Inclusion Daily Express
Thursday, April 27, 2006
  J-Mac scores movie deal
Inclusion Daily Express

April 25, 2006

Basketball enthusiast Jason McElwain, 17, is getting a lot of attention -- from President Bush to Magic Johnson to Oprah Winfrey -- and now a movie deal. It makes a heart-warming story that the high school basketball team manager with autism broke school records by sinking six 3-pointers in the final few minutes of the final game of the regular season -- after being kept out for the entire season.

I think it's great that he is being seen as a valuable member of his team and school.

But, while he's being praised for his "superstar" performance, I worry for him. I worry that he is being exploited by everyone from Bush to Magic to Oprah and Columbia Pictures. I worry about the way the media is portraying him to get their latest "feel good" story instead of showing him as the rather ordinary teenager I assume he is.

I worry that people will get the wrong impression about people who have autism and other similar disabilities -- that they are, or should be, superhuman or savants.

Being drowned out by all the hoopla are a few unspoken questions: Why wasn't Jason allowed to be on the team from the beginning of the season? Why did his coach wait until his team was far ahead to allow J-Mac on the court?

It will be interesting to see if the movie includes answers to those questions, and also addresses the fact that the opposing team was asked to go easy on him -- something the "feel good" reporters have omitted.

Dave Reynolds, Editor
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
  He doesn't define himself by his disability. Why should writers?
Inclusion Daily Express
April 24, 2006

I found an interesting story related to the Clark v. Arizona case. The Arizona Republic did a cover story last week on Randall Howe, the state's attorney who argued the case before the U.S Supreme Court.

It turns out Howe has cerebral palsy. The article makes a big point of this fact, while explaining over and over that Howe does not define himself by his disability -- even noting at one point that "he won't let you do it either".

Yet, that's exactly what the article appears to be doing.

What do you think?

Dave Reynolds, Editor
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
  Killpack gets 5 years for daughter's water overdose
Inclusion Daily Express
Re: "Killpack To Spend Five Years Behind Bars For Daughter's Water Overdose"

Editor's comment: I have always had a hard time understanding how uncomfortable, painful, aversive "therapies" -- such as the "rebirthing" that killed Candace Newmaker, and the "over-correction" in which Jennete Killpack forced her daughter to drink a lethal amount of water -- are supposed to make a child "bond" with a parent who is initiating the aversion.

How have some people been able to convince themselves that this is "therapeutic"?

Dave Reynolds, Editor
Monday, April 10, 2006
  Don't accept DCs offers to be "community resource"
Inclusion Daily Express

Editor's Comment: As Agnews Developmental Center inches toward closure, the executive director has announced that the facility would now be offering medical and dental services to people with developmental disabilities in the community.

I've seen situations (particularly in Wash. State) where institutions offer to provide services to folks outside the facility as a tactic to become a valued "community resource", so they can therefore can go to lawmakers and say they are "indespensible" to the community.

The best way I've found to counteract this is to refrain from using them and instead work on developing those resources in the community, even if that means training doctors and dentists in the community.

Dave Reynolds, Editor
Sunday, April 09, 2006
  Welcome to the Inclusion Daily Express Weblog!
Inclusion Daily Express


This is the official weblog, or "blog", for Inclusion Daily Express, the international disability rights news service.

From time to time, we'll step out of the "hard news" to add some comments about news stories or some quick personal notes.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dave Reynolds, Editor
Inclusion Daily Express / Inclusion Weekly Review
International Disability Rights News Service
Commentary on disability rights issues and stories posted on Inclusion Daily Express, the international disability rights news service found at

Location: Spokane, Washington, United States
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