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Disability Perspective Finally Gets Press
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 28, 2005

TAMPA, FLORIDA--If you knew nothing about the disability perspective, and have followed the mainstream media over the past ten days, you would get the impression that disability rights groups just learned about Terri Schiavo.

It's as if Congress passed a law last week that could effects us tremendously, and we just now realized it.

The truth is, however, that advocates have been following Terri's fate for years. When Inclusion Daily Express started covering the story in August 2001 -- and Terri's feeding tube was scheduled to be removed for the first time -- a number of disability advocates had already been involved for a long time. In fact, St. Petersburg resident Rus Cooper-Dowda wrote a brief history at that time on the family's struggle over Terri's right to live.

This is not new to us, folks.

But as the mainstream media has run out of sensationalist steam and politicians to flog over Terri's rights in the past few days, disability rights advocates have been given more opportunities than ever to make their opinions known, and perhaps even be heard.

Over the weekend, I found more than 10 well-written opinion pieces from recognized leaders in the disability rights community, and three more pieces focusing on the disability rights perspective.

I also found a handful of articles that do not focus on the disability perspective or the "right-to-life" perspective.

"The 'Right' To Be Killed" by Rus Cooper-Dowda -- August 2001 (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

"Schiavo Case: Disability Rights Issue! Let People With Disabilities be Heard!" (Not Dead Yet)
"Why Schiavo case worries the disabled" by William G. Stothers (Toronto Star)
"Against the killing of the light" by Ed Smith (CBC News)
"Articulating our perspective to progressives" by Josie Byzek (Ragged Edge Magazine)
"Case Extends: Story of Terri Schiavo is about all of us" by Kathy Faber-Langendoen and Samuel Gorovitz (Syracuse Post-Standard)
"Death watch: Terri Schiavo" (Ragged Edge Magazine)
Schiavo Case a Chance for Journalists to Lead" by Kelly McBride (Poynter Ethics Journal)
"Some Facts in This Matter Of Starving Terri Schiavo to Death" by John Kelly (Ragged Edge Magazine)
"Terri Schiavo: A Cause for the Left?" by Mark Polit (Common Dreams)
"The value of a life; Advocates for the disabled speak loudly about the Schiavo case" by Jenifer L. McKim & Mayrav Saar (Orange County Register)
Rights groups for disabled join in fight (Boston Globe)
Schiavo issues prompt alliances (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
Schiavo Protesters Have Hearts on Sleeves and Anger on Signs (New York Times)

RELATED OPINION PIECES (Not necessarily from a disability perspective):

"The Many Layers of the Terry Schiavo Controversy" by Ralph Nader (Common Dreams)
"Eating disorder at root of Terri Schiavo case" (MSNBC)
"Schiavo case's forgotten issue" (Bucks County Courier Times)
"Terri Schiavo and the Reality Gap" (Washington Post)
"Terri Schiavo's Unstudied Life"(Washington Post)
"The dehumanization of Terri Schiavo (and all of us)" (Catholic World News)
"Potomac Fever" (Des Moines Register)

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