Editor’s Column – April 2006

by Tim Benjamin The protest on March 23 calling attention to Peter Singer’s disability philosophy during his speech on vegetarianism […]

by Tim Benjamin

The protest on March 23 calling attention to Peter Singer’s disability philosophy during his speech on vegetarianism and animal rights at the University of Minnesota was a perfect example of how the disability community can come together to voice their opinions. I was very proud of all 50 or so of the people who got involved and spent an evening in the cold to show their commitment to our community. Thank you, everyone, and big thanks to Emily Smith and the University of Minnesota’s Disability Student Culture Center for all their organizing to make this event such a success. Thanks to Katheryn Ware, too. She gave a very passionate speech explaining how in Singer’s view people with disabilities, like her son, are non-persons.

Thomas Murray, a first-time writer for Access Press, has done an article on resistant infections that are spreading throughout the population. These bacteria at one time were most prevalent in hospitals and nursing homes but today the general population is being exposed more and more frequently. One of our local hospitals is doing a pilot program to study how hospitals can reduce the spread of infection. In the next couple months, I’m hoping that we can get some more information about this program and how well it’s working. Tom, thank you for the article and I hope we will be seeing more of your byline in months to come.

What’s happening on Minnesota’s Capitol Hill? We will be working on a summary for next month’s paper of legislation in this session that will affect the disability community.. As always at the Capitol, things move very slowly until the final explosion nearing the end of the session—then decisions are made quickly. All of our dedicated, award-winning lobbyists with the Citizens Consortium for People With Disabilities (CCD) have been keeping long hours to make sure our legislators are well informed about disability issues. Join them on your organization’s lobby day at the Capitol, or drop in on your own legislator any time.

We are planning some changes in Access Press’s presence on the Internet. We have had great success with our Web site and we’re hoping we can create more interactive opportunities for you to have input on articles and to let us know what is of interest to you. We’re hoping that a new interactive Web site will allow our readers to post their own articles and comments. If any of you have expertise, or suggestions on how we might best achieve some interactive opportunities for Access Press, please give us a call at 651-644-2133.

On March 11, United Cerebral Palsy held a wonderful fundraising event at the River Center. I hope they reached their goals; it was a great experience. I look forward to next year’s race.

Congratulations are in line for Minnesota’s wheelchair basketball team. All the athletes deserve our applause, as well as the coaches at all the sponsors. Thanks, guys, for the wonderful effort.

This month’s focus is on autism, a condition that describes a range of disabilities and special abilities, and one that science is only beginning to understand. Be sure to check out the Web resources we provide and get to know more during Autism Awareness Month.

Scott Adams, Access Press’s longtime cartoonist, has volunteered to work with staffer Terri Ricci to update the “Directory of Organizations.” If your organization would like to become a part of the directory for our next quarterly insert in July, call the office and we can give you the details on how to be included. Many individuals as well as organizations cut out the Directory to pin up on their bulletin board and keep as a handy reference of resources. We are very proud of the Directory of Organizations; it’s the brainchild of our founder, Charlie Smith. We would love to include your organization or association. Thanks, Terri and Scott, for your dedication to this project.

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