Another day ending in y where I tackle ableism. Plus, my perspective as a Housebound #disabledWOC on the latest round of ‘Hashtag Activism” bashing.
When not being summarily ignored and erased, WOC on Twitter discussing Depression and other forms of Neurodiversity and Disabilities are routinely shamed for not being the “strong” women we are stereotyped as by WP and other POC. *ANGER AS AN INDICATOR OF DISTRESS* is never considered.
So I did along with other related issues including racism in disability activism.
- “Will current blood quantum membership requirements make American Indians extinct?” – The National Museum of the American Indian
- “We Are Still Here” [PDF] – John R. Norwood, Nanticoke & Lenape Confederation
- “Status Indians, & ” – Storify by me as @NanticokeNDN
- “Blood Quantum: A Relic Of Racism And Termination” – Jack D. Forbes
- “Blood Quantum Does Not Determine Identity” Petition
- The Use of
#BloodQuantum – Room for Debate – nytimes.com
- Black NDNs – Tumblr
- “Revisiting Love in the Time of Blood Quantum” – Native Appropriations
- “Measuring Blood: The American Indian Blood Quantum” – nativelanguages.org
- Blood Quantum Earrings – Kristen Dorsey Designs
- “Blood Quantum Laws” – Wikipedia entry
- “Blood Quantum: A Ticking Time Bomb“ – littlewolf.us
- “What is a Blood Quantum Nazi” – authormiafisher.blogspot.co.uk
- Caitlin Fagan Reading Response #3 (intro2ces101.wordpress.com)
Jason Arnopp @JasonArnopp (Author, scriptwriter. Doctor Who, Sarah Jane, Friday 13th) is working on a book regarding professional (Fiction) writers and Depression. He asked me to contribute. This is what I had to say…
On Writing & Depression: Creative Down-swings
A well-meaning new-found long-lost relative decided to comment on my NaNoWriMo 2011 Facebook entry referring to my struggles to participate because of Major Depression: “truth is I’m strategic…” she wrote. “…the goal is achievable you have to trust yourself to make it happen.” Her sentiments are typical of the simple-minded inspiration porn that I am forced to put up with routinely. My response is always that I do what I can, when I can, but unfortunately more often than not it means struggling immensely to do not very much at all. I give myself pep talks and formulate strategies to try and be productive to no avail.
The greatest irony for me as a writer living with Depression has always been that I get my best ideas and am the most prolific when in a severe down-swing. I find that writing fiction, even Harry Potter fan fiction, is therapeutic in a way that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has never been for me. I even managed to put this into one of my stories with a fan fiction-writing protagonist who proposed that “sometimes fiction serves a purpose in enabling people to live out their fantasies, purge their own demons or perhaps set a standard for themselves. It was only when people confused fantasy with reality that there was a problem.”Self-insertion? I won’t deny it. I’ve learned an awful lot about myself and my illness through writing and making use of my own lived experience (especially post-diagnosis in 2009). This in turn informs others including those who live with it – something still sorely needed to combat the stigma of mental illness. I would also agree that I lose myself in the gloriousness of creation process. This is even more pronounced during manic cycles of insomnia. Perhaps that’s why I have so many epic tales that remain unfinished after starting them nearly a decade ago and have failed to live up to the potential I’ve been told that I have. Depression has impacted every aspect of my life for good or ill, and my interests and ambitions as a professional writer are no exception.
Lisa J. Ellwood
@IconicImagery ( & Communications account)
#NaNoWriMo 2011 (#disability #spoonie #mentalhealth) – #amwriting (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com
#NaNoWriMo – Day 2: Not #fitforwork or anything else… (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com
@CreativeCrip in the media: #xmasathome #nyeathome interview GRAZIA Australia (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com
Today marks the point of no return for many disabled and ill people. An estimated 40,000 – 100,000 of those in our community who have worked will lose our Contributory Employment Support Allowance (ESA) thanks to the new one year time limit railroaded through Parliament as part of the recent welfare reforms.
I’m one of them. Continue reading
Life online brings out the best and worst in people and often when you least expect it, with Social Media copping more than its fair share. Every day is a struggle being in pain or feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. It’s hard enough to explain to someone who really has no clue just how debilitating chronic pain and invisible illnesses are. It’s even worse when the person that needs convincing is another person with disabilities, a Carer or self-proclaimed disability advocate passing judgement on that which they have very little knowledge of, if any at all. Continue reading
NEW POST at thecreativecrip.com:
Sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand and mentor you through things.
This is one of those times.
Read the full article here: http://thecreativecrip.com/2012/02/atos-meltdown-continued-dark-night-of-the-soul/
thecreativecrip.com exists solely to document the problems faced by disabled & otherwise ill people who are routinely denied the opportunity to prove to those that judge us, and ourselves, that we are useful. Shame that in the short time it’s been up the content is split between documenting my health problems and the never-ending nightmare of trying to get much-needed help from the government to become more independent & self-sufficient. I can guarantee you that despite the platitudes on high – none of the Cabinet have the faintest understanding why they are pushing so many of us to not even want to try to live our lives anymore. Quite frankly, its obvious the coalition govt & many in Opposition don’t care.
I have spent the better part of two years floundering, barely keeping my head above water as I begged for help and fought to not be forced into the usual dead-end workfare schemes. It was purely by chance that I caught wind of last weeks #BenefitsCamp event organised by FutureGov, a consultancy and social innovation incubator helping to shape the future of government through social innovation. The event itself was for “anyone up for helping fix/change/improve the benefits system – or even better create entirely new ways of doing things”.
The great irony of #benefitscamp is that the team dominated by people with disabilities and invisible illness won the Ideas pitch session. The supreme irony for me is that in the days leading up to the event I had a suicidal meltdown capped with my “I don’t want to live this life” blog post the day before. It took willpower I didn’t know I had to keep myself alive in the aftermath of the Prime Minister, with the full support of the House of Commons, invoking an archaic privilege and overturning Welfare Reform Bill amendments passed by the House of Lords.
The day of #BenefitsCamp I was trapped in bed watching the event on my mobile via the UStream App until it was time for the event participants to split up into teams and work on the shortlisted ideas. I had 2-3 hours of pain and insomnia-fueled sleep and very nearly called it quits as I struggled to stay conscious. Working together virtually aided by Skype and the #benefitscamp livestream, my team came up with a solution that would allow disabled (and not-yet-disabled) people to get much-needed support when able to work & the desperately needed compassionate helping hand when they can’t – but without the pitfalls of the existing DWP process.
The proposed Universal Credit and other benefit “reforms” being pushed through Parliament are no more than plasters on an already festering wound. End-users have not been given a genuine opportunity like the one provided by FutureGov to offer a compromise that would help us to help ourselves, despite the Coalition government’s claims to the contrary. FutureGov have set the standard for virtual participation and collaboration. My team’s success at #BenefitsCamp shows what disabled people are capable of when we are allowed to work with much-needed adjustments.
Related information from some of my team-mates:
Benefits Camp 2012 – Workgroup 7 (worklifebalance.thecreativecrip.com)
Benefits Camp – Confidence-building (janetdavis.posterous.com)
Not idle, just unsupported (thecreativecrip.com)
In early September 2011, ATOS Healthcare, a subsidiary of French IT firm Atos Origin, quietly made it known that they had joined forces with University of Derby – Corporate to accredit training for Atos Nurses. Since then there has been nary a whisper on the subject; not from anyone other than the few disability campaigners and some of our supporters. Most disturbing of all is that the medical establishment itself has been heartbreakingly silent along with the media.
I was able to raise the issue via email with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson around the time of the last discussion of the Welfare Reform Bill. She is keen to bring this up in the Lords, but unfortunately the nature of the process is such that the “ideal” moment to query Lord Freud about this has yet to arrive. In the meantime, Atos continues to add to its already sizeable coffers with more government contracts – now inclusive of digitising NHS records.
The lives of people with disabilities is hard enough with Atos & the WRB; but this programme is just the latest insidious manoeuvring by the coalition government & opposition to *not* help as many people as possible. Staying quiet or low-key makes medical establishment complicit in what’s going on. My own personal concerns aside, Atos is gathering strength in taking over responsibilities and functions best left under the auspices of the NHS: the NHS which is jettisoning much-needed hospitals, doctors and nurses no thanks to David Cameron & Andrew Lansley‘s austerity cuts; the NHS which also now has our Big Society Prime Minister peddling charity-driven measures to “improve NHS Nursing”; the NHS that the coalition government is privatising despite the outcry against “reforms” that weren’t on the agenda during the General Election.
As if the hatemongering rhetoric against disabled people wasn’t enough, anti-NHS muckraking has reached epic proportions in some parts of the media. It surely can’t be a coincidence that the tabloids only now seem to care about disabled patients being “let down” by the system when not otherwise castigating us as scroungers and frauds? As usual the great and the good in the great British public rush to agree with incessant horror stories, failing to understand the implications of the NHS being able turning over 50% of its beds to private care in England. Of course this has the enthusiastic backing of private health insurers and big charities salivating as they pontificate about the necessity of overhauling medical and social care, with the latter being little more than a sequel to the already inadequate “Care in the Community” model.
The good news is that least two prominent Twitteratti in the medical establishment don’t seem to think much of #ATOSUni – a good sign! One is GP and recent Twitter connection @PeteDeveson. Dr. Deveson was kind enough follow my account and share my last #ATOSUni Update post with his colleagues Anne-Marie Cunningham and Mary McCartney. Dr. McCartney is the GP who sensationally added to the Atos maelström with her British Medical Journal feature “Well enough to work” in which she investigated the ethics and fairness of the disability assessment process.
In addition to the support of Dr. Deveson, Dr. McCartney assured me via Twitter today that she will be looking into the #ATOSUni programme next month. Suffice it to say that as the next Lords sitting of the WRB is 11th January and the Welfare and Employment Conference 2012, featuring Department of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, takes place on 26th January, Dr. McCartney’s much-needed investigation will be not a moment too soon.
- @CreativeCrip #ATOSUni Campaign Update (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com)
- Well enough to work? (bmj.com)
- Welfare & Employment Conference 2012 (govknow.com)
- PM seeks to improve NHS nursing (ageuk.org.uk/)
- Green Party calls for the removal of #ATOS from benefits assessments #ukpolitics (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com)
- Do you really think the Conservatives care about #disabled people? Esp those that cannot work? ~ @THemingford #WRB (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com)
- Only social care reform will keep the NHS from its deathbed (telegraph.co.uk)
- Phil Shanks: Benefit Charges Simply Don’t Suit a Country Like Britain (huffingtonpost.co.uk)
- MUST READ: New Labour, the market state, and the end of welfare #Atos (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com)
- TBA on #creativecrip – new section detailing my personal experiences with Atos (thecreativecrip.com)
- Disability benefit reform: is the government hiding behind Atos errors? (guardian.co.uk)
- Ask UNUM FAQ: Atos, WCA, CardiffU and Biopsychosocial Model (thecreativecrip.wordpress.com)
- An independent review of the work capability assessment. M. Harrington. (DWP)
- Atos doctors could be struck off (guardian.co.uk)
- CarerWatch evidence to Harrington (carerwatch.wordpress.com)
- Harrington report on incapacity testing is too simplistic (guardian.co.uk)
- NHS accused over deaths of disabled patients (guardian.co.uk)
- Disabled patients dying due to ‘institutional discrimination’ in NHS (telegraph.co.uk
- Atos – University Accreditation in “Disability Analysis” ((thecreativecrip.wordpress.com)
- National News: PM targets patient care improvement (coventrytelegraph.net)
- Government to allow 49% of NHS hospital beds for private patients (healthinsurancesolutions.co.uk)
- Hospitals told they should ‘speed up’ treatment for the elderly (guardian.co.uk)
- NHS cuts have affected patient care say four out of five doctors (guardian.co.uk)
- Should NHS hospitals be able to do more private work? (guardian.co.uk
- ABI adds voice to calls for political consensus on long-term care (hi-mag.com)
- David Cameron orders merging of health and social care (guardian.co.uk)
- Health and social care bill undermines integration (guardian.co.uk)
- We can’t dodge the needed change to social care any longer (leftfootforward.org)
- Guest post: Disabled Activists and the Anti-Cuts Movement (ukuncut.org.uk)
- Welfare Reform Bill so far – 23 Dec 2011 (parliament.uk)
- Opinion: Parliament needs our help on the NHS Bill (libdemvoice.org)
- NHS hospitals face radical shakeup (guardian.co.uk)