What are we talking about?

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This week, I waddled through links on social media in order to find you interesting, insightful and thought provoking content for your viewing pleasure.

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DisAbility and Social Networking

1. Ann Coulter’s use of the word “retard” to describe President Barack Obama has started an argument between those who argue for freedom of speech and those who are fighting for the r-word to go away. The tweet, which is from her official Twitter account, had Coulter praising GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for deciding “to be kind and gentle to the retard.”  The next day, Coulter attacked Obama again by tweeting “Obama: ‘Stage 3 Romneysia’-because cancer references are HILARIOUS. If he’s the ‘smartest guy in the room’ it must be one retarded room.” Celebrities, parents of children with disabilities and others alike have struck her with bash lash, telling her that what she said was “disgusting” and “upsetting.” Coulter’s only response was “The only people who will be offended are too retarded to understand it.” Found on Huffington Post.

2. A new off-Broadway play about a family’s dealings with the experience of having a member with autism has recently become a hit. “Falling”, written by Deanna Jent and produced by Terry Schnuck, has earned raves from St. Louis to New York City. Jent based the play off her own life experience: her youngest child, Andy, has autism. The play has been hailed for its honesty when it comes to such an emotional topic. Jent says that she never intended for people to view “Falling” as a” plea for sympathy, or demand for better treatment” or as some “kind of well-intentioned ‘after school special’ for grown-ups.” Instead, it shows just how tough a family needs to be in order to in order to accept and understand autism. Found on the STLTODAY web page.

3. As election dates come closer and closer, many Americans are using their fundamental right as an American to do one thing: vote. However, for people with disabilities, that right may be or has been taken away. In 30 states, people with disabilities have been denied the right to vote if a court has determined that they are mentally incompetent. Court order restrictions could apply to those who were considered incompetent due to an entire range of mental conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, bipolar, Down syndrome and more. Some people have say they  support these laws because it discourages people from taking advantage of those with disabilities. Disability rights activists claim these laws take away citizen’s rights and forces a label upon people. Found on the Disability Scoop web page.

4. A fully accessible house by architect Frank Lloyd Wright has been added to the historic register.  The U.S. Department of the Interior has recently added the Laurent house to its list of historical places. The house, designed by Wright in 1949, was built for Kenneth Laurent, who became paralyzed in World War II. The house includes features such as switches and built-in desks. Laurent and his wife decided to put the house up for auction after moving to an assisted living facility. The house was purchased by a group of conservationists with the Laurent House Foundation, who in turn, plan to display the house as a museum. It is planned to open on June 8, 2013, the 146th anniversary of Wright’s birth. Found on the Disability Scoop page.