The Best of Disability Blogs and Banter


Photo by Magdalena Olszanowski/

Montreal’s disability community is fed up with only 10 percent of the city’s Metro stations being accessible. So about a dozen wheelchair users organized this protest and also have filed for $20,000 in damage claims against the system. “Montreal is far behind in terms of access to public transit,” said organizer Laurence Parent, noting that 30 of Toronto’s 69 stations are accessible.

Assisted Suicide Ad in NM: Yay or Nay?
We asked readers to tell us what they thought about our decision to run an ad from Compassion & Choices, an organization that promotes legalizing assisted suicide. The conversation quickly turned to the issue itself:

On a purely personal (and selfish) level, I would want to see assisted suicide legalized because I don’t want to contemplate some potential future scenario where my life just becomes a series of diminishing returns due to deteriorating health status. Knowing that I could have the power to “check out” whenever I want to would be a great reassurance.
Karen Hwang

When we live in a country that provides good comprehensive health care, adequate pain management and sufficient personal assistance services to all, then choosing to die may actually be a choice. Until then, it is simply being marketed as a “right” in order to get sheep to choose slaughter by the so-called “dignity” clothed wolves in the medical and governmental arenas.
Marsha Katz

If you click on the

[Compassion & Choices] ad, it says C&C celebrates the ADA. Their only purpose is expanding the availability of physician assisted death. ADA is about removing barriers in the built environment and stopping discrimination so we can each live life in the way we choose. C&C equates ADA with suicide. What a twisted subversion of the civil rights that so many of us fought long and hard for.
Janine Bertram

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bieberWhen Wheelchairs Are Cool
The celebrity gossip site TMZ posted pictures of Justin Bieber in a wheelchair. He was not at a hospital. He was at Disneyland. As everyone knows, Disney patrons in wheelchairs get to cut to the front of the lines. But as a dispute flared over whether this was Mr. Bieber’s intent, becoming a trending topic on Twitter, one fact remained unassailable: I was there first.

One of the great perks of being in a wheelchair — as I have been since age 4 — is being able to cut lines. Sometimes people let you go ahead of them at the grocery store. Sometimes theater and sports arena box offices give you discount tickets. You get treated like a V.I.P. You get treated like Justin Bieber, except without the screaming fans.

The teen heartthrob’s publicists said that he was just resting an injured knee, not trying to pretend he was, well, like me. But I prefer to think otherwise. After all, they also acknowledged that even without the wheelchair, he would still get to circumvent the endless queues, to avert a riot. The point is that he was not afraid to be seen in a wheelchair, which, to me, is a point for my team.
— Ben Mattlin,