Poenisch
Northville, MI

Grey Area 'misguided'

I stumbled upon the websites mentioned in Mary Wilt's article ("Web sites 'a paean to eugenics.'" July/August, 1998) quite by accident.

Like Mary Wilt, I, too am the mom of three children. My two oldest were given a label that most parents would be proud of "gifted". They attend a special class called GATE (Gifted And Talented Education). I suppose some mad geneticist somewhere would want to clone them or at least confer upon them the right to have children in this terribly overpopulated world. My youngest has a different story. She has Down syndrome.

What I surfed into when I found The Grey Area website gave me chills, but also filled me with sorrow, because I sense that the "Angels" parents' statements came from terrible grief.

We parents of living disabled children heal as we accept the new member of our family; many of us even learn about human diversity. I don't sense this from the Grey Area parents. What I do sense is a feeling of hopelessness about the lives of disabled people. These parents say that they "had to" terminate their pregnancies because they knew before their children's births that their Down's kids "would never walk or talk." One visitor to the site wrote online that she had worked with the Special Olympics: "I hold no illusions about these people," she wrote. I hope this person won't be my daughter's coach someday!

I wrote to the Grey Area's webmaster to express my feelings from the other side of this issue. She wrote a curt letter back: "like it or not, we all deserve support." I agree, but, like it or not, her website has frightening implications for disabled people and their right to exist. It may be an attempt to heal grief, but it's misguided.

Susan Sitter


The Hunchback of Notre Dame (referred to in the story "Controlling Risk -- or Controlling Us?" in our last issue) was written by Victor Hugo.

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