dogs and disability advocacy

TEDx 2018

… with Lucy at TEDx 2018, Enabling Village.

It was good to read this article today in Mothership by my friend Cassandra Chiu about her experiences as the first female guide dog handler in Singapore, and the first (and still the only really effective) guide dog advocate in Singapore who has managed to herald in a new chapter of awareness, acceptance (albeit tentative) and even legislation for public access.

Yet, I still remember the huge fiasco at Ngee Ann City which attracted so much nasty criticism against Cassandra. I was in Sydney at the time, closely following Cassandra and Esme on their social media. I read with disgust the sick and heartless comments made against Cassandra, some grossly indecent and personal, and others just parochial, low-level jibes all too common among the average stubbornly uninformed Singaporean keyboard warriors that populate social media spaces. Even radio deejays got in on the act, calling her an “a**hole” on air. Yes, the radio station was fined but not for disability discrimination, mind you, the penalty was merely for using a censored word. Oh, and various online news articles seemed to delight in the “b*tch” word, probably because the half-baked ‘journalists’ just did not have the vocabulary to do better than that.

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regression aggression

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Lucy inside Qantas cabin 2016 11 26

I read with dismay and disappointment that Qantas no longer allows psychiatric assistance dogs on board. What was even more distressing, was reading the comments that followed the article in the The Australian.

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Screenshot.

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antinomy

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Starlight, star bright, what will you be tonight?

“You can’t be autistic! You have such good eye contact!”

“No, you’re not autistic are you? You’re so articulate and intelligent!”

“Amazing, you have such excellent credentials, I don’t believe you’re autistic!”

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Teetering on the edge of whose asininity?

“Oh, we’re sorry but we have a policy never to employ autistic people here.”

“Our apologies, but you do not suit.”

“I’m afraid autistic people do not qualify.”

Autistic Thriving @TEDx Pickering

 

“Autistic Thriving” – Dawn-joy Leong & Lucy Like-a-Charm. (Captions available on Youtube – please turn on cc option.)

Apologies for not posting this earlier.

“Just what you being made ‘aware’ of? And where are the Actually Autistic voices in this grand cacophony of opinions and interpretations?”

survey

Survey on Discrimination towards Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Singapore

If you identify as disabled / person with disability and you live in Singapore, please help us with this survey.

We are a disability-led collective, made up of people with different disabilities and allies, who want to initiate projects that will make a difference.

Please go to our survey on discrimination faced by disabled people / persons with disability in Singapore. Please click on the link and help us with your input! We’ll be updating everyone the results and analysis afterwards, of course.

 

 

vomitus

KatFury painting

“Portrait of Dawn-joy” by Kateryna Fury

(Photograph: Work-in-progress for 2013 exhibition, “Roaring Whispers,” featuring digital painting by Kateryna Fury, autistic paraplegic artist with Ehlas Danlos Syndrome, framed and installed by Dawn-joy Leong.)

This post may be incoherent. Babbly. Erratic. That is because wordedness is failing me right now, there is a huge chunk of festering goop hurtling around in rabid mockery inside my verbal brain. Forgive me. I hope the message somehow transcends my lack of worded ability.

Disabilities is becoming a cute little pop-up-trend for inspiration porn these days. Take a look at this article, “We are not here for your inspiration.

It’s been weighing on my mind for a few days now, ever since that day, that horribly disappointing experience, which sent me into a spiral of despair. A thick, glutinous blob of nausea wedged between diaphragm and stomach. And a sinking feeling… Continue reading

all about me without me

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silent sonnet

A music symposium about music and disability, but no musician with disability represented. No voice of our own.

A prestigious art-work about disabilities, for people with disabilities, but not a single artist with disability in sight. All very ‘high-quality’ mind you, as if to say that disabled artists do not and cannot produce works of similar ‘high quality’ to serve our own community? No voice of our own. Continue reading

installing grace

 

Food – and the entire process of sourcing, preparing, arranging and imbibing – is a material entity that engages itself with my attempts at installing grace.

Especially when situated within a graceless space, an inclement situation, or as a gesture of self preservation on multiple dimensions which cannot be better expressed via other structural forms.

There are times when I create to address emotional excitement, other times merely a primitive sensorial response of the moment, and then there are the “doing-ness” when in out-of-body forms of catatonia (brought on by trauma). Food provides a physical, concrete and palpable elemental anchor, not merely for the taste buds, but on dimensions that my addled brain is at the moment unable to string words on behalf of.

Today, lunch was a deliberate, even laboured and determined installation of grace. Self administered Grace. In the midst of shock and momentary devastation.

What happens when people representing organisations listed as “help” agencies and “advocates” attack and abuse the very people they purport to be “helping” and “advocating” for?

Today, I called one such establishment. I was actually acting according to instructions by another legal authority to pursue this line of action, specifically on account of disability. Dutifully, obediently, the Aspie Brain executed the action.

“Shock”is too mild a word for this encounter. But it will have to suffice.

I was summarily told…

We are not here to make you feel more comfortable, you know?

No words.

Back to my installation. That does make me feel more comforted, even if not more comfortable.

There is something about installing grace…

let’s twist

Not succumbing to subtly sinister forms of discrimination, refusing to acquiesce to the persistent compulsion of bullying, and standing in the glaring sensorially triggering light, daring to make a stand for one’s Being: an extremely exhausting and debilitating exercise.

But it must be done. And so I shall do it.

The Oppressors know that, of course. I have learned, by now (what took me this long?), that it is for them a perverted form of ‘entertainment’ and ‘invigoration.’ A delicious morbid game of chance, in the casino of tyranny.

And so… the saga continues… for now anyway…

The actual scenes shift and change, like a never ending Theatre of Menacing Absurdities. Wherever there are bullies, there will be brutality in some form or other.

Currently showing in nickelodeon nearby: The Twisted Evil Twins Circus (otherwise known as the UnHoly Duo).

Some of the more ‘sticky’ snippets of the bizarre libretto that lend themselves to looping echoing effects:

“Well, you should have declared your autism in the rental application!”

“Well, let me tell you, in the future, if you ever wish to rent in Australia again, you must remember to state that you are autistic, as a polite courtesy to the property agent.

“You’re not the only person with problems, you know! My husband is dying! Do you understand, DYING!!! Do you want me to cry in front of you? Do you? Huh? Do you?????”

“Well, everything that is said inside this room is inadmissible in the court of law, so I can say whatever I want!”

Prancing in the shadows

Boxing in the dark

Breathing veiled threats

Murder in the park

Arhythmic Disorder

Screeching Chaos

Tangled Perplexity

Round and round and round and round…

This is not poetry

Just in case you ask

…Stayed tuned for the wrapping up of this episode… 27th January 2016.

cease & desist

SAMSUNG
petit déjeuner

“Your further emails to me constitute threat and harassment. Please cease and desist!”

Settling into the new site, space and situation. Tucking into a bacon and tomato sammich and a side slice with Nutella spread. Checking emails, and pondering the bizarre psychosis behind two recent communiqués.

Yes, the UnHoly Duo again. One half of that tragi-comedic pair continued to send me emails even after I had told them not to communicate with me anymore, as I had decided to leave the matter in the hands of the relevant authorities.

There were a few days of silence after what I thought was my final email, and then another dreaded missive arrived in my inbox. It was as if all that had transpired somehow had not. Almost surreal in a macabre sense.  Continue reading