Community Linkage

Every week there are new press releases, articles, information, and videos popping up concerning Paganism, spirituality, health, or disabilities. Community Linkage is a collection of useful information and sometimes entertainment for you. Not just weekly but every weekday. You can stay informed by adding me to one of your social circles on Google+ or follow me on Twitter.

(UPDATE) U.S. to Force Drug Firms to Report Money Paid to Doctors (New York Times)

Magic Anthology

As you may know, I’m the editor for a magic anthology from the perspective of practitioners with disabilities or developmental differences. It’s being published by Immanian Press/Megalithica Books. The deadline for rough drafts has been moved to June 1, 2012 to give participants more time to write. Don’t let the formal sounding submission guidelines keep you from participating. I want to read what you have to say, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a “writer”. You might surprise yourself.

2011 was a big year for the portrayal of people with disabilities on US televisions.

Actress Lauren Potter, who has Down Syndrome, accepted President Obama’s invitation to serve on his Committee for People With Intellectual Disabilities. ( Lauren plays Becky Jackson on the award winning musical comedy Glee.

Peter Dinklage won Best Actor in a drama two times for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s A Song of Ice and Fire. (Staff of Asclepius) Peter has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. His first award was an Emmy and the second was a Golden Globe. On Sunday, Peter dedicated his Gold Globe to Martin Henderson and told audience to Google him. Martin was tossed outside of a pub and received a severe spinal injury. Apparently the incident was inspired by dwarf tossing events attended by English pro rugby players. (Mail Online)

Claim: Girl Denied Transplant Because She’s ‘Mentally Retarded’ (disabilityscoop) Crissy Rivera wrote a blog post about her daughter Amelia who has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a chromosomal disorder.

“In the posting, Rivera wrote that a doctor told her that the children’s hospital would not perform a much-needed kidney transplant because Amelia is ‘mentally retarded.’ The doctor emphasized concerns about the girl’s quality of life given her limited cognitive abilities, according to Rivera’s account.

Rivera wrote that she protested, arguing that Amelia would likely die in six months to a year without the operation, but was unable to change the doctor’s mind.

‘We are in the year 2012 and my child still does not have the right to live, the right to a transplant, because she is developmentally delayed,’ Rivera wrote.

Officials at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said they could not speak to the Riveras’ experience specifically due to privacy laws.”

Since the story was picked up by USA Today and an online petition the hospital has asked that they Riveras return to discuss a transplant.

Children Locked in Scream Rooms

Experts Call ‘Scream Rooms’ Untherapeutic, Harmful To Children And Others At School: State Broadening Its Investigation In Middletown; Civil Rights Complaint Filed (Hartford Courant) Apparently scream rooms are used to isolate children with behavior issues such as tantrums. It is common for children with epilepsy, ADHD or autism to react in such a way because of how their nervous system works. I had no idea this was happening and the article can be difficult to read.

Farm Hill School, in Connecticut, uses this practice. Attorneys and advocates for children with disabilities have filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education claiming this practice “chiefly or exclusively for children with special needs at Farm Hill School violates their civil rights”.

“Jane Hudson, a senior staff attorney with the National Disability Rights Network in Washington, said there was no evidence that secluding a child had any therapeutic value.

‘These are archaic methods to control behavior and to try to keep people safe,’ she said. ‘Can you imagine how frightening this is for a 6-year-old? Of course, they are going to react, that’s why the screaming occurs: ‘Get me out of here!'”

In my view, this is one reason we need to increase funding for education. In the rural community I’m in we have two. The other four are aids. They see children with a varying degree of developmental disabilities for just a few hours a day. The student’s regular teachers have only had a class or two on teaching children with special needs. They are not ready to deal with their behavior. More college classes or workshops would prepare them; however, it is difficult all ready for a teacher to watch out for the safety of thirty children while trying to have them learn. The best solution would be for more special needs teachers to be hired and that takes money. This isn’t just a problem in my community. It is a problem across the US.

Aleksandr Kashin crossed Russia in his wheelchair to raise disability awareness. (Disabled World)
At not much more than a walking pace, he drove his electric buggy 11,000 miles from his home in Moscow. He was amazed at the willingness of others to help him. One example is how it took four people to carry him each time he went up steps. Check out the video and article.

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