News, Views, and Information about Disability

Disability News, Views, Information, and Literature

Friday, August 31, 2012

Ever Feel Like You're Being Followed?

We love that feeling!

We created this blog for Ability Maine and Breath & Shadow to keep you apprised of any new disability news, views, and literature at our main site.

We'll also be posting here about articles, posts, and events on the web that might be of interest to people with disabilities in Maine or around the world.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Workshops for Grassroots Organizers in ME, NH, VT

Registration, Details AND TENTATIVE SCHEDULE for Annual GROW weekend—this should be a great weekend, so register soon!


Sept. 14-16, 2012 

Bryant Pond 4-H Camp, Bryant Pond, ME 

For New and Experienced Grassroots Organizers in Maine, NH, and Vermont to Learn More about Creating Grassroots Social Change 

GROW Schedule -- 2012 

11am to 1 pm Registration
12 Noon to 1 pm Lunch 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Skills for the Effective Organizer -Larry Dansinger
5:00pm to 7:00pm registration and dinner
7:00pm Intros and Building Community—Sha’an Mouliert and Wanda Braithwaite-Baril
9:00pm Networking and hanging out

8:00am to 9:00am Breakfast and late registration
9:00am to 9:30am Late introductions and workshop summary
9:30am to Noon
 (1) Leadership Development –Claire GĂ©linas
 (2) Overcoming Oppressions – Sha’an Mouliert
Noon to 12:30pm Before lunch break
12:30pm to 2:00pm Lunch and table discussion
2:00pm to 4:30pm
 (1) Grassroots Fundraising – Deanna Partridge
 (2) Media/Technology for Grassroots Groups – Hillary Lister
4:30pm to 5:30pm Evening Break and informal gatherings
5:30pm to 6:30pm Supper
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm Rejuvenating Ourselves – GROW Organizers
8:00 pm Talent Show – Bring Your Talent to Share

8:00am to 9:00am Breakfast
9:00am to 9:15am Announcements and getting ready for workshops
9:15am to 11:45
 (1) Working Together: Group Process/Decision-Making – Phui Yi Kong
 (2) Storytelling/Listening to Build a Group—Malika Baggins/Cassidy Need
12:00pm to 1:30pm Lunch and table discussion
1:30pm to 2:30pm Follow up and evaluations, help plan the next GROW, new workshops, where do we go from here? - Organizers will facilitate

Why GROW (GrassRoots Organizing Workshops) New England? 

We believe in a better world where there is: 

●Respect for civil liberties;
 ●Commitment to nonviolent conflict resolution;
●Economic justice and rights for all; ●Affordable health care, housing and education;
●A healthy environment & sustainable lifestyles;
●Celebration of diversity in age, race, gender, etc.

 In order to create a world that provides for the well-being of everyone, we have to ORGANIZE!

 In order to take back our power we have to ORGANIZE! 

In order to ORGANIZE we need to gather, learn, share and plan with each other!

Join new and experienced activists from northern New England as we: 

● Learn and teach about the “big picture” of social change.
● Gain new organizational skills.
● Learn about successful models
● Celebrate successes.

Cost: $10-$80 (actual cost is about $60-70/person, but pay what you can/all welcome) includes lodging (bring bedding), meals, all workshops, and use of outdoor facilities.

In addition to workshops (see list), GROW will use interactive methods to help attendees develop skills in planning actions/events, creating groups, and becoming better organizers. For a complete schedule and updated workshop offerings, please contact those below. Information will be added when confirmed, especially in September.

To register or for more information: Larry Dansinger (207) 525-7776 or

This year's GROW Theme is: “Skills for Organizers”  

Workshop Topics
●Grassroots fundraising
●Media and technology for grassroots action
●Developing grassroots leadership
●Overcoming oppression and celebrating inclusiveness
●Listening and storytelling to identify the issues
●Working together—good group process and decision-making

Food: Meals will emphasize local foods and will offer meat, vegetarian and vegan options. We can make individual adjustments as needed. Meals (and housing) are included in registration costs. Attendees will be asked to help with meal preparation or cleanup.

Travel arrangements: Call/email a contact person for ride sharing options.

Registration: We encourage people to register by September 10th to help with meal and travel planning, though last minute registrations will be accepted. Registration details and directions will be e-mailed after you register.  Contact: Larry: 207-525-7776,

Free Webinar on Reducing Inequities in Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Action is offering a free webinar on Wednesday, August 29 and Thursday, August 10, on inequities in breast cancer care.
Our focus will be how race-related barriers like language, culture, discrimination and a history of mistrust of the medical system radically inform healthcare experiences and serve as a contributor to breast cancer inequities.
More information on the webinars, including registration information, is available here.

BCAction is a grassroots, feminist organization devoted to ending the breast cancer epidemic. It has a strict corporate funding policy that allows it to be independent of corporate interests that help support the breast cancer epidemic. For example, BCAction advocates against "pinkwashing" and against carcinogens and chemicals in commonly used personal care and household products. It believes breast cancer is a social justice issue, as well as a health issue. Find out more about BCAction's missions and values here.

Follow BCAction on Twitter at @BCAction and on on their Facebook page.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Showing of "Living Downstream: Chemicals & Cancer" Aug 7

The Environmental Health Strategy Center will be showing the film, Living Downstream, this Tuesday, August 7 from 7pm to 8:15pm at the Beam Classroom at Bowdoin College, 239 Maine St., Brunswick, Maine. Click here for a map.

EHSC says about the film:
Living Downstream depicts the powerful story of ecologist and cancer survivor Dr. Sandra Steingraber and her work to raise awareness about toxic chemicals in our environment and their impacts on public health. The film follows Steingraber's year-long journey across North America as she works to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links. After the film we'll discuss initiatives happening right here in Maine and nationally to prevent harm from toxic chemical exposure. The event is free, but organizers request RSVPs by email or phone 207-699-5799 so they know how many people to expect.

For further details, including a trailer for the film, visit the Living Downstream event page at EHSC.

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Survive a Plague: Documentary of ACT-UP & TAG

Mike Reynolds offers an in-depth review of the forthcoming documentary, How to Survive a Plague, which he describes as "an intensely personal and authentic documentary about the early days of the AIDS epidemic."

Along with providing detail about the film's subject -- the raw energy, the intellectual rigors, the desperation to beat the system and the virus -- the review also covers the cinematic experience:
The film is edited beautifully, and the director, David France, was one of the first journalists to cover the AIDS crisis. Over 300 videotapes were used for the film, coming from the closets and attics of people involved in the movement and from the relatives of activists who died. The intimacy the video footage lends to the documentary cannot be understated; seeing an enraged Larry Kramer addressing activists during a disruptive meeting in which the Treatment and Drug Trial group split from the larger ACT UP was intense (the film’s title came from Kramer’s speech that day). This splinter group of elite activists went on to become the TAG, which would later be credited with spearheading major reforms both within the FDA and in the way drug trials are conducted.
If you were active in AIDS activism in the late '80s or early '90s, just reading Mike's review will bring back the energy and intense emotion of that era. Read the film review at Ability Maine. Please post comments on the review below! (You can also watch the trailer for the movie here.)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Languaging Disability: Where do "Ability" and "Dis/Ability" Fit In?

What word do you use for people who either have or don't have a disability, such as for an antidiscrimination policy? Do you say, "We welcome everyone, regardless of  age, race, religion, sexual orientation, class, gender, or ability?" Or do you say "dis/ability"?

In a new essay at Ability Maine, Sharon Wachsler argues against the use of "ability" to mean "disability" and offers two alternatives that she believes are more accurate, honest, and respectful.
Why is using "ability" this way problematic? The first reason is that it's inaccurate and misleading because whether or not one is disabled doesn't actually have much to do with one's abilities. I know that the letters "a-b-i-l-i-t-y" are contained in the word "disability," but the etymology of the word and its meaning as a social construct are not the same thing.
Read Languaging Disability by clicking here. (Have comments on the article? Agree? Disagree? Other ideas? Come back here to our blog and speak your mind!) 

Grassroots Organizing Workshop in ME, Sept 12-14

GROW (Grassroots Organizing Workshops) of New England is holding a weekend-long workshop in Bryant Park, Maine, on September 12 through 14:

Join new and experienced activists from northern New England as we:
● Learn and teach about the “big picture” of social change.
● Gain new organizational skills.
● Learn about successful models throughout the region.
● Celebrate successes.
Read all the details at here. And to keep up with grassroots activism, disability rights news, plus disability literature, culture, and reportage, subscribe to this blog and get regular updates about new articles, reviews, stories, and poems at Ability Maine and Breath & Shadow.