Your quick, once-a-day look at disability rights, self-determination
and the movement toward full community inclusion around the world.

Thursday, October 9, 2003
Year IV, Edition 156

This front page features 8 news and information items, each preceded by a number (#) symbol.
Click on the"Below the Fold" link at the bottom of this page for 41 more news items.

"When our churches blithely say 'all welcome', few would doubt their sincerity. But have they thought it through? Are these places truly user-friendly for all who might wish to use them?"

--Keith Hallett, a lay minister who has re-launched a campaign to make churches in Somerset, England more accessible to people with disabilities (Fourth story)

"Until the court has fully fleshed out these issues with regard to rehabilitative swallowing therapy, Terri Schiavo should not be put to death."
--Larry Crow, attorney for the parents of Terri Schiavo, who argued Wednesday that swallowing therapy should be attempted before Terri's feeding tube is removed next week (First story)



Judge Greer Refuses To Postpone Removal Of Terri Schiavo's Feeding Tube

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 9, 2003

TAMPA, FLORIDA--Pinellas Circuit Judge George W. Greer refused Wednesday to delay the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube scheduled for October 15.

Greer said he was following orders from the 2nd District Court of Appeal when he scheduled next Wednesday as the date to have the feeding tube removed that provides nourishment to Terri. Greer added he believes he no longer has jurisdiction to postpone it.

Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, had asked Judge Greer to postpone the removal while they appeal his recent decision denying swallowing therapy that might help her relearn to eat and drink.

Larry Crow, an attorney for the Schindlers, said Greer's refusal will be taken to the appeals court, likely by the end of the week. Crow said he hopes the appellate court will issue a stay and hear their appeal.

"Until the court has fully fleshed out these issues with regard to rehabilitative swallowing therapy, Terri Schiavo should not be put to death," said Crow, a former state legislator.

U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara is scheduled to hear arguments Friday at 1:30 p.m. on a federal discrimination lawsuit by the Schindlers seeking to remove Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, as guardian, and to order swallowing therapy for Terri.

Mr. Schiavo claims that his wife told him before her 1990 brain injury that she would not want to live "by artificial means". Judge Greer has consistently sided with his wishes to remove Terri's feeding tube.

Terri's parents claim Terri is alert, responsive and could benefit from rehabilitative therapies which Michael Schiavo has refused to allow. The Schindlers claim that Michael wants Terri to die, in part, so he will be able to take advantage of what is left of a $700,000 insurance settlement.

Disability rights advocacy groups are watching the case closely, concerned that allowing Terri to starve to death would signal that people with disabilities are not worth keeping alive.

"A sister tends to a life that cultivates her fighting spirit" (St. Petersburg Times)
"Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express)
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation



Lanterman Did Not Properly Investigate 55 Injuries And One Death, Feds Say

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 9, 2003

POMONA, CALIFORNIA--Lanterman Developmental Center, an institution housing 650 people with intellectual disabilities, has placed some of its residents in "immediate jeopardy" of being harmed, according to a 72-page report by federal investigators.

During an August visit, reviewers found that Lanterman officials failed to investigate 55 resident injuries along with three other incidents that "met the definition of abuse or neglect, including a client death."

In one incident from March, a 33-year-old resident died after a nurse improperly reinserted his feeding tube into his abdomen, causing a fatal infection.

The facility was required to immediately correct the problems in order to avoid losing federal funding. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it was satisfied with Lanterman's response.

Sherry Kohler, acting executive director of Lanterman, said she felt the federal inspectors were holding Lanterman to a "much higher standard" than other institutions. "Unfortunately, for some reason, the cards are stacked against us these last few months," Kohler told the Los Angeles Times.

In July, the California Department of Health Services fined Lanterman $25,000 for failing to protect Mark Orchen, a 31-year-old resident who was kicked to death in his bedroom in August 2002. Police and state officials disagree over whether Orchen was murdered by a fellow resident or a staff member. No suspect has been arrested in the murder case.

Related article:
"Report Cites Problems at State Home for Retarded" (Los Angeles Times - free registration required),1,4748567.story



AirTran Fined For Wheelchair Violations

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 9, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC--The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it had reached a settlement with AirTran Holdings Inc, which was sued for discriminating against passengers who use wheelchairs.

The airline was assessed $125,000 for violating the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and other federal regulations by failing to provide a place to stow standard-size folding wheelchairs inside their airplaines' cabins. AirTran may use $105,000 of the penalty to improve services for passengers with disabilities.

According to the Associated Press, the DOT began investigating AirTran last year after a passenger complained that airline personnel told him there was no space to store his wheelchair in a Boeing 717.

In August of this year, the department fined America West Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines a total of $750,000 for many of the same violations. Most of the fines, however, were credited back to the airlines for them to use in order to comply with federal law.

ACAA regulations require aircraft with 100 or more passenger seats, which were ordered after April 5, 1990 or delivered after April 5, 1992, to have space in the cabin designated to stow at least one passenger's folding wheelchair.



Lay Preacher Works To Make More Churches Accessible To All

October 9, 2003

SOMERSET, ENGLAND--The following three paragraphs are excerpts from a story in Thursday's Somerset Guardian:

A Methodist lay preacher has re-launched a campaign to make churches in Somerset more accessible to people with disabilities. "The days of the weakest going to the wall in churches are over. It's now all about working with people - that's the essence of it, " said Keith Hallett, who works with the Midsomer Norton circuit.

Mr. Hallett, an epileptic who has to use a walking stick, has been working for years to improve accessibility in churches around the area.

He has re-launched his campaign to coincide with the European Year of Disabled People, and a recent Disability Ministry Sunday. Churches of all denominations were encouraged to take part.

Entire article:
"Campaign For Better Access To Churches" (Somerset Guardian)



Parents Don't Need Lawyers To Sue Schools, Appeals Court Rules

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 9, 2003

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS--The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that parents do not need a lawyer to sue school districts in order to get an appropriate public education for their children.

The three-judge panel made its ruling in a New Hampshire case in which the parents of a boy with disabilities had sued two separate school districts over his individualized education plan (IEP).

The appeals court noted that it is customary for parents to seek the help of a qualified attorney when bringing suits under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. However, the court said, it is unlikely Congress intended for parents to be stopped if they decided to represent their children on their own.

The court also acknowledged schools districts' concerns that allowing parents to sue without a lawyer would cause more "meritless" lawsuits to be filed under the IDEA.

"The concern is real," the court wrote in its ruling. "Our view is that Congress . . . thought that risk an acceptable price to pay'' to make sure students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate education.



National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

If you've come to NICHCY's Web site for information on disabilities, welcome!

We're pleased to tell you that we are now operating the NEW dissemination center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), effective October 1, 2003!


# EXPRESS EXTRA!!! From the Inclusion Daily Express Archives -- One year ago:

"Choosing Naia" Revisited

October 9, 2002

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS--During the first week of December, 1999, the Boston Globe Online ran a powerful six-part series called "Choosing Naia: A Family's Journey". It chronicled the experiences of a young couple during the 16 months after they learned through pre-natal testing that their unborn daughter had Down syndrome and a significant heart defect.

Globe staff writer Mitchell Zuckoff has expanded and updated the family's story in a new book, also called "Choosing Naia."

Wednesday's Globe includes all six installments and a new follow-up article adapted from Zuckoff's book.

As I wrote that week, which happened to be the first week of Inclusion Daily Express, "this is as good as it gets, folks, and it is very good". There are hours of great reading here.

Part One: A Hole In The Heart
Part Two: Reaching A Decision
Part Three: A Difficult Birth
Part Four: Struggling To Grow
Part Five: Mending A Heart
Part Six: Life With Naia
Follow-up: No Ordinary Life


Check in with other Inclusion Daily Express readers:


Click here for the rest of today's disability-related news:


Tell your friends and colleagues about Inclusion Daily Express!

Inclusion Daily Express

Reprint guidelines:

© Copyright 2003 Inonit Publishing
3231 W. Boone Ave., # 711, Spokane, Washington 99201 USA
Phone: 509-326-5811
Dave Reynolds, Editor