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DisAbility and Social Networking

This week, I searched high and low to find insightful, interesting and inspirational stories for your viewing pleasure.

1. The quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens is facing criticism over his recent use of the R Word, only a week before he and his team was set to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday. When asked by a Denver Post columnist what he thought of future Super Bowls being played in cold-weather climates, Joe Flacco responded “‘Yeah, I think it’s retarded.”

However, the NFL quarterback quickly corrected himself by saying “‘I guess I shouldn’t say that (word). I think it’s stupid.’” Flacco reportedly apologized for the word choice during Super Bowl media day on Tuesday. He has a long-standing relationship with the Special Olympics. In the past, he co-chaired a fundraising event for Special Olympics Maryland in the past. Found on the Disability Scoop Facebook page.

2. Bethany Stevens, a staff member for Center for Leadership in Disability, and her bride Sara Palmer recently graced the cover of the latest issue of New Mobility Magazine. Inside the publication, you can read more interesting stories about a special kind of wedding: one where there are two women and one of them uses a wheelchair to get around.

Stevens has osteogenesis imperfect, which is a condition that causes extremely fragile bones. These are the perfect stories to read about, especially since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Found on the Center for Leadership in Disability Facebook page.

3. I found a short and interesting little film from Youtube that shows you what would happen if the social model were flipped. What if there was a society of people with disabilities and the able-bodied people were considered abnormal? What would happen then? This little film, only 1 minute and 27 seconds long, really puts that idea in your mind. Found on Representing Disability in an Ableist World: Essays on Mass Media Facebook page.

4. Three Tennessee homecoming king nominees made one boy’s year when they made a decision that no matter who won the crown, they would give it to a student with a genetic condition. The three boys were named Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs and Zeke Grissom. They decided early on that the winner would turn over the honor to junior Scotty Maloney, who has Williams Syndrome, a neurological disorder that inhibits learning and speech. Their reasoning? “

He’s always happy, so he deserves some recognition for who he is.” Maloney’s teacher Liz Hestle Gassaway sung similar praises: “’Scotty is fabulous. He is a superstar. He knows everybody. There’s not one person that Scotty does not know. To know him and meet him is to love him.’” Congratulations, Scotty and enjoy the crown! Found on the ABC webpage.