ragged edge magazine online


Sandra Day O'Connor and disability rights Sandra Day O'Connor has retired. While pundits and activists play the "who's on next?" game, Ragged Edge thought it might be useful to take a look at what Justice O'Connor actually did for disabled people in this country. What she did not do, unfortunately, is more significant. MORE. Posted July 3, 2005.

The Carrot or the Stick? Can people with assistance dogs better further their rights through education or legal action? ED AND TONI EAMES look at what's been working in the U.S. READ ARTICLE. Posted June 23, 2005.

Who Put the 'Fair' in 'Fair Housing'? Hint: They didn't have a disability, writes PATRICIA VINCENT-PIET. What's happened after all these years to the accessible multi-family housing promised by the Fair Housing Act back in 1991? READ ARTICLE. Posted June 13, 2005.

What next? The Supreme Court's marijuana ruling dealt a real blow to people who have life-limiting symptoms that can only be alleviated by marijuana. CAL MONTGOMERY looks at implications. MORE. Posted June 8, 2005.

Business strikes back On May 3, California access advocates troop to the State Capitol Building in Sacramento to a hearing on the first of what may be several "Notification Act" bills in the state legislature. MARY JOHNSON says businesses are serious about cutting back on crips filing access suits. It's just what CA. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for. MORE. Posted May 2, 2005.

ASL, the University, and The Wider Community Prestigious Brown University says it's dropping its 10-year-old American Sign Language program. Ragged Edge Online's CAL MONTGOMERY looks at what's behind the administration's decision -- and its implications for all of us. MORE.

In related articles, Brown students WILLA MAMET and ADRIENNE THAL, who are leading the drive to reinstate the program, explain what having ASL at Brown means to them. MORE. Posted Apr. 20, 2005, with updates.

After Terri Schiavo Ragged Edge's MARY JOHNSON looks at why the disability rights movement spoke out, why some of us worried, and where do we go from here? MORE. Posted Apr. 2, 2005, with updates. | ALL 2005 SCHIAVO ARTICLES

Articulating our perspective to progressives In the wake of Terri Schiavo, there will be agitation for changes and overhauls to the guardianship laws. JOSIE BYZEK asks us to "set aside the pro-life/pro-choice framework, and ensure these laws reflect the disability community's perspective." MORE. Posted Mar. 25, 2005.

Disability groups seek legal protection for 'incapacitated' people The long-term issue, say disability groups, is whether guardians should have carte blanche to starve and dehydrate people with conditions like brain injury, birth defects and Alzheimers. MARY JOHNSON looks at moves for a broader set of protections. MORE. Posted Mar. 20, 2005. MORE. After the waves CAL MONTGOMERY looks into what's happening for disabled people in the regions hit by the Dec. 26 tsunami. Many disabled people are part of the global effort to help disabled and nondisabled people rebuild their lives, she reports. The broader issue is emergency preparedness for disabled people. There's a lot to do everywhere. MORE. Posted Jan., 2005.

'As unpleasant as possible to ride' In the 1980s, wheelchair activists condemned "paratransit" as segregated. But people like a public taxi service that will pick them up at their homes and take them to where they want to go, and paratransit has mushroomed. In Louisville, as across the nation, though, the service is often horrid, MARY JOHNSON reports. Perhaps it's because the bus company doesn't want people to like it. MORE. Posted Nov. 30, 2004.

Stories of accommodation, continued Since our initial article, patterns and themes are emerging. Sometimes, requests for accommodation are successful; the process can work. But many times it doesn't. Read more about what you told us MORE. Posted Nov. 17, 2004.

The Lawsuit Dilemma Today, lawsuits for social change are widely condemned. Yet they're the only real means we have for achieving access. The Americans with Disabilities Act has no federal enforcement mechanism. To get it enforced requires a lawsuit. Along California's central cost, a few disabled people, filing many lawsuits, are loudly condemned in local newspapers and on TV. MARY JOHNSON takes a look at what's behind the furor. MORE. Posted Nov. 4, 2004.

Wheelchair "scooter" users nationwide press case for sidewalks, safer highways Across the nation, disabled people who use their wheelchairs and scooters to travel around their towns are pushing for more accessible sidewalks -- or simply the presence of sidewalks in communities that have none. MORE. Posted Oct. 25, 2004.

26.2 Miles of Trouble On Nov. 7, millions of people will cheer the nearly 30,000 athletes running the New York City Marathon. Wheelchair racers now have the legal right to participate in the event. But, as WILLIAM PEACE writes, this does not mean they are being welcomed. MORE. Posted Oct. 18, 2004.

The Wrong Message - Still Just in time for Disability Awareness Month, VALERIE BREW-PARRISH revisits the ubiquitous 'try on a disability' simulation exercise -- and finds it still popular, and still terrible as ever. Even gimp groups do it, she writes. But why? MORE. Posted August 9, 2004.

Stories of accommodation gone wrong The evidence is in: Over 100 of you so far have responded to our July 26 survey. You told us people refuse to grant your request for an accommodation. Or you're given an accommodation -- not the one you asked for, not the one you needed, not the one that works for you -- so you're not supposed to complain because, after all, you've been "accommodated." Don't press the issue or you might lose your job. MORE. Posted Oct. 9, 2004.

Would you like help in marking your ballot? Imagine that you are blind and are presented with a paper ballot, says JOE HARCZ. That will be the situation come November for far too many of us who are still denied the right to a secret ballot. MORE. Posted Sept. 21, 2004.

Where does John Kerry stand on our right to remain alive? "Give me ten minutes alone with the Democratic candidate," writes Mouth's LUCY GWIN, "and I'd pop the question: Does he support the right of disabled people to remain among the living?" The FL Supreme Court asks whether Gov. Jeb. Bush's effort in "Terri's Law" to protect the life of Terri Schiavo is unconstitutional. The KY Supreme Court says it's OK to "pull the plug" on someone "permanently unconscious" (see story, below). So Gwin's questions for Kerry are definitely not rhetorical. MORE. Posted Aug. 30, 2004.

Accessible communication is freedom of speech, but . . . People labeled mentally retarded can't write, so they're written off. DON O'CALLAGHAN, who says they've been denied freedom of speech, insists they be given voice- and video-based methods of communication. "No one is even bothering to help tell these people about this technology." O'Callaghan thought the solution was simple. But, he says, he ran into the typical bureaucracy. MORE. Posted Aug. 16, 2004.

Time to gather our own evidence On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. What we need today, writes JOHN JAY FRANK, is research -- not about whether the ADA has made life "better" -- but research that tells us what actually happens when people ask for accommodation and barrier removal. We need to gather and organize the evidence of disability discrimination. MORE. Posted July 26, 2004.

Harry Potter and the Allure of Separatism Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban opened in movie theaters June 4. "J.K. Rowling has tapped into a powerful fantasy that I've used to comfort myself for as long as I can remember. That old separatist fantasy, the one that she evokes in me at the start of every Harry Potter book, starts to look good. Damn good," writes CAL MONTGOMERY. But things are seldom as they seem. MORE. Posted June 3, 2004.

'It has gone on long enough. We deserve the choice.'
"When Georgia ADAPT marched last month, Governor Sonny Perdue was out of town -- as he so often conveniently is when we desire dialogue with him," writes ZEN GARCIA. "Not to worry: we will see him in Seattle, and we have a message for him, and the other governors." MORE. Posted June 19, 2004.

Yes, but . . . The Americans with Disabilities Act is constitutional, says the Supreme Court . . . at least some of the Justices say that, about at least the law's Title II . . . that is, at least part of Title II . . . It all comes down to this: Did Congress have any real evidence that states were discriminating against people with disabilities when it passed the ADA? And what is "disability discrimination" anyway? Does it occur when there are steps? Ragged Edge editor MARY JOHNSON takes a look at just what the Justices said in their May 17 ruling. MORE Posted May 19, 2004.

Inclusion for all On May 17, the 50th anniversary of Brown v Board of Education, disabled people, parents of children with disabilities and their allies are marching in Philadelphia to demand an education a policy of inclusion for all. Alliance for Inclusive Education organizer JOHNNY CRESCENDO explains what it's all about. MORE Posted April 26, 2004.

Accessible travel: better now -- or not? Hotels promised ART BLASER accessible rooms-- but didn't deliver -- so he filed ADA complaints with the U.S. Dept. of Justice. How have those complaints fared? MORE. Posted April 21, 2004.

No rest for disabled travelers Designers of highway rest areas have certainly ignored access, both for deaf travelers and those in wheelchairs, writes ROY LECHTRECK. MORE Posted April 21, 2004.

Medical killing -- not the answer If assisted suicide is such a good thing, if it's really about "autonomy," then why not make it available to all suicidal people? Why reserve it just for old, ill and disabled people? asks DIANE COLEMAN. Assisted suicide advocates call it "death with dignity" because they see disability as profoundly undignified. Not Dead Yet calls it discrimination. MORE. Posted April 12, 2004.

'This Precious Cause' "Marijuana literally saved my life," says George McMahon, who has Nail Patella Syndrome, and who wrote Prescription Pot, the story of his battle to have "medical marijuana" legalized. Is medical marijuana a disability rights issue? asks CAL MONTGOMERY. What would a medical marijuana argument look like in the context of an affirmative approach to disability rights? MORE. Posted March 15, 2004.

Sovereign Immunity, Disability Discrimination and Us Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Tennessee has a right to claim "sovereign immunity" from lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act. There's a lot at stake. LAURA WILLIAMS explains "sovereign immunity" and why it's a disability rights problem right now. MORE. Posted March 11, 2004.

Take This Job And Ship It We all thought that in the Information Age disabled workers would get a shot at improving their lot. Technology promised plenty of office desk work. That was before 'outsourcing' became popular, writes MARTA RUSSELL in LABOR NOTES. Now the corporations, with the Administration's blessing, send all those jobs overseas. MORE. Posted Feb. 26, 2004.

Time for airlines to stop abusing our civil rights Disabled air travelers filed suit against major U.S. airlines yesterday -- American, United, Delta, Northwest and Continental are just a few of them. FREDERICK A. SHOTZ, one of the plaintiffs, explains how they were finally able to file suit when the Air Carrier Access Act doesn't allow it -- and what they want from the airlines. MORE. Posted Feb. 19, 2004

Another Civil Right Now Limited The Dept. of Justice now says a store owner can ask "what task is your service dog trained to perform?" before letting you in, writes ADA consultant FREDERICK A. SHOTZ. It's the start of a slippery slope. That question might force you to disclose your disability: a seizure disorder, a psychiatric disability. What next, then? A court has already ruled in favor of Costco on the issue. MORE. Posted Feb. 12, 2004.

Liberals and disability rights: why don't they 'get it'? A progressive bookstore owner provides a ramp to a locked entrance and offers a doorbell; he is offended when local activists protest the segregated treatment. Liberals grouse at providing interpreters. Leftists say there's no disability rights movement. Ragged Edge editor MARY JOHNSON asks activists and academics: What's going on? MORE. Posted Jan. 26, 2004.


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