Each Friday at NOSmag, I post some links relevant to neurodiversity news and culture criticism around the web. This is what I’ve been reading and that I think you should be reading too. Feel free to add links of your own in the comments and email suggestions for future link roundups to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @NOSeditorial
Earlier this month, members of the University of Victoria Effective Altruism Club were surprised to find themselves a target of protest
as they hosted a talk from celebrity philosophy professor Peter Singer. After all, Singer is known worldwide for his views on animal rights and charitable giving. He was lecturing on the effective altruist movement, his effort to make charitable giving more effective by measuring impact and encouraging donors to shift their contributions to specific interventions in the developing world believed to have the lowest cost per life saved.
And yet, for much of his career, Singer has been known for another reason: As the philosopher making the case for legalizing the murder of disabled infants.
Throughout his career, Singer has been a critic of laws designed to protect disabled people. In his 1979 book, Practical Ethics,
he made the case for allowing parents to kill children with spina bifida and … Continue Reading ››
I've been on a journey to bring disabled African American history into the light by reclaiming the disabled identities of history makers. There is a hidden rule that unless such revelations are unavoidable, a person's disabled identity is best ignored. When such disability is so inseparable from the arc of the figure's life it cannot be erased, then disability is made the scapegoat for anything negative befalling such a person.
Nina Simone was what I'll call a bipolar savant
. She was neurodivergent and did her best work as an activist completely unaware she was bipolar and suffering from PTSD. As such, the disability community should embrace her as a savant in the wider sphere of neurodivergent people who demonstrate talent usually limited to the label autistic savant
The recent purchase of Nina Simone’s birthplace by four African American artists
who are now restoring it has brought media spotlight back on Ms. Simone and her legacy. This gives … Continue Reading ››
William Dean died on October 16, 2016, from natural causes. A lawsuit on his behalf was still being brought against the state of Maine. In March 2017, I found the article “State can’t be sued for selling property, euthanizing cat of man in its care, Maine’s top court rules,”
and remembered the case at once. The Supreme Court of Maine ruled that lawyers suing on behalf of Dean’s estate could not sue the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for selling his properties and euthanizing his cat.
In May 2012, Dean, a man with an autism spectrum diagnosis and mental health needs, was institutionalized in Dorothea Dix Hospital in Bangor, Maine. He had entered a mental health crisis following the death of his mother. Sometime subsequently, the state of Maine euthanized a 10-year-old Himalayan cat named Caterpillar. She had been Dean’s companion for some time.
The state had successfully … Continue Reading ››
For disability rights activists concerned with the subminimum wage, a critical moment happened during the March 22 confirmation hearing for R. Alexander Acosta
, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) questioned Acosta about the subminimum wage
. According to Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act
, employers can pay employees with disabilities an hourly wage that is well below the national minimum wage. These work arrangements are commonly referred to as sheltered workshops.
While Hassan’s question was encouraging, Acosta’s response was decidedly less so. Acosta stated that he supports the right of individual states (such as New Hampshire, where Hassan served as governor from 2013 to 2016) to implement measures that eliminate the subminimum wage. However, Acosta indicated that he will not steps to eliminate the subminimum wage on a national scale.
Acosta defended the subminimum wage. He stated, “I think this is a very … Continue Reading ››