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Disability Advocacy and Politics – Laura Hershey: Writer, Poet, Activist, Consultant
Laura Hershey: Writer, Poet, Activist, Consultant Rotating Header Image

Posts under ‘Disability Advocacy and Politics’

Laura’s Labor Day Weekend Column

Labor Day means different things to different people. The Labor Day Telethon For me, it’s hard (try as I might) to escape the association between Labor Day and the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon. Though it’s been several years since we’ve organized a direct action protest, the Internet continues to provide us with opportunities […]

Speaking Out Against the MDA Telethon

It’s almost that time of year again when, wits dulled by sunburn and picnic overindulgence, some Americans collapse in front of their TVs and watch the Labor Day Telethon, sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Some will be so fascinated or confused by the second-rate celebrity appearances and cheesy production values that they’ll stay […]

Five personal reasons why I want our lawmakers to vote FOR the health care reform bill, imperfect though it is…

Five personal reasons why I want our lawmakers to vote FOR the health care reform bill, imperfect though it is: 1. I hope that some of my disabled sisters and brothers currently in nursing facilities will be able to leave the institutions, and receive the support they need under the bill’s plan to improve Medicaid. […]

Disability Rights Resolutions for the March 16 Democratic Caucuses

If you live in Colorado and you are registered as a Democrat, I hope you’ll help support disability rights becoming part of the Party platform. You can do this by introducing disability rights resolutions at your neighborhood caucus tomorrow night, March 16. I have drafted two resolutions — one about health care reform and community […]

Debating Advocacy Priorities: Free the Oppressed, or Promote Employment?

Always willing to challenge the disability rights movement with provocative ideas, my friend Josie Byzek has now written a column calling on our advocacy movement to make employment a top priority. It hasn’t been, says Josie, and “this has got to change.” She questions the wisdom of expending so much of the movement’s energy and […]

Judi Chamberlain (1944-2010), Activist, Author, Global Traveler — In (Some of) Her Own Words

Judi Chamberlin passed away a few days ago, leaving a legacy of activism, truth-telling, and leadership. She was a highly respected founder of the movement for civil rights for people with psychiatric labels, and for all people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. She had recently kept a regular blog called “Life As a Hospice Patient.” […]

How to Help Haitians?

“Haiti Rocked by 7.0 Quake.” I read the news as I sat in the waiting room at Children’s Hospital, checking the New York Times website on my laptop computer. Of course I was worried about my daughter, going through a surgical procedure that was minor but nevertheless required general anesthesia. Now, less than 24 hours […]

Question: Would Anyone Really “Hurt the Handicapped”? Answer: It Happens More Than You Think

Is there such a thing as a hate crime based on disability? When President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law last month, much of the excitement centered around the inclusion of sexual orientation. I too am moved that federal protection has now been extended to LGBT […]

Putting My U.S. News & World Report Article in Perspective

I had an op-ed essay opposing futile care policies and health care rationing published in the August 2009 issue of U.S. News & World Report. The print magazine hit newsstands several weeks ago, and yesterday it was posted on the magazine’s website. Shortly after I submitted my essay, I started hearing some Republicans criticizing President […]

Don’t Sacrifice Disabled People’s Lives to Balance Bungled Budgets

In several states, crucial services for people with disabilities are being sacrificed to the politics of fear and greed. We all know the economy is bad, ravaged by orgies of risky investing and corruption. Corporations and other private entities largely created this mess — though certainly federal government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange […]