Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Disability
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-07-08 15:24
A challenging and beautifully diverse reading experience
Matt: More Than Words - Hans M. Hirschi

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel. I have read quite a few of Hirschi’s novels and have enjoyed them all, and some are among my favourites in recent years. He combines some of the characteristics that I most admire in authors: he writes strong and diverse characters, no matter what particular challenges they might be faced with; he carefully researches the topics he touches on (even when some of them might seem only incidental to the novel, he makes sure nothing is left to chance) and uses his research wisely (never banging readers on the head with it); and he does not shy away from the ugliest and harshest realities of life, while at the same time always dealing sensitively and constructively with those. His stories are not fairy tales, and they force us to look at aspects of society and of ourselves that perhaps we’re not proud of, but if we rise to the challenge we’ll be rewarded with an enlightening experience. And a great read. This novel is no exception. We follow the life of Matt, a young man diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to birth complications, for a few rather momentous months. The book, narrated in the third person, is told from three of the main characters’ perspectives. The novel is mostly Matt’s, or at least as good an approximation at what Matt’s experience might be as the author can achieve. It is a difficult task, and he expresses it better than I can in his acknowledgements at the end (‘How does one write about someone in whose situation you’ve never been? How do you give voice to someone who has none? And maybe, most importantly, how, without being insensitive, without objectifying, generalizing, stereotyping, in short without being a “dick”, do you tell a story that needs telling, about someone who could actually be out there, right now?’). He also explains that he shared his early drafts with experts (people with cerebral palsy and their carers), and, in my non-expert opinion, he manages to depict what the daily life of the protagonist would be like. The other two main characters, Timmy, a professional carer who is Matt’s personal assistant at the beginning of the story but gets removed from his team due to a misunderstanding, and Martha, Matt’s mother, are also given a saying and some of the chapters are told from their perspective. Timmy is a lovely young man, a carer in the true sense of the word, and he has a real calling for the type of job he is doing. Martha is a devoted mother who found herself in a tough situation when she was very young and who has poured her heart and soul into looking after her son. Neither one of them are perfect (nor is Matt for that matter), and they make mistakes, lose heart and faith at times, and can feel overwhelmed or despondent, but they never give up and always have Matt’s best interests in mind. Of course, I’ve already said that this is not a fairy tale. Far from it. We all know and have heard about some of the terrible things that happen: abuse, neglect, lack of resources, and although in this case there is no political and/or social oversight (Matt has access to a package of care and the family is reasonably well-supported, something that unfortunately is not the case everywhere), somehow things still go wrong, and we get to see what it must be like to be the victim of such abuse when you are totally unable not only of physically defending yourself but also of even talking about it. Terrifying. Not everybody is suited for this kind of work, and it is sad to think that those in the most vulnerable circumstances can be exposed to such abuse. And yes, because of the level of need and the limited resources, sometimes the vetting procedures are not as stringent as they should be. (The current health crisis has highlighted how much we expect of some workers and how little a compensation they receive for their efforts). Communication and how important it is to try to make sure everybody can communicate and become as independent as possible is one of the main themes of the book. The experience of living locked up inside your own body, with other people not even aware that you know what is going on around you and always making decisions for you comes through very strongly in the book. Matt knows and worries about how he is perceived by others, has internalised many of the attitudes he’s seen, and the comments he has overheard, and many aspects of life we take for granted are like an impossible dream to him. Speaking, going for a walk, even deciding what to watch on television, are tasks beyond his scope. The research into ways to facilitate communication and to increase independence is highlighted in the novel, and the role new technologies (including AI) can play is explored. With the appropriate investment, there’s little doubt that this could make a big difference in the lives of many people. Martha’s difficult situation (she wishes her son to fulfil his potential and be able to do what any other 23 years old normally does, but she’s also fiercely protective of him and does not want to get her hopes up for them to only be crushed again), the personal price she has to pay, the way she has to sacrifice any semblance of a normal life to keep looking after Matt, her worry about the future… are also convincingly depicted. And Timmy’s own feelings and his acknowledgment of his own limitations ring true as well. Family relationships feature strongly not only in the case of Matt, but also of Timmy, originally from Africa and adopted by Caucasian parents, a loving couple who accept him as he is, and Chen, Timmy’s friend and ex-boyfriend, whose parents are more understanding than he thought they’d be. The writing style is compelling and descriptive, although the descriptions are focused on the emotions and feelings rather than on the outward appearance of people and things. I found the story moving, and although it is not a page-turner in the common sense of the word, I was totally engulfed in it and couldn’t put it down, even when some of the events were horrifying at times and made me want to look away. The novel ends in a positive note, and I hope that in real life everybody in Matt’s situation will have access to a fulfilling life, if not now, in the very near future. As a society, we can do much to help, and we should. This novel reminded me of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (yes, the famous screenwriter who ended up in the blacklist, one of Hollywood’s Ten), whose movie version I saw as a teenager (also directed by Trumbo), and I’ve never forgotten. The main character there is a WWI soldier who is so severely injured during the war that he ends up unable to move and to communicate, or so those around him think. Although the circumstances are very different (the main character there had led a normal life before and has many memories, although if that makes his life better is a matter of opinion), and I’m sure this novel will appeal to people looking for a book focusing on diverse characters and exploring the world beyond our everyday experiences. As I’ve explained, it is not a comfortable and easy read, but one that will challenge us and make us look at life with new eyes. If you are up for the challenge, the rewards are immense.

Like Reblog Comment
photo 2020-06-16 09:19
Medical Insurance

Looking the Affordable Health Insurance or Critical Care Insurance call us at | 703-929-0276! Keep in mind that not all of them will be able to provide you with up to the mark services .So US HEALTH the best one for Health Insurance Companies for Health Insurance Quotes . Get free a quote for more info visit the source.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-06-06 14:37
The Sound of Silence
The Sound of Silence - Myron Ulhberg

by Myron Uhlberg




This is the story of a boy with normal hearing growing up with deaf parents and the issues that caused in a time when disability awareness was significantly less than it is now. It's a very personal story and the situation put a lot of responsibility onto a small child that was often stressful and at times heartbreaking.


Acting as an interpreter between his parents and the hearing world from the time he could talk, young Myron was sometimes put in the uncomfortable position between his father's temper flashes and people he didn't want to insult. Worse, when his younger brother developed epilepsy, he was the one who was expected to deal with seizures that his parents couldn't hear happening.


It was a lot to expect of a child and prevented him from having a normal childhood. Often the cruelty of ordinary people was such that they referred to the parents as "dummies" because they couldn't communicate in ways the general population were used to. It's an ongoing problem today with companies that only offer customer service by phone, assuming anyone deaf can afford specialist equipment for phone communication and not catering to the hard of hearing at all.


It was well written and gave insight into the life of a person born into unusual circumstances. I felt it ended at just the right point too, though I wonder how his parents got on after he grew up and moved away. I think this kind of story is useful for people to get insight into what it's like to grow up in a family where disability creates special circumstances, so those who haven't had this experience can develop empathy for the diversity of people who live among us.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2020-05-18 18:59
The World Crashing All Around by thepinupchemist
The World Crashing All Around - thepinupchemist

A cute fanfic starting with Dean and Cas making friends as 8 year olds in 1987, then at ages 13, 17 and finally as 29 year olds.

Source: archiveofourown.org/works/1519844
Like Reblog Comment
text 2020-04-06 09:59
Turn Your Home Into Your Workplace With an Over Chair Table

Probably, nobody would want to get a pay cut as long as they are in a position to go to the office and work. However, several circumstances arise at times that render them unable to do so. They may range from anything like a severe accident to a prolonged illness causing weakness to ageing related issues. Disability aids come to their rescue in such times and help them upkeep their self-reliance.


One of the important disability aids is an over chair table. It fits on to the chair easily and enables people with mobility restrictions to perform activities like reading, dining, eating or working on a laptop.


So, let's see how you can stay at home while recuperating and still save yourself from a pay cut by upkeeping your work efficiency in case you have a desk job.


Factors to Optimize Your Work from Home


1. Lighting


The quality of lighting can influence your productivity, mood and well-being.


Poor lighting - whether too dim or too bright can strain your eyes. The best kind of light is the type that is neither too dim nor too bright and soothes your eyes - the natural daylight. If it isn't feasible, try to go for a desk lamp that simulates daylight.


Besides, the positioning of lights also matters. The lighting should be uniform enough so that you don't have to squint but also ensure that it doesn't cause glare on your laptop screen.


For that, you need to position your desk lamp in a way that the bottom of your lampshade is about the height of your chin when turned on.


2. Sound

While at home, there are so many noises around you that can divert your attention. There may be horns honking outside, neighbours' chattering, dogs barking, etc. If you think that these noises may reduce your efficiency, use a good-quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones and play some soothing music to enhance your focus.


5. Chair

After your table, your chair forms the other crucial piece of furniture that helps you work comfortably. While buying an ergonomic chair, you should look for the following features.

  • Lumbar Support -Your chair should support your lower spine and the curve in its back should follow the natural curve of your lower back.

  • Height -A height-adjustable chair may be an ideal option as you can set its height as per your comfort level and desk. While adjusting height, make sure your feet lie flat on the floor instead of dangling.

  • Arm Rests -Your arm rests should be at a height that prevents your shoulders from hunching and keeps your arms parallel to the floor.

  • Reclining Ability -If you have spine issues, a recliner chair variant may be a better choice than a non-reclining variant. A tilt angle of 135° is generally ideal for your spine rather than 90°.

  • Material - Though the choice of material is generally subjective, you should consider a material that keeps you cool in summer and warm in winters for prolonged sitting periods.

For instance, a velvet back chair may be suitable for winters and a mesh or cotton back chair may be suitable for summers. Further, the material of your chair should be durable and long-lasting.


In a Nutshell

Just like all disability aids, an over chair table helps make your life easier by letting you transform your home into a makeshift workplace and continue working seamlessly even when away from your office.


More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?