Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The 4-303 Weekly

Occupy Oakland

On the one hand this happened. On the other hand, we win.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I am the 99%

Hi All,

I support your efforts, and have been on several marches. As a professor and poet with cerebral palsy, though, I have noticed a lack of attention to how people with disabilities have been excluded, particularly from the discussion of civil rights.  I cannot stress enough that many people with disabilities regard themselves as a minority and want to be included in the civil rights conversation.

 As a minority, people with disabilities suffer the most from the global economy. The unemployment rate is 70%. This is not because people don't want to or can't work, but because the 'normative' body is heavily privileged in the workplace. Further, due to architectural issues, PWD don't have simple 'rights' such as accessibility to buildings. The government has two financial programs for people with disabilities - SSI and SSDI. In both these programs, although the recipient stays well below the poverty line, the money is taken away should the recipient do any form of work (this includes royalties and artist grants) and due to unlawful paperwork it is in not uncommon for people to end up 'owing' SSDI back payments. The ADA court cases have historically been won nearly exclusively by the defendant, not the person with the disability.

A very solvable step would be refrain from using the word retarded and lame. I'm far from the language police! But these words, which I have heard used numerous times, even on marches, are lazy and offensive.

Best, Professor Bartlett

Monday, October 03, 2011

Dear A, or My Son the Mastermind

Dear AB,

So here is what happened after you left. I went to take my 10:30 nap and I had a phone message from Jeff's piano teacher. I turned the phone off, and made a to-do list. Then, the first thing on the list was listen to our piano teacher's message. (We are friends and he calls often). But he sounded worried so I called him back. He said, "I saw Jeffrey this morning" and I thought 'That's nice!" and he said AT MY HOUSE! Evidently, Mr. Jeff had space out on the bus and gotten off 20 stops later. He went to the piano teacher's house (in Williamsburg) and calmly explained that he had spaced out on the bus & "gotten lost.' So, Jay gave him a ride back to school.

Jeffrey knows the story well of his father getting lost on the way it school in third grade due to reading a Sherlock Holmes book. Jeffrey also wants a cell phone, Jeffrey is also 1/2 Bartlett. So, his mother, who is also largely Bartlett was able to put two and two together & they don't add up to Jeffrey spacing out on the bus.

I realized that I may have been tricked! So, I went down to school. I ran into (luckily) Ms. S. the principal who has know Jeff since he was 4. I told her the story, my worries of the Actual story, and she said, o yeah, that's right. Well, here comes Jeffrey to his mother and Ms S in the hall trying to look as befuddled as humanly possible. Ms. S. asked him what happened this morning, He said that nothing happened. And she said, 'What time did you get to school Jeffrey?" He had the nerve to say, "I DON'T KNOW BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A CELL PHONE." Caught! Child! Well, she goes into you worried us and I'm ashamed of you. And you can't get lost, I'm going to rip up your bus pass, kids get kidnapped all that. In the kindest voice barely above of whisper. And I'm just giggling like a cat because I'm so overwhelmed and nervous. But, then, guess who walks by? JEFF'S TEACHER AND ALL HIS CLASSMATES! And they are all staring at him like "O Boy." Well, needless, to say, this is all being quickly resolved.

Then, I went to the Greater Warsaw Post Office. As I left, there was a recycling truck throwing tubs of mail into the truck. I said, isn't that illegal? They go "not really."

Sunday, October 02, 2011