On Deaf Ableism: Disabled People Aren’t Broken

By Silas Beasley
I am another person who is also Deaf/deaf and disabled . Although I respect that some Deaf people don’t want the disability label for themselves, I think sometimes the rejection of that label is rooted in ableism. People, disability is not a bad word. And as Silas Beasley says in this article, “disability” does not mean “lesser than”. It is not a synonym for “helpless”, it simply means you’re living in a society that isn’t designed for you. If you don’t want to identify as a person with disabilities, fine. It’s your identity, and that makes it your choice. But please try to respect those of us who do feel comfortable defining ourselves as people with disabilities while also being deaf/Deaf, whether because we have additional disabilities or because we are comfortable with defining our deafness as being BOTH a cultural identity AND a disability.

sigh less + live more

Disability — it’s a word that makes every other deaf person I know cringe, anger boiling in them as they protest the label being applied. They are separate from those people, they can do anything but hear, they are not limited by deafness. They see the word disability as a scarlet letter, as it if were a slur negating anything positive.

The summer after I left high school, I finally got over my self consciousness and asked my grandmother if I could have her old cane. Her knee surgery had made it too difficult to use it any longer, so she used a walker. The old, claw-foot mobility aid was bestowed upon me, and I quickly wrapped it in rainbow duct tape I had bought from a nearby dollar store.

Slipping knee braces on seemed to push in all the throbbing in my legs that meant walking was a challenge…

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If you are an immigrant (even US citizens), here are nine things you need to know

How all US immigrants can protect themselves under Trump’s new regulations. This includes US citizens, green card holders, people with student visas or temporary work visas, and undocumented immigrants. The video is in American Sign Language (ASL) with English captions. (You might need to toggle the captions on to see them). Full transcript for the video follows below.

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant?
We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States.
Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government.
Trump’s Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.
We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans),
we strongly recommend carrying with you your US passport, or passport card, or a photocopy of your naturalization certificate.
Because of the unpredictability of the current situation,
we recommend keeping a photocopy of these documents in a safe place at your home, so that if necessary, someone will have access to it.
You may very well need to prove your US Citizenship.
Permanent residents. Most people don’t know this,
but federal law requires that anyone who is NOT a US Citizen is required to carry with them at all times, evidence of their lawful status.
So, carry your green card with you at all times!
You should also keep a photocopy of your green card in a safe place at home so that it can be accessed by someone in case you lose your card and you need it to identify yourself.
You should also renew your green card a full 6 months before expiration.
If your green card has expired, renew it now.
And, if it is not obvious at this point, you should start the process to naturalize immediately!
Lawfully present nonimmigrants
U Visa,
Visitors, Students,
H1Bs, etc.).
Carry with you at all times your Employment Authorization Document, I-94 card, passport with entry stamp, or other proof of lawful presence
More than 60% of the US population lives in this zone (100 mile border)
If you are within the 100 mile border area
Carry the original with you and keep a photocopy in a safe place at home
Undocumented immigrants in the US for more than two years.
Keep with you at all times evidence that you have been present for at least two years.
Why? Because President Trump just ordered DHS to examine activating a never used provision in immigration law
that allows for the immediate removal from the US of anyone who cannot prove they have been here for two years (absent a claim for asylum).
We do not know when ICE or CBP might activate the change, but we need to be prepared.
Evidence that you might want with you are utility bills, receipts, Facebook posts, mail or any other documentation with your name going back two years,
BUT, be very careful of using pay stubs if you have used false documents or information to get your job, as those are prosecutable offenses.
Again you should also keep this information at home so that it is accessible to someone who can help you.
Keep a photocopy at home.
And, make sure you have a family plan in place to call for legal assistance if you fail to return home as usual.
Undocumented immigrants in the US for less than two years.
The bad news is that you need a plan in place on what will happen to your belongings and your family
if you do not return home from work, shopping, or school.
Make sure your relatives know they can look for your name on the ICE detainee website.
We assume that ICE and CBP will not release you on bond,
and that if you have a fear or returning home,
you will need to be VERY vocal about letting everyone know if you are detained.
Undocumented Immigrants with 10 years in the United States and children.
You are eligible for Cancellation of Removal, and release on bond.
Begin now to prepare the paperwork you will need to secure a bond, and to prove your case.
Don’t be caught unprepared!
Non-US Citizens (Permanent Residents, Visa Holders, and Undocumented Immigrants) who have a criminal convictions OR are arrested.
If you have a criminal conviction, or are even arrested for a crime,
ICE has begun to detain people in this category and has released only a very few on bond.
If you have relief from removal, you are eligible for bond, but, depending on where you are, you may not be released.
Prepare for this by saving money for bond now, and have the paperwork organized so that our attorneys can quickly help seek a bond.
Undocumented Immigrants with prior deportation orders.
If you have a prior deportation order and have returned to the United States,
you are subject to prosecution by the federal government for the crime of reentry after deportation.
President Trump has ordered his U.S. Attorneys to increase the number of people charged with this crime.
Depending on WHY you were deported (for example a serious criminal offense), you can spend up to five years in federal prison for reentering the US.
Again, make your plans now about how you want to deal with this situation.
If you have a deportation order and never left, NOW is the time to speak to an immigration attorney and seek advice about your options to reopen your deportation case.
For those Arrested by ICE, especially for the undocumented
In the last few weeks we have heard of parents being picked up at school bus stops and at work and home while the kids are in school.
Have a plan in place.
Decide now who picks up the kids from school/daycare, who will be authorized to do so with the school, who to contact first, have a power of attorney prepared for this.
Also, do your research now into immigration attorneys that you may call in a moment’s notice.
Keep their phone number handy and ready for family and friends to use.
Or better yet, go see an excellent immigration attorney now and see what options you may have available to you.
We give these warnings because we want people to be prepared NOT scared.
Preparation will ensure that your family is protected.
Published on Feb 20, 2017

This video is about ICEVLOG

No, I don’t Worry about Alienating Allies

Post by Kim Sauder at her “Crippled Scholar” blog


I have noticed in my online activism that if I call out problematic behaviour or comment on the cultural context of disability being mentioned in particular contexts either by an ally or by someone who is perceived as an ally, I will often be chastened for the nebulous offence of “alienating allies”.

When this happens, allies seem to stop being people who are devoted to the idea of meaningfully improving the lives of disabled people but are in fact thin skinned individuals who will reject the rights of disabled people if they are not rewarded with copious amounts of praise regardless of the impact of their actions.

As Ginny Di puts it,


The thing is, the pushback that I experience has never been from the people I am directly commenting on but either other disabled people who are concerned that the criticism will lead to the loss of allies…

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Disability is often written out of history. We need to ask why

Written by Rosemary Frazer

Scope's Blog

As we continue to mark Disability History Month, Bekki Smiddy writes about  chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel. His legacy are the Nobel Prizes.  Nobel experienced epileptic seizures throughout childhood and here Bekki talks about her own experience of epilepsy and why it’s important we recognise that disability is not a bar to achieving great things in life.

I was diagnosed with idiopathic generalised epilepsy when I was eleven, after several years of unexplained seizures. I had no idea what any of it meant. And I didn’t really care. What I did care about was the way people had started to look at me.

Before I was diagnosed, I figured epilepsy meant I fell down and couldn’t remember sometimes, it wasn’t a big deal. It was other people that made it a big deal.

Every time the word epilepsy came up, everyone in the room would look at me.

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Have Your Voice Heard!

A student is looking for autistic AAC users, and also for their parents, to complete a survey about how aac is (or isn’t) used in schools. Or if you are no longer a student, you can complete it based on your memories of school. The student herself is autistic.

Emma's Hope Book

For my Research and Writing English class this year I have to write a paper on a topic of my choice that weaves data and data analysis with factually based interpretation of that data. My research question for this paper is:  To what extent is it possible to compare the ways in which methods of communication are being taught to autistic students who cannot use spoken language to communicate their complex ideas?

Because many existing communication methods are underrepresented in most schools, I created a survey to find out what methods students use, what they are being taught to use and how successful each is.  Additionally I am curious to know whether a student’s school allows the communication method chosen by each student to be the most beneficial, and if not, how the student then communicates their complex thinking and knowledge.

This survey uses a google form and is completely anonymous.  You will…

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HEY! YOU! MEDIA! Top 5 Notes to Anderson Cooper Regarding His 60 Minutes Hit Piece That I Shot B-Roll For Once Upon a Time When It Was Going To Be About the ADA’s 25th

By Ingrid Tischer, in reaction to the recent “hit piece” on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by 60 FoxNews Minutes.

Tales From the Crip


Top 5 Notes to Anderson Cooper Regarding His 60 Minutes Hit Piece That I Shot B-Roll For Once Upon a Time When It Was Going To Be About the ADA’s 25th

1. If an access violation is so obvious it can be found through Google’s aerial view, then, yeah, I expect a business owner to be able to find it.

The Legend of the Headless Cripple: Here I am, haunting the halls of the Ed Roberts Campus where I work at DREDF -- or, at least, the part of me that conveniently lacks the ability to think critically or simply wear a facial expression that says, "I'm beginning to think my tenure as the editor of our high school newspaper -- it took 2nd place at Columbia, BTW! -- included more actual journalism and concern about ethics than whatever it is you knobs are cranking out to run between Cialis commercials." /slow clap/, 60 FoxNews Minutes.The Legend of the Headless Cripple: Here I am, haunting the halls of the Ed Roberts Campus where I work at DREDF — or, at least, the part of me that conveniently lacks the ability to think critically or simply wear a facial expression that says, “I’m beginning to think my tenure as the editor of our high school newspaper — it took 2nd place at…

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An Open letter to NPR and Unlocking Dyslexia

From author “Nina G Comedian” about her experience as a person with dyslexia, and the importance of learning self advocacy skills from a young age in ensuring that she received the accommodations and supports she needed.

Nina G Comedian

dyslexia-overshadows_custom-f5369e463cbb277eeccc503519aa2e6cbe5cd2bd-s1500-c85.jpg Picture symbolizing dyslexia from NPR’s page.

*This blog is written in my dyslexicon.  I specifically didn’t proof this for edits to demonstrate what my writing is without the standard edits.  

NPR went dyslexic this week for a series on different aspects of dyslexia.  They offered some great information.  My main critique is that the programing didn’t include discussion of civil rights as they relate to individuals with Learning Disabilities.  As someone with dyslexia, who experienced early intervention yet struggled through school, one of the key components for me was advocacy.

I remember the first time that I received an accommodation on a test.  My third grade teacher gave me the test orally.  I told her the answers to her questions.  I was the first one to finish the test and the first one to get an A, likely my first A on a test for that year.  Unfortunately, that…

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