Category Archives: Opinion

#FreeRosa Case Shines a Light on Undocumented and Disabled

Last week, the United States faced a defining moment when ICE agents arrested a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, Rosamaria Hernandez. Rosamaria is currently recovering from gallbladder surgery in an immigration detention center away from her family.  On the way to her surgery, federal agents followed her ambulance, stood guard outside her room, and refused to allow medical staff to close the door while they treated her.  Against medical advice, the agents then proceeded to pull Rosamaria from the hospital where she was receiving care.  Government employees, reporting that they are just doing their job, intend to deport Rosamaria back to Mexico.  She has lived in the United States since she was three months old. Rosamaria Hernandez has become the face of the Disabled Latinx movement.  Rosamaria’s family initially crossed the border from Mexico to get treatment for medical complications associated with her cerebral palsy.  Rosamaria’s parents made the decision to … Continue Reading ››

Stop Using Intellectual Disability as an Insult

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was accused of calling President Trump a “moron.” President Trump responded that if he and Tillerson had an IQ contest, “I can tell you who [would] win.” More recently, President Trump bragged, “I went to an Ivy League college… I’m a very intelligent person.” As a person with an intellectual disability, President Trump’s focus on IQ feels very awkward. President Trump’s focus on IQ hurts people with intellectual disabilities. Many people see the word “moron” as just a generic insult. However, it used to be a diagnostic term during the era of eugenics. Back then I probably would have been diagnosed as a “moron.” Many autistic and intellectually disabled people were diagnosed “morons.” During that time, we were sterilized against our will and locked in institutions. People with intellectual disabilities are still greatly oppressed. IQ is very much connected to Continue Reading ››

No One Should be Talking About What’s Best for Me Besides Me

I’d like to respond to “Autistic Advocates Clash with Autism Parents at Government Committee Meeting” by saying this: No one, and I mean no one, should be talking about what’s best for me besides me. Yes, my parents know me best in the world, but that doesn’t mean they know better. It perplexes me that we are having this debate still, and people don’t see how ludicrous it is to have an autistic group represented by non-autistics. Imagine the NAACP represented by whites. Recall that image of a group of white men signing legislation limiting women’s birth control… Yet it is totally okay for many autistics to be affected by the will of neurotypicals. I simply say this: If you want the views of nonverbal autistics to be heard, invite them to the table. Make sure they can access the meeting with the support they need. Seek out autistic people … Continue Reading ››

Legal Claim Autistic Rapist ‘Didn’t Know Any Better’ is Bullshit

A show that ran as long as Law & Order is, naturally, going to have some off days. I’ll admit to occasionally tuning into the show’s seemingly never-ending basic cable blocks as a guilty pleasure, but one of the telltale signs you’re about to watch one of the shitty ones is when the culprit is apprehended about 20 minutes in. When it’s taken care of that early, you know the trial portion of the episode is going to revolve around the perpetrator’s lawyer arguing that their client killing people is a medical condition or something similarly absurd. So you can imagine how irritated I was, to say the least, when someone decided to pull the same trick  in real life. The Internet is vast and contains multitudes If, for some reason, you want to identify the absolute worst people on here, there are several ways you could go. There are the … Continue Reading ››

ADAPT Action is Not the Entirety of Disability Rights

The Medicaid battle has come and gone again. Senators Graham and Cassidy came up with another plan to attack the Affordable Care Act.  Due to the arcane rules of the Senate, they had until the end of September to pass their amendment with only 51 votes (including a tie-breaker from the Vice President);  otherwise, they’ll need 60 again. Again, while this was an attack on millions of Americans, disabled and non-, the disability community in particular needed to come together to resist, because if this bill had succeeded, some disabled people who depend on Medicaid would have lost their freedom and others would have lost their lives.  The direct action group ADAPT,  which arises from the independent living movement, the most visible strand of the disability rights movement, was among the most visible to respond and played a key role in the failure of the Graham-Cassidy amendment. This is … Continue Reading ››