Compassion is dead

I found Compassion: an obituary to be a very realistic and moving post, outlining the history of compassion (eg during the Blitz and Miners Strikes), and the growing selfishness that portrays those unable to work as burdens on society.

Dole scrounger. Benefits cheat. Stoke people’s fears that somebody somewhere is getting away with it, and keep their attention away from the fact that so many who are in genuine need are denied assistance. That fear has replaced compassion. Instead of caring and ensuring that nobody goes without sufficient means to live, we are constantly being told that the most important thing is that not a single person gets more than their entitlement.

Counting the cost

Counting the cost (NDIS). An itemised list of one family’s financial outlays for their child with autism. While the items and individual amounts on my list differ slightly, my final figures are quite similar to hers.

She writes in support of the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme, which is being rolled out throughout Australia over the next few years), stating:

These costs can befall any family, at any time. None of us ask for it, but every one of us would spend it a million times over if we had it and we thought it would help our child.

I have heard some good reports about NDIS from parents in other states, so am looking forward to starting our planning and preparation in the near-ish future.

Accommodations: being different

A case for universal design: accommodations and being singled out, by S.E. Smith. Accessibility is useful for everyone, not just people with disabilities (eg wheelchair ramps can also be used by parents with strollers, cyclists etc). Having to request accommodations can leave people feeling isolated and different due to fundamental aspects of their identity- the choice to blend in or stand out is not their own.

(Categorised under Disability and Politics, because Australia doesn’t robustly enforce its policies about Disability Discrimination).

Disability Support Pension

Scott Morrison needs to realise that the Disability Support Pension actually saves money and lives, by El Gibbs (Sydney Morning Herald).  I was encouraged to see an article like this being published by a major newspaper!  The author spent twenty years on-and-off the DSP due to an episodic illness – back when the DSP actually was a social security net, allowing recipients to work as they were able to, which in turn facilitated a more permanent return to the workforce as their condition stabilised/improved – unlike the current restrictive conditions.  Australia’s record of employing people with disabilities is poor, as is the enforcement of the Disability Discrimination Act.  Some very good points here.

Grieving the innocents

I read with sorrow this morning that another autistic child had been killed, allegedly by his mother.

These articles are insightful responses to a previous, similar situation.

It is wrong to murder your autistic child – Judy Endow is an autistic adult, social worker, and parent of an autistic child.  This article addresses the subject thoroughly – from the child’s perspective, not the parent’s; society’s sometimes-chilling view of disabled people, and also includes some practical advice for parents in crisis.

Many of us have walked in her shoes, but we’ve taken another path – Written by a single Mum of 3 autistic children – condemning murder, and discussing getting and giving help.

(Categorised under Disability and Politics, because it involves the Justice system answering the question – Is disability-care a mitigating factor in murder? In the case referenced in the two articles above, the mother received a comparable sentence to similar cases that didn’t involve disabled children.)

Autism is still “other”

“Aspergery” is a slur – “Autistic” and “Aspergery” are still used as socially acceptable insults in both social and professional settings, because wider society still doesn’t see a human face attached to label.

It’s not her, it’s you – encourages parents to talk to their children about differences (eg race, religion, autism), and consider how the parents themselves relate to people with differences.

Disability and Politics

Several articles by Stella Young (formerly of ABC’s “Ramp Up”, currently writes for ABC’s “The Drum”) and Graeme Innes (former Disability Commissioner). I enjoy reading their articles – their explanations of life with a disability, how that affects their integration into society, as well as how politics and policy (often negatively) affects many people with disability.

We’re damned by discrimination, not the DSP. – Stella Young

We need a voice for people with disabilities. – Graeme Innes

Life skills program teaches wrong lesson. – Great article by Stella Young with a much-needed different slant on a much-publicised news article.

Disabling rorters? More like punishing scapegoats. – Stella Young

Outgoing disability commissioner Graeme Innes gives parting words to Tony Abbott.

If we’re not lifters, it’s because society forces us to be leaners. – Graeme Innes

Liveability is more than coffee and cobbled lanes. – Stella Young

Ten Disability Awareness Lessons Learned From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.