Welcome to Disability Intersections

Welcome to Disability Intersections, a magazine with twice-weekly installments on disability issues, viewed through an intersectional lens. Disability Intersections will explore disability in news, culture, society, and social justice movements; our contributors will also discuss the role disability plays in their own lives. This magazine will feature vibrant intersectional voices exploring fresh, new, and challenging topics. We aim to push readers, and ourselves, further with each new installment.

We’ll be going live in the New Year, although we’ve put up a taste of some of the content you can expect to see here. We’re excited about all we have to share, and we want to hear from you: we welcome pitches for stories and ideas, as well as other feedback.

s.e. smith, Editor in Chief

Anna Hamilton, Managing Editor

Access Denied: Crisis Centers and Disabled People

You’ve just been severely beaten by your partner, and you want to call the local crisis line for help; you’ve seen their number around town, so you dial it, only to discover that they don’t support TTY. Your caregiver has been subjecting you to recurrent sexual assaults, but when you roll up to the women’s centre to ask for counseling and help, their front door is up a flight of stairs, and the counselor who comes out to the sidewalk says they don’t have services for ‘people like you.’ Your partner, who is also your caregiver, is depriving you of medication and necessary care, but when you try to ask for help, people say they don’t know what to do. You want to learn more about your options for finding a shelter, but none of the materials are available in audio or Braille.

Welcome to the world of being disabled and in need. Domestic violence and sexual assault services around the world are supposed to be available to assist people in crisis as well as those who are undergoing long term abuse and are ready to seek help. Yet, all facilities are not created equal, and the amount of help available to you very much depends on who you are; discrimination against trans women, for example, is a recurring problem, but so is discrimination against disabled people, who may find services inaccessible or actively hostile.

Continue reading “Access Denied: Crisis Centers and Disabled People” »

Crude Violations: BP Is Dumping Toxic Waste In Low Income Communities of Colour

The Gulf oil spill that has been capturing the news cycle in the United States for the last few months finally appears to be under control, and now we’re faced with a common problem: We have a whole lot of waste from the spill and associated cleanup, and it needs to go somewhere. This includes crude oil, equipment used by cleanup crews, soiled booms, and all kinds of other spill-associated detritus.

According to a story published at Colorlines last week, nine landfills in the Gulf region have been selected as sites for disposing of waste. Waste management authorities claim the material isn’t toxic, which means that regular municipal landfills, rather than landfills specifically designed to handle hazardous waste, are being used. Of the nine landfills chosen, five are located in low income communities of colour.

Continue reading “Crude Violations: BP Is Dumping Toxic Waste In Low Income Communities of Colour” »

Disability and Reproductive Justice

Reproductive justice includes the right to control the timing and spacing of children, if one wants to have them at all, but the issue of starting families and the right to have children is often overlooked, particularly among mainstream organisations. For some groups of marginalised people (such as the LGBQT community and communities of colour), this right is critically threatened and in need of protection just as much as the right to access contraception and abortion services is; among disabled people, for example, there is a very real risk that the right to have and keep children without interference will be restricted thanks to attitudes about disability and parenting.

There’s a common belief that disabled people are not capable of parenting, particularly if they have cognitive, intellectual, or developmental impairments, or if they have physical impairments. An estimated 30% of disabled people, in contrast with 40% of nondisabled people, are parents struggling in a world where the right to parent is not protected if you don’t have a normative body or brain. When your child can be taken from you because of who you are, you live in a constant state of tension; simply wheeling down the street with your child can become a balancing act. Continue reading “Disability and Reproductive Justice” »