Let me share with you one of the most amazing music videos you’ll ever see! I have met the women in this video–both the Deaf women and the women with all different kinds of disabilities–and they are some of the most awesome, passionate, visionary, world changing women leaders I have had the honor to have met. These 54 women from 43 different countries are doing incredible things in their home countries, changing society one little corner at a time so that it is more inclusive of Deaf and disabled women everywhere. Please, PLEASE — go watch this video!! Then when you’re done–please get a YouTube account (if you don’t already have one) so you can leave a positive comment about it. And click on the “like” button (looks like a thumbs up sign). Then click on the “Share” button so that you can tweet it … and facebook it … and otherwise share it with every person you know. Then encourage them to do the same thing. I want for the WHOLE WORLD to watch this video!
Can you feel their love and passion and energy just pulsating off the screen at you? I came home with an AWFUL headache tonight and just wanted to go to sleep … but when I watched this video, it had me tapping my toes and signing and singing right along with them! You will do the same — PLEASE GO WATCH RIGHT NOW!
The song is sung in English, Arabic, Spanish, and American Sign Language with English captions.
Disabled women activists change the world through YouTube music video: Loud, Proud and Passionate!(SM)
January 6, 2011 – Signing and singing with passion in Arabic, Spanish and English, 54 disabled women activists from 43 countries celebrate the achievements, pride and solidarity of women with disabilities around the world. These leaders are revolutionizing the status of women and girls worldwide. Filmed during MIUSA’s 5th International Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), the Loud, Proud and Passionate!(SM) music video release marks the beginning of MIUSA’s 30thAnniversary year-long celebration.
Watch and share the YouTube link:
Music Video: Loud, Proud and Passionate!(SM)
Our goal is to reach 2,500 views and to raise funds through donations for the next WILD program empowering women and girls with disabilities. Every donation large or small brings us closer to that goal! To donate, visit http://www.miusa.org/donate/wild.
WILD delegates in the video come from Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, United States of America, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The video is captioned. For the text video description in English click here.
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. For more information visit www.miusa.org.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
President Barack Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov page is now up and running. They have an Office of Public Liaison whose intent is to facilitate communication and engagement between Obama’s administration and the American public. I’ve already been making use of their form for emailing comments to the Obama administration Office of Public Liaison. (Note that each message is limited to 500 characters, including spaces and punctuation.)
These are some messages I have sent to them just this afternoon:
“Please designate one specific individual to be the liaison between Obama’s administration and Americans with disabilities. I voted for Obama because he was the only candidate to offer a truly comprehensive disability platform, including a pledge to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a woman with multiple disabilities, I want to continue to feel engaged with the political process. Having a direct contact on disability issues is essential to this engagement.”
“One of Obama’s most important campaign promises to people with disabilities was to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and encourage the US Senate to ratify it. The ratification and implementation of the CRPD is important to strengthening the protection of some key human rights not currently covered in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please ask Obama to start this process as swiftly as humanly possible.”
“Half of US jobs are provided by SMALL businesses and non-profits (fewer than 15 employees) not covered by the ADA. As a deaf person, I need expensive s.l. interpreters in order to do certain functions such as attending office meetings or training. This excludes me from half of the potential employment opportunities, even in cases where most of my work would not require accommodation. How does Obama plan to expand employment opportunities in SMALL offices for employees with disabilities?”
“I look to Obama to take a clear stand against torture as a profound violation of American ideals. Americans committing torture should be persecuted with rigor. Key decision makers who encouraged it or looked the other way MUST NOT escape accountability. Steps should also be taken to stop the perpetuation of conditions that encourage torture in the first place. Consult with Philip Zimbardo in planning this preventative process http://www.lucifereffect.com”
“Obama has pledged to improve the quality of education for children with disabilities. For Deaf children, this cannot happen without FULL communication access through American Sign Language. Yet many Deaf children are either in deaf schools where teachers are incompetent signers, or else they are integrated with incompetent sign language interpreters. Americans would not tolerate a majority of public education being conducted in ungrammatical, incomprehensible English. Why tolerate it for Deaf?”
“Please be sure that President Obama understands how much profound meaning it has to Americans with disabilities that he does sometimes remember to mention us, even if only in passing, in some of his speeches, including his election night speech and his speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial this weekend. I posted a letter about how I felt at tinyurl.com/5cfhc6 — since then, many people with disabilities from across the US and around the world have told me they shared my sentiments.”
“The US and other OECD countries pledged 0.7% of its GNI to foreign assistance for fighting poverty, disease, & ignorance. The US has miserably failed to meet this promise. The current global economic crisis demonstrates that the fate of all nations are closely intertwined: we simply cannot separate ourselves from developing countries. Increased stability in Africa could ultimately help us as well. This makes foreign assistance more important, not less, in the current economic crisis.”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Culturally Deaf people are standing in solidarity with people with disabilities protesting against pity.
No one likes it when others pity us for who we are: pity demeans us and de-humanizes us. At best, pity may trigger a momentary impulse to donate a few dollars to charity—for example, via Jerry Lewis’ annual US telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. But the pity remains entrenched long after the fundraising events are over. And people don’t just pity the people they give money to. They usually end up pitying any one who they think have disabilities, including people who may not even identify that way—for example proud, ASL-using, culturally Deaf people.
People who pity people with disabilities—or Deaf people—usually never think to challenge the assumption that we should be passive recipients of charity. They don’t think to question why we must still confront barriers to full participation in society, for example the lack of captions or sign language interpreters in many contexts where we need them. Fueling pitying attitudes undermines progress toward social equality for people with ALL disabilities. And, yes, the same pity also hurts Deaf people, INCLUDING Deaf people who abhor the idea that Deafness could equate “disability.” Individuals who pity people with disabilities may be more resistant to explanations about Deaf culture and the important cultural and linguistic issues that affect Deaf people because they are too busy pitying Deaf people for being unable to hear. People who respect the fundamental dignity and human rights of people with disabilities will also be more likely to listen to Deaf people when we talk about the importance of ASL and promoting pride in Deaf culture. People who pity spend less time listening because they mistakenly believe that pity is a noble emotion that they need to preserve by distancing themselves from the real lives, feelings, and beliefs of the people they are trying to pity. (These people need to learn the difference between pity and empathy, http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/protest-pity/)
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it will give Jerry Lewis its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on February 22, 2009. Both Deaf rights activists and also disability rights activists object to this award. During his decades of hosting the Labor Day Telethon, Jerry Lewis has perpetuated negative, stereotypical attitudes and pity toward people with muscular dystrophy and other disabilities. And, again, much of the pity that Jerry fuels has ALSO harmed progress for issues important to culturally Deaf, ASL using people as well.
Read and sign the petition protesting this award at: http://www.petitiononline.com/jlno2009/petition.html Strengthen the impact of your signature by using the comments area in the petition to explain in your own words why you support this petition. (Don’t be fooled by the tiny size of the comments window: if you wish, you can fit in several long sentences.)
Join the Facebook Group that is coordinating efforts to protest the award: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40538392681
Read what other bloggers say about the award, and why both the Deaf community and also the disability community is angry, at http://reunifygally.wordpress.com/bloggers-protesting-pity/
And write your own letter of complaint directly to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at: http://www.oscars.org/contact/general.html. Polite, tactful letters usually work best.
Please circulate this text freely. Thank you.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )