Since it was first rolled out, disability activists have recognized that the Build Back Better Act is a long-awaited opportunity to address some of the most pressing issues that affect disabled life in the U.S. Yesterday, Sen. Joe Manchin indicated he’s not just a holdout on the bill. He may never give it his support.
This news is a threat to disability communities across the country, as the direct care workforce crisis continues to endanger the lives of disabled people, as the Omicron variant surges, as 100,000 disabled workers continue to be paid sub-minimum wages, and as disabled people living in territories of the U.S. remain ineligible for federal benefits (insufficient as they are).
It’s confusing that the bill contains measures that could meaningfully address the opioid overdose crisis whose epicenter is in Manchin’s home state of West Virginia. And yet it’s not so confusing when we consider that the Manchin family’s coal business stands a lot to lose from Biden’s climate agenda.
Perhaps the main tragedy in all this is that Manchin has shaped the conversation around financial costs, talking dollars but little sense for those who understand the logics of care and survival in much more expansive ways.
Congress has voted to delay nearly 10% in Medicare cuts that were set to start in January.
Following the devastating tornadoes in Kentucky, FEMA is amending its Individual Assistance program to include funding for post-disaster disability designs like ramps and grab bars. (Little reporting has been done on the need for disability-centric disaster preparedness there and everywhere.)
A new government “passport” program in the U.K. will support disabled university students’ transition into employment.
The American Academy of Pediatricians has recommended that physicians use “physical activity prescriptions” for disabled kids, a move they claim helps prioritize an environmental approach over a focus on diagnosis.
The major HIV drugmakers are being sued for illegally conspiring to protect market exclusivity, a set of tactics known as “pay for delay” deals.
In upper Manhattan, the new Edith Prentiss Way memorializes the fierce disability organizer who died earlier this year.
The Winter 2021 issue of Orion Magazine focuses on survival lessons from disabled communities and features a stunning lineup of work from Alice Wong, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Yomi Sachiko Wrong, Sunaura Taylor, Marina Tsaplina, Georgina Kleege, Petra Kuppers, Stephen Kuusisto, and many more.
Meredith Wilson’s early drafts of The Music Man show that the musical initially featured a disabled child character that was cut from the version that came to stages.
Deaf Rave will hold workshops for deaf DJs in London in the new year.
Accessing Architecture is open at the University of Atypical for Arts and Disability Gallery in Belfast.
The indie cinema St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis will offer open captions for all of its screenings.
A new issue of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies is out.
If you’re looking for more academic work, check out this conversation about tinnitus and the theory-politics of listening.
The Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship for student-produced television has been awarded to 20 Over.
An Instagram post by @crippingupsex shows a screenshot of a Buzzfeed article that surveyed disabled people about sex.
The Swedish duo Criptonite has penned an open letter about the new leadership of the Wildwuchs Festival, published to @criptonite.insta.
Also in audio news, SiriusXM was sued by National Association for the Deaf and Disability Rights Advocates for failing to provide podcast transcripts.
The newest essay in the “Casting Light” series from I Care if You Listen about art world inequities focuses on the autistic experience in the contemporary music world.
Deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis has won the British dance competition Strictly Come Dancing.
Abstracts are due Jan. 15th for a special issue of the journal First Monday called “This Feature Has Been Disabled.” No pay.
HIVES has issued a CFT (Call for Things).
And finally, some upcoming events:
I am delighted to announce some programming I am doing in my role as Organizer with Kinetic Light. These events are part of a pilot program aimed to support and connect artists in the field of disability arts. Follow the registration links below for more information.
Grant Writing for Disability Artistry
Wednesday, January 12th, 2022
Settling in 3:30-4pm ET
Program 4-5pm ET
DETAILS & REGISTRATION
Grant Management for Disability Artistry
Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
Settling in 4:30-5pm ET
Program 5-6pm ET
DETAILS & REGISTRATION
Tomorrow, Dec. 21st from 7-8:30pm ET on Zoom, People’s Hub will offer the next Community Care Clinic for Disabled and Chronically Ill Movement Folks. Access features by request and in collective design of the space. Free or pay what you can. Register here.
Also tomorrow, Dec. 21st from 6-8pm ET on Zoom, Neurodiversity Consulting will present the third session in the Race & Disability Lecture Series with presenter Jeremy Pierce. No access information. By donation. Register here.
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