Disability Fieldnotes Week in Review: June 26-July 2

Here is a curated collection of last week’s disability news. Enjoy!


“Laura’s World” (Louis Menand)
New Yorker feature story on Laura Bridgman, the first deafblind child to receive a proper education in the U.S. Bridgman’s deafblindness was the result of scarlet fever as a young child, and she went on to study at Perkins School for the Blind, where my younger sister went to school as a teenager. For a fictionalized account of Bridgman’s life, read Kimberly Elkins’ What Is Visible

Disability, Law, and Society:

“Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD” (Marilyn Wedge)
Interesting piece on the the cultural facets of this common diagnosis. While I cannot comment on the science behind it, I do believe it’s important to question contemporary understandings of “disorder” and even “diagnosis.” I’m curious to read more from this author.

“State to Require Cameras in Special Ed Classrooms” (Shaun Heasley)
Oh Texas. This is what passes as innovative disability rights legislation in my adopted state. No need to train or support teachers here, y’all.

“Guest Blog: Checking in with SB 204, SSLCs” (Kaitlyn Clifton and Alexa Shoeman)
A great summary of legislative updates regarding the closure of Texas’ remaining state institutions for people with disabilities.

“Mass. Home Health Workers Win Wage Hike to $15 and Hour” (Katie Johnson)
A huge victory!


“In Bid for Stricter Vaccine Rules, Officials Grapple with Decades-Old Distrust” (April Dembosky)
A look at the history of the anti-vaccination movement in the U.S., with a focus on California’s bill to ban exemptions.

“Jim Carrey’s Reckless Campaign Angers Parents of Autistic Boy” (Elizabeth Williams)
“Jim Carrey Just Apologized for Tweeting a Photo of a Boy with Autism” (Virginia Hughes)
Self-proclaimed vaccine expert and disability crusader Jim Carrey callously Tweeted a photo of a boy with autism and several other diagnoses without securing any type of permission from the child’s parents. Loathsome, no? He was promptly vilified on social media and the boy’s mother, Karen Echols (read her blog here), stated that the actors was “misrepresenting my son’s image by attaching it to his anti-vax rant.” Good for her!

The Global Scene

“Torture Comes in Many Forms” (Shantha Rau Barraga)
Important piece on the persistent failures of and critical need for international disability rights.


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