Friday, February 20, 2009
hate speech breeds hate crimes. Jean Hersholt must be spinning in her grave.
this just in
Protesters with Disabilities Confront AMPAS Chief
Over Decision to Honor Jerry Lewis
Los Angeles – Nearly 50 activists from across the US protested at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) headquarters in Beverly Hills today, demanding to meet with AMPAS officials and to present a petition signed by over 2600 individuals objecting to the plan to grant Jerry Lewis the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at this Sunday's Oscar Awards ceremony. The protesters, mostly people with disabilities, occupied the lobby and refused to leave. Finally, AMPAS Executive Director Bruce Davis was summoned to meet with the group, called The Trouble with Jerry. Lewis has long defended the use of pity as a fundraising tactic. He has also described disabled individuals as “half a person” and referred to a wheelchair as "a steel imprisonment."
At both the Kodak Theater and AMPAS, protesters distributed leaflets to mostly sympathetic pedestrians, including stars such as John Lithgow and Richard Libertini, as they came to collect their tickets for Sunday’s Academy Awards. Then protesters entered the AMPAS office to deliver the petition, printed on a long scroll of red paper, and featuring comments by 2642 people from around the world. Initially academy officers refused to accept the petition. Activists continued to occupy the lobby, singing songs and chanting "No award for Jerry Lewis!" AMPAS officials apparently called the police to eject the protesters, but before any arrests were made, Davis arrived to meet with the group's leadership.
During the meeting, protesters expressed the outrage they felt when they learned of the award, after having listened to Jerry Lewis' portrayals of life with a disability as incomplete, unsatisfying, even wasteful. "I have my own business, my own home, and a relationship," said advocate and writer Gary Karp. "Jerry Lewis would have you believe that people with disabilities can have none of those things."
Davis admitted to being aware of the longstanding concerns of the disability community about Lewis. However, Davis defended the award, pointing to the large sums of money that Lewis has raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Davis asked the group whether those funds have not done some good.
Unanimously, the protesters responded that the harm done to disabled people's public image far outweighed the impact of the research dollars.. "The issue is how he raised that money," author and scholar Simi Linton told Davis. "Jerry Lewis trades on our dignity."
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
September 25, 2008
harkin statement regarding ada amendments act becoming law
Senator who was chief author of original ADA attended White House signing ceremony today
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today after President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act. The bill was recently passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate. Harkin was the lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate.
“The day, 18 years ago, when President Bush’s father signed the original Americans with Disabilities Act into law was the proudest day of my Senate career. But this day comes close, because this new law overturns Supreme Court decisions that have taken away the rights of people with disabilities, and restores the original promise and protections of the ADA.
“I think of my brother Frank, who was deaf, and who suffered terrible discrimination and exclusion, and I think of millions of other Americans with disabilities who face similar obstacles. As chief Senate sponsor of both the original ADA and this new ADA restoration act, I am deeply gratified that we could work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure that all Americans have the right to equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.”
Since the ADA became law in 1990, a series of court decisions narrowed the category of who qualifies as an “individual with a disability,” contrary to Congressional intent. By raising the threshold for an impairment to qualify as a disability, these court decisions have deprived individuals of the discrimination protections Congress intended to provide. The ADA Amendments Act would remedy this problem and restore workplace protections to every American with a disability.
Hopefully some sort of media coverage will show up.
Monday, September 08, 2008
My local paper did a wonderful piece on my nomination. Some cool famous folks even gave their two cents. I'm quite shocked and amazed and so truly thrilled it is hard to put into words. Thanks to all those folks who have been supportive over the years. I'm only as good as the folks around me.
Friday, August 22, 2008
my hope: Biden, he's an elder statesmen. He has a relative in Maine, Biden's solid on disability issues and i think I've met him at some point.
I so wish I was in Denver. Twittering (Tweeting??) Denver would be much easier than trying to blog the DNC in Boston 4 yrs ago.
tho, the Michael Moore idea of Caroline Kennedy would totally be FTW! (for the win)
The AP seemed to say txt msg tomorrow am.
Time is saying Biden, bloggers found this, so I'm calling Obama/Biden 08...
Are you out there people who make unknown bloggers famous???
I called Joe Biden before the txt msg...
need a savvy disabled politico lefty blogger? uppitycrip at gmail dot com.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
- bob dylan (hey, i saw him less than a week ago...)
Today, PLEASE call your senators and congress folks and ask them to take complex rehab wheelchairs out of the competitive bidding pool.
After you make your calls/send an email, record it at
1. Ask your members of Congress to support passage of HR 2231
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-2231 and S 2931
2. Also ask your Representative to sign the Dear Colleague Letter,
Contact information for your member of Congress is at
lower left hand of page, type in your zipcode
-Additional information at
What's New, http://www.aahomecare.org/
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
ON THURSDAY, Call Congress!
Marilyn Hamilton (The founder and inventor of quickie wheelchairs) is leading a national campaign to stop the cutback for Medicare Reimbursements on Power Wheelchairs. This drastic budget cut is targetted at the most basic needs of any human being - the right to move, independently. While the cost of everything - from Gas to Food, the government wants to cut spending for the most severely physically disabled folks. The people who need and benefit the most from powered mobility, are often the least able to afford it, due to disability, poverty, or other factors. The fact that most powered chairs are priced at over 10 grand, (A manual lightweight chair can easily cost 5 grand.)
Medicare dispursement rates are often used by private insurance (and state run, like Maine's Dirigo Plan) to set their own reimbursement rates. So it will effect other folks besides those on Medicare. It will also stunt future research and development on a myriad of other Adaptive or Assistive Mobility Equipment. Critical technology which would filter down in subsequent generations of cheaper chairs will not be developed,
This may afect you now, but as we all age, even those paralympians are going to want to give their torn rotator cuffs a break. Sunrise Medical (the company which now owns Quickie and some other chair brands) is sponsoring the event, but Marilyn Hamilton (who actually retired from Sunrise) is one of the disability rights movement's legends and whose history mirrors the DRM's history.
The webinar is Today at 2 pm - But there will be an archive of the Webinar on sunrisemedical.com and probably on my site as well as others, (still pending...) For info on the webinar about how Competitive Bidding will impact consumers
Register Here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/144768277
-May 21st, National Call in, voice your concerns and request help to
carve out complex rehab from competitive bidding
The webinar will more than likely give this out - but the # is (202) 224-3121.
The sponsor list may be completely out of date - but a bunch of good folks are partnering with Sunrise Medical.:
-American Association of People with Disabilities
-America Paraplegia Society
-Boston Medical Center
-Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
-National Council on Independent Living
-National Spinal Cord Injury Association
-United Spinal Association
-Self Advocates Becoming Empowered
-Paralyzed Veterans Association
-Uppity Disability dot Net
for more detailed info check out Sunrise Medical's website.
More Info soon.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Come to think of it, I *was* at ADAPT's 20th anniversary. I should probably post pics of that tomorrow. But my schedule tomorrow is gonna be tight. I'll work on that.
Washington, D.C.--- 25 years ago, Rev. Wade Blank, and Mike Auberger, Co-Directors of the Atlantis Community, a Denver Center for Independent Living, proclaimed their intent to take their local activism, which used direct action to bring about positive changes in the Denver community, to a national level.
Looking at the rag-tag group of two dozen people with disabilities that had shown up for a protest to make Denver mainline buses accessible, nationally renown organizer Shel Trapp shook his head and said "It will never happen." Yet, over the next 7 years, these three men and that rag tag group, along with dozens more that came to join with them each year, achieved exactly that outcome by forming ADAPT, then known as Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit.
25 years later, over the course of a week, from April 26 to May 2, in Washington, D.C., over 1000 people with disabilities and supporters from all over the country will participate in a variety of events to remember ADAPT's humble beginnings in 1983, celebrate the growth and progress of the disability rights movement during the past 25 years, and set the stage for continuing activism in the years to come.
ADAPT's humble beginnings grew into a national grassroots activist movement that has changed the face of the disability rights movement. ADAPT has been memorialized in photos by Tom Olin taken at ADAPT actions over the years. Olin's photos of ADAPT have appeared in the Smithsonian, are part of the National Civil Rights Museum, and show up continually in national press and media, in scores of books, on posters, and in every corner of the world wide web.
Events occurring during the ADAPT 25 anniversary celebration week include:
* A Sunday, April 27 Fun Run/Roll around Upper Senate Park in Washington, D.C. that is open to the public and serves as combination fundraiser and celebration kick-off.. The National Fun Runner/Roller is Marca Bristo, Executive Director of Access Living in Chicago, IL, and one of the founders and former president of the National Council on Independent Living, and Chair of the National Council on Disability during the Clinton Administration.
* Three days of activism throughout the Washington, D.C. area on April 28-30, including the announcement of the 2008" Ten Worst States in the Provision of Home and Community-based Services."
* An April 30 evening showing at the Holiday Inn Capitol Hotel of "When You Remember Me," a made for TV movie starring Kevin Spacey, Ellen Burstyn and Fred Savage. The film chronicles ADAPT co-founder Wade Blank's work freeing young people with disabilities from a Denver nursing home...work that led into the creation of both Atlantis, and then ADAPT.
* A May 1 daylong celebration at the Holiday Inn Capitol Hotel that will include multi-room historical exhibits, multi-media presentations, StoryCorps, The Road to Freedom Bus, an anniversary cook-out and an evening retrospective show with live music, and remarks by former Rep Pat Shroeder (CO) and ADAPT activists from around the country.
The public is invited to participate in the Fun Run/Roll on April 27 or sponsor participants (www.adaptfunrun.org), and to tour the exhibits at the Holiday Inn Capitol Hotel on May 1.
ADAPT crawled up the Capitol steps in 1990 to help push the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) toward passage when it was dangerously bogged down in Congress. When the ADA passed, lifts on buses were the first change required. ADAPT has assured that over-the-road buses, along with local transit, had to comply with the ADA.
ADAPT is credited with being the reason for the 2005 passage of Money Follows the Person legislation that allows people with disabilities in nursing homes to move back into the community with their funding "following" them to provide services and supports in their own homes. Over the years ADAPT efforts nationally have been largely responsible for the federal government moving to "rebalance" the nation's long-term care funding from being overwhelmingly institutionally biased to a system that will equally support home and community-based services.
ADAPT is currently working for passage of the bi-partisan Community Choice Act (CCA) (S. 799, H.R. 1621), which would completely remove the Medicaid institutional bias and allow people to choose to remain in their own homes with the services and supports they need rather than being forced into nursing homes and other institutions in the first place.
People interested in learning more about ADAPT and/or the 25th Anniversary events can go to the websites above, or call 512-442-0252, or 303-733-9324.