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

Friday, October 10, 2003
Year IV, Edition 157

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 37 more news items.

"It's not the end of the road yet. As long as she is alive, there's hope."

--Pat Anderson, attorney representing Terri Schiavo's parents, after a federal judge refused to stop the removal of the feeding tube that keeps Terri alive (First story)

"Small improvements will bring great benefits. Businesses will avoid the penalties of failing to make changes and reap the dividends of the £50 billion annual spending power of disabled people."
--Bob Benson, Scottish director of the Disability Rights Commission, talking about accessibility requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act which will become effective October 2004 (Second story)



Federal Judge Refuses To Stop Scheduled Feeding Tube Removal

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 10, 2003

TAMPA, FLORIDA--After a three-hour hearing Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Lazzara refused to stop the removal of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, scheduled for October 15.

Lazzara said he would not grant an injunction because he had no jurisdiction in the case and because Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, failed to provide him with enough evidence. The Schindlers wanted Lazzara to order tests to determine if Terri can learn to swallow food on her own before the feeding tube is removed.

Also on Friday, attorneys for the Schindlers filed an appeal to the 2nd District Court of Appeal to have Circuit Court Judge George Greer removed from Terri's case. Greer has consistently sided with Terri's husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, who first requested to have her feeding tube removed in 1998. Greer has also refused to allow rehabilitative therapies, including speech and swallowing therapies.

"Who knows what it means for Terri?" the Schinder's attorney, Pat Anderson, said of Friday's ruling. "But it's not the end of the road yet. As long as she is alive, there's hope."

Terri collapsed and her brain was without oxygen for several minutes in February 1990. Since then, Terri has breathed on her own, but receives food and water through a gastronomy tube installed in the wall of her stomach. Some doctors claim she is in a "persistent vegetative state", and that she will not improve.

Michael Schiavo has said that his wife would not have wanted to be kept alive by "artificial means". Florida courts have agreed with his desire to allow Terri to starve to death.

Terri's parents argue that their daughter is alert, follows some instructions, smiles, laughs, and tries to speak. They 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, and because he wants to marry another woman.

Several groups, including disability rights advocates, are planning vigils for this coming week if Terri's feeding tube is removed as scheduled.

"Federal judge says Terri Schiavo must die" (World Net Daily)
"Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express)
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation



Banks Could Lose Money, Lawsuits And Customers Over Lack Of Access

October 10, 2003

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND--Businesses in the United Kingdom have just one year to become accessible to people with disabilities under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Those that are not ready by October 2004 could face legal action from customers.

Businesses shouldn't comply with the new law just because of the threat of lawsuits, however. They should consider the financial loss of turning away current and potential customers.

"Small improvements will bring great benefits," Bob Benson, Scottish director of the Disability Rights Commission, told the Scotsman. "Businesses will avoid the penalties of failing to make changes and reap the dividends of the £50 billion annual spending power of disabled people."

A recent survey found that two-thirds of those surveyed would consider switching banks if friends or family members with disabilities spoke of bad experiences at their bank.

Related article:
"Banks face legal action over access" (The Scotsman)



Jamaicans Hit Hard By Fare Increases

October 10, 2003

KINGSTON, JAMAICA--Twenty-five wheelchair users were invited to the offices of the Paraplegic Development and Outreach Foundation (PARADOF) in downtown Kingston to pick up their new free wheelchairs Friday.

Unfortunately, only 14 could afford the trip, according to the Jamaica Observer.

Two months ago, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company increased some taxi fares by 50 percent and bus fares by 100 percent.

"Disabled persons are finding it difficult to pay the additional amount," said Errington Pellington, PARADOF's founder/ director.

Related article:
"Paraplegics miss wheelchair handing-over ceremony" (Jamaica Observer)



ISP Shuts Down Website Selling Bogus Parking Permits

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 10, 2003

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA--A Website that sold fake Nevada handicap parking permits was shut down Thursday, not by the government, but by the Internet service provider that hosted the site.

A company calling itself Nevada Handicap Services used the Website to sell parking placards that were the same shape, size and color of real permits, but did not have the state seal. The Website and the tags, which sold for $39.95 each, included fine print that explained they were not real. For this reason, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles was unable to stop the company from selling the tags through the Website.

That did not stop Joel Otterstrom, the owner of the Internet service provider MyTechSupport, from shutting down the Website.

Otterstrom said he did not want to do business with a company that provided fake tags.

Related article:
"Website selling fake handicapped parking permits is shut down" (Las Vegas Sun)



"Organizer Says Disabled Can Compete With The Rest"

October 10, 2003

TACOMA, WASHINGTON--The following five paragraphs are excerpts from a story that ran in Friday's Tacoma News Tribune:

Tami English says you just can't beat sports when it comes to getting disabled kids involved with their able-bodied peers.

But despite some strides the state has taken to accommodate disabled athletes, English said they still endure rejection more often than acceptance.

English is the president of Northwest Wheelchair Sports. The organization coordinates practice and competitions for more than three dozen athletes in swimming, basketball, track and field, weight lifting and other sports.

"School districts, parks, a lot of them tell us the same thing," she said. "They say, 'Well, you've got the Special Olympics.'"

She's not knocking those important events, but she said it's inappropriate for her high-caliber athletes to compete with the developmentally disabled.

Entire article:
"Organizer says disabled can compete with the rest" (Tacoma News Tribune)
Related article:
"Teen athlete born to be 3-wheeled wonder" (Tacoma News Tribune)



Employment Support For People with Disabilities (U.S. Social Security Administration)

Our Mission is to promote the employment of Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities by . . .



Quote worth noting:
"For as long as space endures, and for as long as living beings remain, until then may I, too, abide to dispel the misery of the world."
--His Holiness the Dalai Lama


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Dave Reynolds, Editor