Rob Pyne: Political Trailblazer

Rob Pyne in his mofified parliamemt chamber "seat"

Rob Pyne sitting in his modified parliament chamber “seat.” (Original photo from here)

The late Stella Young’s hilarious “inspiration porn” speech reminds us how overusing the word “inspirational” can seem cheesy or even condescending. However in the case of Rob Pyne, Member for Cairns in the Queensland Parliament and the first quadriplegic MP, the title of “inspirational” may just be appropriate. At the very least, Rob is in many ways impressive.

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Punching people with disabilities?

Photo of Queensland policeman using "reasonable force"Is punching people with disabilities ever OK?

That’s probably a question going through Oscar Pistorius’ mind quite a lot nowadays!

However, I’m not talking about him, I am instead referring to the recent controversial arrest of a disabled man and his partner at Sunnybank plaza.

The pair had allegedly stolen 12 bottles of wine.

Suffice it to say Queensland police brought the full face of the law down upon the alleged shoplifters, in a way most frustrated shopkeepers can only dream of.

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Do you want to play for Team Australia?

Opinion piece clip-art iconGraeme Innes wants to play for Team Australia, or more accurately he wants Team Australia to play for us.

However it’s probably not quite the same Team Australia metaphor that Tony Abbott has in mind.

Graeme is talking about disability employment, and while there are many people who want to be “picked” for Team Australia, it seems our elected representatives aren’t picking us.

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The Gammy Awards

Opinion piece clip-art iconAn article entitled Pity Porn on The Stringer website drew our attention to The Gammy Awards, one of the more interesting disability websites we’ve seen in a while.

The complete article is fairly lengthy but one part of it focuses on a truly awful publicity campaign recently run by the Multiple Sclerosis foundation of WA.

At the centre of the campaign was a TV ad called “Trapped”, which was so awful the ad was removed within hours of its release. You can watch the entire abominable 45 seconds of it right here.

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Unicorns, DSP bludgers and other tabloid fantasies

Unicorns fart rainbows!The Murdoch press have been serving it up again. This week’s tabloid fantasies are more gleeful DSP “bludger” vilification with a side-serving of welfare-reform schadenfreude. The breathless reporting is over the DSP reforms recently waved through federal parliament.

Here’s a summary of the headlines:

Herald Sun: Disability Pensioners told to get work

Daily Telegraph: Cleaning out the Disability Support Pension rorters: Review panel identifies more than 5000 on the scheme who can work

And here’s a bonus one from about a fortnight ago:

Daily Telegraph: It’s so easy to fudge a bludge: Online guides used to con doctors into giving out disability support pensions

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Graeme Innes’ top ten job tips

Opinion piece clip-art iconRemember Graeme Innes, the former disability discrimination commissioner who recently rather publicly lost his job? He has some suggestions for job seekers. Given he’s had a fair bit of experience applying for jobs often in difficult circumstances, it’s well worth a read.

Graeme covers a range of issues from whether and how to disclose your disability when applying, to the workings of the Australian Employment Assistance fund. His number one tip is as blunt as it is honest:

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Nobody is bound to a wheelchair

Opinion piece clip-art icon Meriah Nicholls, at The Mighty website, believes that a picture tells a thousand words.  Her article nobody is bound to a wheelchair is along the lines of our recent article a way with words but much better – because it has awesome pictures.

Meriah also profoundly dislikes Kanye West, an opinion we enthusiastically endorse. She dislikes some of the media’s coverage of the recent Kanye incident, specifically the overuse of “wheelchair-bound” in endless headlines.

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Kids say the darndest things

Opinion piece clip-art iconAs Bill Cosby used to say, kids really do say the darndest things. Whether it’s loudly asking in a public place why someone’s so fat, old or funny looking kids are often all curiousity and no tact. Invariably when these statement are made it’s with “the finger” pointed towards the subject of curiousity to make it that much harder to pretend nothing has been said.

Sometimes an explanation will be offered but in the case of disability the response is don’t look, don’t ask, don’t say anything…

It’s like disability is the topic-that-shall-remain-nameless, or as the Huffington Post put it, it’s like disability is Voldemort – don’t say its name!

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