Tag: Disabilities

It’s Now Boris’ England

Yes, it is

It appears that the British National Health Service has decided to issue do not resuscitate orders for learning and developmentally disabled patients with Covid-19, because the UK was never properly de-Nazified at the end of the 2nd World War, I guess.

It’s something that I take kind of personally, since I have a nephew who, if he lived in the UK, would be subject to this sort of bigotry:

People with learning disabilities have been given do not resuscitate orders during the second wave of the pandemic, in spite of widespread condemnation of the practice last year and an urgent investigation by the care watchdog.


The Care Quality Commission said in December that inappropriate Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices had caused potentially avoidable deaths last year.

DNACPRs are usually made for people who are too frail to benefit from CPR, but Mencap said some seem to have been issued for people simply because they had a learning disability. The CQC is due to publish a report on the practice within weeks.

The disclosure comes as campaigners put growing pressure on ministers to reconsider a decision not to give people with learning disabilities priority for vaccinations. There is growing evidence that even those with a mild disability are more likely to die if they contract the coronavirus.


Younger people with learning disabilities aged 18 to 34 are 30 times more likely to die of Covid than others the same age, according to Public Health England.

Most people would call this horrifying, but I imagine that the Tories consider this an unintended benefit, because it reduces costs.

Support Your Local Police

So, a mother calls because her 13 year old, who is on the autism spectrum, is having a meltdown because of separation anxiety.

The cops promptly escort her out of the house, (great way to deal with a separation anxiety freakout) and almost as promptly shoot the boy multiple times.

Clearly, we should expect a statement from the police that this kid was no angel.


A 13-year-old boy with autism was shot several times by police officers who responded to his home in Salt Lake City after his mother called for help.

Linden Cameron was recovering in a Utah hospital, his mother said, after suffering injuries to his shoulder, both ankles, his intestines and his bladder.

Golda Barton told KUTV she called 911 to request a crisis intervention team because her son, who has Asperger’s syndrome, was having an episode caused by “bad separation anxiety” as his mother went to work for the first time in more than a year.

“I said, ‘He’s unarmed, he doesn’t have anything, he just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming,’” she said. “He’s a kid, he’s trying to get attention, he doesn’t know how to regulate.”

She added: “They’re supposed to come out and be able to de-escalate a situation using the most minimal force possible.”

Instead, she said, two officers went through the front door of the home and in less than five minutes were yelling “get down on the ground” before firing several shots.

“He’s a small child,” she said. “Why didn’t you just tackle him? He’s a baby. He has mental issues.”

In a briefing on Sunday, Sgt Keith Horrocks of Salt Lake City police told reporters officers were responding to reports “a juvenile was having a mental episode” and thought Cameron “had made threats to some folks with a weapon”.


Regarding the incident in Salt Lake City, Neurodiverse Utah said in a statement: “Police were called because help was needed but instead more harm was done when officers from the SLPD expected a 13-year-old experiencing a mental health episode to act calmer and [more] collected than adult trained officers.”

Barton launched a fundraiser to cover her son’s medical bills. She described Cameron as a typical young boy who loves “video games, four wheeling and long-boarding”. She also demanded answers about why her son was not subdued.

Let’s be clear, this was not just violence, it was extreme cowardice.

These cops are cowards, and they are trained to be cowards, living their lives in bed wetting fear.

That’s what all the hyper violent training, including the notorious Killology, is all about maintaining a state of hypervigilance reinforced by a willingness to use hair-trigger violence.

It is not just cowardice, it is a recipe for creating PTSD, and I do not want peace officers to have PTSD.

AI Scams

In this case, it is food delivery robots known as Kiwibots, which, in addition to frequently blocking curb cuts in ways that threaten the lives of the disabled, lies about their use of artificial intelligence to navigate.

In reality, it uses remote operators in Columbia who are paid only $2.00/hour:

It seemed inevitable with the era of the autonomous car, ideas like the Kiwibots emerged. Small ostensibly autonomous vehicles that were in charge of food distribution, thus posing an alternative to courier services such as Glovo, Deliveroo or Uber Eats where deliveries are carried out by human messengers through the bike.

Everything seemed fantastic until it has been discovered that these vehicles have little of self-employed: an investigation has discovered that in reality these robots are remotely controlled by operators in Colombia who charge $2 per hour for this work.


This startup, called Kiwi Campus, launched small robots that looked like small carts with four wheels and a storage compartment at the top for orders. The robots became a sensation in the surroundings of that university, where the activity of the autonomous vehicles began.


The people in charge of the Kiwibots have several videos on their website that show how these messenger robots work: theoretically, the magic is provided by a complex artificial vision system that is able to recognize obstacles and detect when they can cross the street or not.


What was not shown to us as indicated in the San Francisco Chronicle is that they are remotely controlled by human operators who use the GPS sensors and cameras of these robots to send orders to the robots every 5 or 10 seconds.

On Kiwi Campus, they have recognized that there is indeed a part of human remote control, but for them, their service is a “parallel autonomy” system. The robots also circulate at a very reduced speed that goes from 1.6 to 2.4 km/h, which makes Kiwi workers have to pick up food orders from restaurants and go to the Kiwibots points of Departure to put the foods in the storage compartments of the robots and then make deliveries.

The model is unique, but it has more secrets than it might seem and much less autonomy than the robots seemed to raise – each of them costs $ 2,500 – initially. The ideal benefits from the low cost of the workforce that controls them: the operators that handle them in Colombia charge $2 per hour, a much lower cost than installing, for example, LIDAR systems – which would be difficult to integrate into these robots.

Seriously, why do we let fraudsters extract private profits from public space based on their lies?

About F%$#ing Time

The Supreme Court has ruled that blind people can sue businesses for having websites that are inaccessible to the disabled.

This is good for 2 reasons.

The first is that it’s a place of business, and places of business are required to be accessible to the disabled. There should be no get out of jail card for, “Because………Inernet.”

The second is that if they offer alternate websites that are disability friendly, these will be far less likely to be orgies of poorly written JavaScript that take 5 minutes to load.

The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for blind people to sue Domino’s Pizza and other retailers if their websites are not accessible.

In a potentially far-reaching move, the justices turned down an appeal from Domino’s and let stand a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling holding that the Americans With Disabilities Act protects access not just to restaurants and stores but also to the websites and apps of those businesses.

Guillermo Robles, who is blind, filed suit in Los Angeles three years ago and complained he had been unable to order a pizza online because the Domino’s website lacked the software that would allow him to communicate. He cited the ADA, which guarantees to people with a disability “full and equal enjoyment of the goods and services … of any place of public accommodations.”

Profiting from Being a Public Nuisance

I am referring, of course, to the so-called “Sharing Economy”, in this case the scooter companies, who are making lives of the disabled a living hell, but what the hell, there’s money to be made:

Alex Montoya, who wears prosthetics on both arms and his right leg, used to enjoy walking in his East Village neighborhood where he lives. No longer. Now he fears for his safety because every day he is dodging scooters travelling at high speeds down the sidewalk. Several times scooters strewn across his path also have caused him to nearly trip.

In recent months, dock-less scooters have become more common throughout San Diego’s neighborhoods. They are ubiquitous. This proliferation has occurred in an unregulated and haphazard fashion. For many scooters may be a nuisance. For others they may be a convenience. However, for blind people and people with mobility impairments, the presence and use of these scooters deny them access to public walkways and pose a serious risk to their safety.

Yesterday, the law firm of Neil, Dymott, Frank, McCabe & Hudson, and Disability Rights California filed a class action lawsuit https://www.disabilityrightsca.org/cases/montoya-et-al-v-bird-rides-inc-et-al on behalf of people with disabilities in the U.S. District Court under the Americans with Disabilities Act and state anti-discrimination laws. The suit challenges the failure of San Diego and private scooter companies to maintain accessibility of the city’s public sidewalks, curb ramps and cross walkways for people with disabilities. Plaintiffs are seeking an Order prohibiting the scooter companies from operating on public walkways and denying access to San Diego’s disabled residents.

“People with disabilities should not have to stay in their houses because they are afraid to venture out the door due to scooters blocking their pathway everywhere they go,” said Ann Menasche from Disability Rights California, one of the attorneys for the Plaintiffs. “They have a right to use the city sidewalks just like everyone else who lives or visits here.”

“The Scooter companies have treated our free public walkways as their own private rental offices, show rooms and storage facilities. The city has done nothing to stop them,” said Bob Frank, of Neil, Dymott Attorneys. “People with disabilities need to have access to city sidewalks and their needs must come first.”

Aaron Greeson, one of the Plaintiffs, who is blind, and visits the City several times a week, explained, “I never leave the Blind Center anymore. I’ve already fallen once because of the scooters. I don’t want it to happen again.”

These folks make money by stealing the public commons from the rest of us.

This isn’t disruption, it’s privatizing the profits and socializing the costs.

Quote of the Day

Police Don’t Need Better Training; They Need to Stop Treating Noncompliance as Justification for Violence.

The Nation

This is an article about how police departments routinely treat disabled people as violent, because the disabilities prevent immediate compliance, and police routinely apply violence to any form of noncompliance.

Magdiel Sanchez, a 35-year-old Latino man, was sitting on his porch in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night as two law-enforcement officers approached his house. He got up and walked toward them, when, according to news reports and a statement, the officers noticed he was holding a metal pipe. They started giving him “verbal commands” to lie down, then one fired his Taser and the other shot him in the chest with his sidearm. Sanchez died. Officers later claimed not to have heard neighbors shouting that Sanchez was deaf and couldn’t hear their commands.

The police were there because allegedly Sanchez’s father had been in a hit-and-run (injuring property, not people, if the accusations are true). Sanchez carried the pipe, neighbors said, to ward off dogs. He was deaf and reportedly developmentally disabled. In a statement, the ACLU said, “Magdiel Sanchez was shot at his own home, without having committed any crime, and in front of neighbors who knew he was deaf trying to communicate to the police that what they were about to do was wrong.”

Sanchez is far from the first deaf or disabled person to be killed or brutalized by police. It happens almost every day. According to The Washington Post, police have shot 165 people in mental-health crisis in the first 263 days this year (and 715 total). When you add people like Sanchez and individuals with invisible, undiagnosed, or unrevealed disabilities, the numbers start to get much higher. In a white paper I co-wrote in 2016 for the Ruderman Foundation, I noted that disability-rights advocates routinely argue that a third to a half of all people killed by police are disabled. Most of those people, especially in cases where police clearly misused lethal force, turn out to also be marginalized by race, class, gender orientation, or other factors that intensify vulnerability.


At least four disabled people died at the hands of police this week. One previous case of unjustified police violence came to light. Except for the brief media attention of the Sanchez and Leibel cases, that’s a pretty normal week. It’s unlikely anyone will be held accountable, except possibly in the situation where Leibel, a white teenager in an affluent neighborhood, was brutalized. There, the combination of powerful video, a compelling victim, widespread coverage, and a good lawyer might help. In the other cases, the multiply marginalized status of the victims plus the lethality of the encounter will make accountability difficult, if not impossible. And then next week, alas, the same types of stories will play out again, and more people will die.

The subhead on the article quoted above makes it clear:  The problem is not individual police officers, or even individual policies.

Rather the problem is the intersection of court decisions and law enforcement culture which makes the application of violence routine, and in fact rewarded, in circumstances that no decent human being would do so.