Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The Rights Of People With Disabilities Are Not Being Promoted, Study Finds

The Rights Of People With Disabilities Are Not Being Promoted, Study Finds

From the press release of Queen’s University (January 25, 2012

Historic legal rulings did not protect the rights of persons with disabilities, while legal rulings concerned with race or gender provided much more protection of individual rights and freedoms according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Queen’s University PhD student Christopher A. Riddle has determined in a recent study. “The motivation for this examination came from the very simple observation that the rights of persons with disabilities were not being promoted through the very mechanisms designed to ensure justice for everyone,” says the study’s author…

February 2, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Disabled children do matter

Disabled children and their families 'excluded'

Disabled children do matter

From the Eureka Alert of Fri Dec 2, 2011

(Economic & Social Research Council) Many disabled children fail to reach their full potential because they continue to be marginalized in schools, health and social care, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council….

The findings, which are based on a series of interviews with disabled children and their families, reveal numerous barriers to these goals, for example:


  • Disabled children are often perceived by educational and care professionals as “lacking” and as failing to fit in with the image of ‘normal’; 


  • Families who do not match the norm are frequently excluded from friendships, education and work; 


  • The support system is complicated and there are gaps in provision, particularly during the transition to adulthood; 


  • Physical access and transport barriers to sport and leisure activities result in segregation, while participation in art and creative activities is limited; 


  • Widespread discriminatory attitudes threaten to create a culture of bullying; 


  • Families of children with life-limiting/threatening impairments often experience isolation and poverty 

The researchers call for a change of attitude towards disability so that diversity is not only valued, but promoted. “There is an ‘epidemic’ of labelling children as disabled,” Professor Goodley and Dr Runswick-Cole warn. “Parents are repeatedly under pressure to talk about what their children can’t do in order to access services and support, but sometimes the label can obscure the individual. Families should be asked what support their child requires, not what is the ‘matter’ with him or her.”

Their report recommends that policy should prioritise enabling disabled children to break down barriers by supporting their participation in education, the arts, leisure and their communities and by meeting their communication requirements. “We need to re-think the culture of individualism and performance which pushes disabled children out” continue the researchers. “Pressures on schools are getting worse. We found a case where parents of non-disabled children petitioned to exclude a disabled child. What does this say about the meaning of education and community?”

The study found that bullying is often accepted as inevitable when disabled children are perceived as vulnerable. There were several layers of violence, from manhandling in school to psychological bullying, which often goes unnoticed by adults. Some children do however stand up to bullies and refuse to be limited by labels that are imposed upon them.

One young person insisted on attending Brownies meetings alone, despite health and safety rules that required her mother to accompany her. “Kids seem to enjoy challenging people’s expectations about their limitations,” the researchers commented…

This release is based on the findings from ‘Does every child matter, post-Blair? The interconnections of disabled childhoods‘ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and carried out by Professor Dan Goodley and Katherine Runswick-Cole at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

December 3, 2011 Posted by | Psychology, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Ouch! – A BBC Website for and by Disabled People

Ouch! – It’s a Disability Thing

From the Ouch! About Page

Ouch! is a website from the BBC that reflects the lives and experiences of disabled people. It has articles, blogs, a very busy messageboard and an award-winning downloadable radio show – The Ouch Podcast). It’s aimed at those with a stakehold in disability: family, friends, professionals and, rather importantly, disabled people themselves – without whom all this would be a bit meaningless.

Some Other Features

The Play link has humorous drawings, comics, and articles.

The Motley Zoo comics features disabled animals such as animals that cannot go out to sea (owl and pussycat) because they are afraid of water.

A regular feature on accessible technology devices, such as the “Ouch! guide to audio description” and “TV help”.

A weekly Newsletter including disability news from the media and what’s new at Ouch!. Free subscription available.



Tech-interested visitors will enjoy Adrian Higginbotham’s regular feature on accessible technology devices, such as the “Ouch! guide to audio description” and “TV help”. Visitors can subscribe to the “Newsletter” to get a weekly brief on what’s new in disability news and what’s new on the site. The link to subscribe is on the bottom left side of the homepage. Visitors will want to check out the “Play” link, with its humorous drawings, comics and articles. The “Motley Zoo” comic depicts disabled animals, such as a shy peacock or the owl and the pussycat that can’t go out to sea because they have hydrophobia.



February 5, 2011 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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