December 28, 2013

Truthout: GOP Refuses to Extend Jobless Benefits

Published at Truthout, December 2013.

Research on the effects of long-term unemployment benefits on the economy shows that for every dollar the government pays out, the economy benefits to the tune of $1.60. As people on benefits spend them on food and other supplies, they stimulate their local economies, engage local businesses and keep their communities economically functional. Without these benefit funds in the economy next year, already depressed and struggling communities could face even more problems, leading to a spread of economic depression including a surge in the unemployment rate as companies are forced to let people go. Thus, the refusal to extend benefits could have a long-term ripple effect with seriously negative outcomes.

Read more at Truthout.

June 26, 2013

The Guardian: Comment is free: Wendy Davis’ filibustering for abortion rights is a brave and great thing

Published at The Guardian, June 2013. 

It’s raining here, softly but firmly, and Wendy Davis is filibustering in Texas.

She’s speaking in a low, quiet voice in the other tab, talking about admitting privileges, standing quietly as Senators raise points of order, resuming her flood of speech flawlessly when the floor is returned to her. Her voice is calm and clear, measured, thoughtful, as she explains a subsection of SB5. My Twitter is flooded with commentary on Davis, on SB5, on reproductive rights. The Texas Senate is filled with people in orange, most of them women, coming out in droves to support the right to choose; to refuse the restrictions on abortion services embedded in SB5, the attempt to deprive them of access to basic medical services.

Read more at The Guardian.

Thought Catalog: How Young Adult Literature Challenges Gender Norms

Published at Thought Catalog, June 2013. 

Librarians are the pushers of the book world.

Growing up in the house of an academic-turned-bartender-then-academic-again, it was inevitable, of course, that I’d be reading wildly age-inappropriate books almost as soon as I became literate. My father used to set me loose in the bookstore to wander freely, never raising an eyebrow at some of the titles on the pile of books I would teeteringly carry to the counter, which was, naturally, too high for me to reach. But it was my middle school librarian who introduced me to science fiction and fantasy after she saw me curled up in the corner on a rainy day with a copy of Rebecca and thought I might enjoy something of a slightly different flavor.

Read more at Thought Catalog.

April 27, 2013

ThinkProgress: Why Aren’t Mentally Ill Americans Invited To This Week’s Hearing On Their Own Privacy Rights?

Published at ThinkProgress, April 2013. 

This Friday, House Republican Tim Murphy is holding a hearing on whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) “helps or hinders patient care and public safety” in the context of mentally ill patients. The hearing, a followup to his hearing last month in which he reiterated false claims about mental illness and violence, will notably not include a single mentally ill witness. Why not? Because, according to Tim Murphy, mentally ill people are not “competent” to testify about how a relaxation of HIPAA rules would affect their own lives.

Read more at ThinkProgress.

March 28, 2013

California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom: Reproductive Freedom Week 2013: Disability and Reproductive Justice

Published at CCRF, March 2013. 

As we think about reproductive freedoms this week, we must consider all their permutations, and the importance of a world in which the right to parent is protected just as fiercely as the right not to parent, or to choose to wait to become a parent. Disabled people need the full force and support of the reproductive rights movement, and so do their children; freedom for some is justice for none, and no loving, competent parent should have to live in daily fear that her child will be taken from her simply because of who she is, how she lives her life, the fact that she lives interdependently rather than independently.

Read more at CCRF.

October 3, 2012

The Guardian: Comment is free: Pinkification: how breast cancer awareness got commodified for profit

Published at The Guardian, October 2012. 

The gradual commodification of breast cancer reflected a failure of the movement, in that it wasn’t able to adapt quickly enough to fight the commercialisation of breast cancer awareness. Now, groups like Breast Cancer Action are having to fight cancer on two fronts: battling for patients, as well as fighting the rise of pinkification.

Read more at The Guardian

August 23, 2012

Alternet: Are Police in Schools Making Students Safer, or Putting Them at Greater Risk for Abuse?

Published at AlterNet, August 2012.

Increasingly, young people in America are getting caught in the collision of “zero tolerance” laws and growing concerns about school safety – and paying an irrationally high price for it. A series of school shootings and threats in the 1990s, including the Columbine massacre in 1999, radically changed the concept of “school safety” in the United States, and as administrators and law enforcement officers determined that campuses were no longer safe places, a new, more militarized approach to monitoring schools began to take hold. It may be hard to recall but this wasn’t always so; 40 years ago, it was sometimes difficult to get police to arrive on campus at all. Now, they are everywhere.

Read more at AlterNet

May 23, 2012

Salon: Disabled — and handcuffed at school

Published at Salon, May 2012

Cases like these, of students trapped by school policies rarely designed to deal with the nuances of their diagnoses, are growing – and the situation is further clouded by race, class and social factors. These factors can determine what kinds of evaluations, interventions and treatments are provided to students with disabilities or suspected disabilities, and they ultimately decide whether children are able to successfully complete their educations or fall by the wayside.

Read more at Salon.

April 13, 2012

The Guardian: Comment is free America: California’s mentally ill people need early diagnosis, not forced treatment

Published at The Guardian, April 2012. 

Rather than enacting Laura’s Law and extending state authority over mentally ill people, the state should strongly consider improving funding for early diagnosis, intervention and treatment. If mentally ill people are provided with evaluation and treatment before the onset of severe mental illness, they have a much higher likelihood of success in treatment, including adherence to treatment programmes. This is particularly important for mentally ill youth, who have few resources available to them, sometimes forcing parents to give children up to the foster care system in order to access treatment.

Read more at The Guardian.

March 21, 2012

Bitch Magazine: Disability at the Digital Frontier

Cowritten with Anna Hamilton, published in Bitch Magazine, Spring 2012.

the cover of the Frontier issue

The first page of our article, featuring an illustration by Anna Hamilton

Buy the Frontier Issue (#54) here.

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