Posts Tagged ‘Disabilities’

Vintage sex education tape for people with disablities: referred to as “trainables”

August 3, 2008

NSFW..probably.  Very, very creepy.

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Exoskeleton to be used to one day help the elderly and parapalegics to freely walk again

June 14, 2008

I heard an amazing story on NPR today. Please see the excerpt below. While Skynet will one day destroy humanity, it’s refreshing to see that not all technology is out to kill Sarah Connor.

Full story: NPR’s Weekend America: Monty’s Lifesuit: From Science Fiction to Fact
This weekend, San Francisco hosts the 2008 RoboGames. Last year’s event attracted more than 3,000 spectators — they came to see robots and their human inventors compete in races, weightlifting and all-out robo-smackdowns.

But one returning champion from Seattle has a bigger mission in mind. Reporter Jeremy Richards has the story:

Like any good superhero story, Monty Reed’s journey starts with a single terrifying event. In 1983, fresh out of high school, Monty joined the Army, eventually securing a place with the elite Airborne Rangers. He had 38 successful jumps. But something went wrong on his 39th jump.

“We were doing a night jump,” Reed says. “It was battalion-wide, so it was hundreds of parachutes in the air, and somebody’s parachute came too close to me, and that stole the air. So my canopy collapsed, and I hit the ground.”

On impact, Monty broke his back in several places. He spent a year recovering at a hospital in Ford Ord, Calif.

“While I was in the hospital, paralyzed legs, fingers on both hands paralyzed, the doctors told me your condition is permanent and it will get worse. So get used to it.”

Monty didn’t accept this. He took out a pad of paper and wrote across the top: “Monty Shall Walk.” To distract himself from the pain, he found solace in science-fiction novels. That’s when inspiration hit:

Watch the results of his inspiration. More info. available at They Shall Walk.

Wendy Portillo of Port. St. Lucie, FL-Ignorant teacher has her kindergarten students “vote out” their classmate with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of Autism)

May 28, 2008

You know, I try to keep it lighthearted here. But sometimes, a person commits an act so repulsive, so ignorant, and so unbelievably stupid that I can’t let it go. Case in point, Wendy Portillo, a kindergarten teacher at Morningside Elementary in Port St. Lucie, FL. Apparently, Portillo, hereafter to be referred to as “Classless Idiot,” lined up one of her students, Alex Barton,a 5-yr. old, in front of the classroom and had the classmates tell this boy what they didn’t like about him. Alex has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of Autism. So, at the insistence of their teacher, Classless Idiot who apparently forgot how to be a role-model, let alone demonstrate even simple grace, the classmates voted as to whether Alex should stay in class. By a vote of 14-2, the students, also 4 and 5 yr. olds, voted Alex out of class.

Classless Idiot, surprisingly defended her actions. She apparently felt quite justified in humiliating a child with a recognized disability, and showing the other students how you can be woefully ignorant and cruel even as an adult. Here’s to Classless Idiot getting canned. I’ll vote for that.

Lest anyone start to defend the Classless Idiot that is Wendy Portillo, one must realize a few things. First, I’ve worked with developmentally disabled children and adults in both a volunteer and professional setting for 8 yrs. So, attempting to justify Classless Idiot’s actions because I don’t know what a child with Asperger’s is like is futile. Second, my wife, like several of our friends, is an elementary teacher. Her jaw about hit the floor when she read the story. Not only could she not imagine a professional actually doing that, she commented on how quickly they’d be fired at her school. Of course, she teaches at a charter school, so teacher accountability is actually an ideal that is practiced (No unions to defend the indefensible). Third, it’s called being a human being; more specifically, a human with a shred of understanding for the challenges that Alex undergoes on a daily basis.

Drop school officials a line here. If you scroll down to the bottom you can see “Ms. Portillo” as well as her email address. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Click here to email her. If that doesn’t work, I’ll list her email here, which is readily available through a Google search.
portillow@stlucie.k12.fl.us

More here.

**Update**

From Asperger Square 8
Write the St. Lucie County School Board at
webmastr@stlucie.k12.fl.us

The school’s principal is Marcia Cully: (772)337-6730

Edit: A more complete list of contact information, gathered by Ari Ne’eman of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN):

Morningside Elementary School Principal: Mrs. Marcia Cully cullym@stlucie.k12.fl.us (772) 337-6730St.

Lucie County Schools Superintendent: Michael J. Lannon4204 Okeechobee Road Ft. Pierce 34947-5414 Phone: 772/429-3925 FAX: 772/429-3916 e-mail: lannonm@stlucie.k12.fl.us

St. Lucie County School Board Chair: Carol Hilson 772-519-0397 HilsonC@stlucie.k12.fl.us

Vice Chair: Judith Miller772-528-4545 MillerJ@stlucie.k12.fl.us

Please copy info@autisticadvocacy.org on any emails you send. ASAN asks that everyone use respectful language in addressing those listed.

Edit: Please visit this post at Autistic Nation. Christschool has provided form letters which can be used to address the school’s principal, superintendent, school board chairperson, state’s attorney, Department of Education and news media. Each letter details the legan and ethical violations commited, and calls for the resignation or dismissal of Wendy Portillo. The letters can be modified to make a more personal statement reflective of your own views.