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

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Year IV, Edition 168

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.

"It is clear the governor has the constitutional authority to act to save the life of someone on death row. This case is no different."

--Jay Sekulow, chief counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice, which has asked to represent the parents of Terri Schiavo in an upcoming legal battle over whether Governor Jeb Bush improperly intervened to save her life last week (First story)

"Let's get it right. We don't want to have this institution. We want to have community services."
--Joe Bellil, one of a number of advocates protesting the Massachusetts Nurses Association's resistance to the governor's plans to close Fernald Development Center (Fifth story)



Law Center Asks To Represent Terri Schiavo's Parents; Terri Is Again Smiling At Parents, Lawyer Says

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 30, 2003

TAMPA, FLORIDA--The American Center for Law and Justice, a Virginia-based conservative public interest law firm, announced Thursday that it is intervening on behalf of Terri Schiavo's parents in their son-in-law's challenge against Governor Jeb Bush.

"This is a very important case involving the state's ability to act to protect human life," said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ's chief counsel.

Sekulow said he believes Michael Schiavo's lawsuit against the governor is "legally flawed" and that the governor and Legislature had the constitutional authority to pass a law to save the life of someone in Terri's situation.

"It is clear the governor has the constitutional authority to act to save the life of someone on death row," Sekulow added. "This case is no different."

"What the Legislature and the governor did is not only appropriate, but legally sound and constitutional as well. We are hopeful that the court will permit Terri's parents to enter this case and we look forward to working with the Governor's office and the state attorney general to defend the life-saving actions of the state in court."

Sekulow requested that ACLJ be allowed to represent Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, in the upcoming case. Pat Anderson, the Schindlers' current attorney, would continue to represent them in all other aspects of the case.

Mr. Schiavo filed legal briefs Wednesday asking the court to overturn "Terri's Law", a measure passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor on October 22, ordering Terry's gastronomy tube to be reinserted into her stomach. The feeding tube had been removed under a Florida court order six days earlier. The law also called for an independent guardian to replace Mr. Schiavo by next week.

Mr. Schiavo's attorneys, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, are arguing that the Legislature and governor overstepped their bounds by passing the law to go against court decisions. Schiavo is also seeking an injunction to have the feeding tube removed again and to remain Terri's guardian.

Terri collapsed in February 1990 and her brain was without oxygen for several minutes. The courts have accepted doctors' testimony that Terri has since been in a "persistent vegetative state", where she cannot feel anything and from which she cannot recover. They have also accepted Mr. Schiavo's claims that his wife had told him she would not want to be kept alive "by artificial means". Her gastronomy tube was removed on October 15 by order of Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer.

Terri's parents claim that she is responsive and alert, and that she would improve if Mr. Schiavo would allow her to undergo rehabilitative therapies. Some experts have said that Terri is not in a vegetative state and that she could learn to swallow, thereby making the feeding tube unnecessary.

Governor Bush pushed the Legislature to pass the bill during a special session after his office received tens of thousands of messages from disability rights groups and right-to-life advocates supporting Terri's right to continue living.

Pat Anderson told reporters Thursday that Terri's reflexes have been improving in the week since the feeding tube was reinserted. The 39-year-old is again smiling when her mother enters the room, Anderson said.

Columnist Dan Sernoffsky, wrote in the Lebanon (Pennsylvania) Daily News that descriptions of Terri are eerily similar to those given hundreds of thousands of people in the last century: "Lebensunwerten Leben" (Life unworthy of life).

"The debate about Terri Schiavo has been carefully couched in terms like 'death with dignity' and 'right to die,' and the arguments supporting the man who wants her dead, her husband, seem so cogent," wrote Sernoffsky. "What hasn't been asked is how much dignity there is in starving someone to death, which is the death to which she was consigned when Michael Schiavo first managed to get her feeding tube removed."

"ACLJ Asks Florida Court to Permit Intervention of Terri Schindler Schiavo's Parents to Enter Constitutional Case" (ACLJ)
"Florida medical directors issue statement opposing 'Terri's Law' (Associated Press via Sun-Sentinel)
"Who decides who's unworthy to live?" (Lebanon Daily News),1413,139~10142~1733453,00.html
Extended coverage: "Terri Schiavo's Right To Live" (Inclusion Daily Express)
Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation



New Dollywood Policy: No More Free Rides

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 30, 2003

PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE--Responding to a claim that its admission policy discriminates against people with certain disabilities, Dollywood will no longer give free admission to people with any kind of disability beginning January 2004.

According to the company's website, Tennessee's most popular tourist attraction made the decision after a local woman filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Smoky Mountain theme park. The woman claimed that Dollywood's current discounts for visitors with "total and permanent vision or hearing loss, and/or who have a medical or physical condition which made them permanently dependent on a wheelchair" violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"From a legal standpoint, our staff is not qualified to make decisions on who should or should not be given free admission to the park based on their level of disability," reads a statement about the new policy on the website. "For those reasons we regret to inform you that individuals who have been admitted under our previous disability policy will no longer be allowed to enter free of charge."

A regular daily pass to Dolly Parton's theme park is around $40. The park estimates that about 45,000 of its 2.2 million annual visitors have disabilities.

Beginning with the 2004 season, the park will make donations to area disability groups equal to the cost of this year's free disability admissions.

Dollywood Disability Information



'Disability' Added To New 'Hate Crimes' Bill

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 30, 2003

LONDON, ENGLAND--Criminals who victimize people because of their disabilities will face longer sentences under new "hate crimes" legislation announced Thursday.

According to the Guardian news service, the government has proposed an amendment to the criminal justice bill that would add disability and sexual orientation to race and religion as aggravating factors in such crimes.

A statement from the Disability Rights Commission noted that 25 percent of people with disabilities in the United Kingdom experience abuse, and that 90 percent of people with mental disabilities are victims of abuse.

"For too long these devastating crimes have not been recognised in law or treated with the seriousness they deserve by the police, prosecutors or the courts," the statement read.

Last year the Metropolitan police recorded such 98 offenses against people with disabilities. Many experts agree that the numbers of crimes against people with disabilities are grossly under-reported.

Related press statement:
"Government moves to outlaw disability hate crimes welcomed" (Disability Rights Commission)



Advocates Support Closing Massachusetts Institution

October 30, 2003

CANTON, MASSACHUSETTS--The following four paragraphs are excerpts from a story in Thursday's Daily News Tribune:

Joe Bellil said people with physical and mental disabilities want equality and the chance to live on their own, not in antiquated institutions like the Fernald Development Center.

Holding signs reading "People Not Jobs," "Set Us Free," "Integration not Segregation" and "Unlock the Doors," a small group of disabled people -- including Bellil, who uses a wheelchair -- protested yesterday outside the offices of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, claiming the organization is trying to save jobs by opposing Gov. Mitt Romney's plan to close Fernald.

"Let's get it right," he said. "We don't want to have this institution. We want to have community services."

"As people are getting older, they're choosing to live in the community, not institutions," he said.

Entire article:
"People with disabilities want chance to be free" (Daily News Tribune)



"Making Life Better For The Disabled"

October 30, 2003

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA--Thursday's Malaysia Star news included a feature story about the importance of technology written by L.C. Wong.

Technology has helped to change the lives of people with disabilities for the better, writes Wong, who has used a wheelchair from age 4.

The Internet, cell phones, computers, mobility devices and home-delivery services are just a few examples.

There are others that can help -- if one has the money. And for many people with disabilities, lack of money is a huge barrier.

Take credit cards, for instance. Wong notes that more people would be interested in shopping on-line if they had credit cards.

"Like most disabled people, I fall under the low-income bracket (because it is still hard for us to get jobs, let alone high-paying jobs) and that means it's quite difficult to own and maintain a credit card."

Related article:
"Making life better for the disabled" by L.C. Wong (The Star)



Not Dead Yet

Welcome to the NOT DEAD YET home page. We hope you find our content useful, informative and easy to navigate. Comments and suggestions are always welcome in the hopes of improving the usability of this web site.

Most of society sees people with disabilities as persons who are flawed, pitiful and without dignity. But we see ourselves as a vital and proud community, with values of our own that enhance our quality of life, values that could enhance life for all


# EXPRESS EXTRA!!! From the Inclusion Daily Express Archives -- Three years ago:

Kyle In The News

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 30, 2000

NEW FREEPORT, PENNSYLVANIA--If he has his way, Kyle Glozier will be the first person with cerebral palsy to be elected President of the United States. And even though he will not be eligible for several more decades, the 14-year-old may be well on his way to gaining the support of people with disabilities and their allies.

In his short life, Glozier has traveled extensively in the United States, showing up to participate in demonstrations in support of disability rights. This past spring he testified for preserving the Americans with Disabilities Act opposite screen legend Clint Eastwood -- in a showdown where Glozier slapped away the veteran actor's hand when he tried to reach for the teen's Liberator communication board. In early September, Glozier latched onto Vice President Al Gore's wrist and wouldn't let go until the presidential candidate listened to a message programmed into the Liberator. And on August 16, the young activist spoke to the audience, including millions of television viewers, during the Democratic National Convention, about the need for community-based alternatives to nursing homes and other institutions.

Sunday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put together this feature on the young disability rights leader and what the future may hold for him:

Mouth Magazine still has this item on Glozier's May 22 testimony against Clint Eastwood and the ADA Notification Act:

This webpage on the September 4 ADAPT demonstration has several photos of Glozier, including a shot of his "death grip" on Gore's wrist as the candidate bends down to hear Kyle's Liberator:

Glozier and ADAPT are advocating for passage of Senate Bill 1935, the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act (MiCASSA), which would shift the current bias for federal money from institutions and nursing homes to community supports by allowing recipients to purchase their services.

You can read more about MiCASSA on ADAPT'S website:


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