Links, October 24, 2022

Good morning, all! Hope you had a good weekend. We went to The Edward Hopper exhibit at the Whitney Museum this weekend.

The NAEP scores came out and were predictably horrible. Also, growing evidence that many young people are suffering from social anxiety and other mental health issues after the pandemic. Gee, who could have predicted this?

Now that Ian is in a good school from 8 to 2:35 every day, I’ve started researching local social groups and work opportunities to fill up his evening and weekends. All this research is giving me a window onto the extreme isolation of the disabled community and their families, and making me more interested in building community centers. In a couple of weeks, I’m hosting a group of parents at my house to share information about colleges that support people with disabilities, because nobody else is giving us this information.

I’m completely addicted to Spelling Bee.

Shopping: I’m looking for the best green sweater. A winter dress. Taking advantage of the sales on fall coats at J. Crew. I like the camel coat, but I got it a size larger to fit a sweater underneath. A fun jacket for running around town. A romance novel to read when I get insomnia. I’ve put new items at Amazon on the sidebar. If you need to make a purchase an item on Amazon, please use one of the sidebar links. Thanks!

9 thoughts on “Links, October 24, 2022

  1. Really like the green sweater, dress, and coat! Wool winter coats aren’t a big thing in the PNW because it is usually rainy, but not all that cold, but they do add style. But the boiled wool might withstand the rain.


  2. I very much agree with you about the need for community centers and spaces that serve a broad section of a neighborhood. We had a fairly robust community center system in the city before the pandemic (though tending to concentrate on serving typical 3-12 year olds, which is what I knew). But there were groups that were accommodating (my kids took a martial arts class that was taught by a special education teacher who was good with quirky kids). There were some autism teen groups, teens in public housing groups, knitting circles for older people, . . . . Now, there’s less. Staffing is the huge issue.

    I don’t know how we’re going to get the paid staffing back.


  3. My nodding my head in support had me thinking about what I’d be willing to support to operationalize the vision you tweeted. An easy one for me, is higher taxes. And, I think our city would support higher taxes in a vote, so I’m not the only one. I would personally take crafting classes and would love access to a maker space with laser cutters, 3-d printing, sewing machines, . . . . That could bring in a demographic that isn’t usually in community centers (empty nesters, . . . .). There’s a model of such a makerspace through the library system, but not near me, and with still limited access (with covid worries still limiting the use). I also see a real need for resources for older people.

    I don’t know personally what disability access would look like. It is a notable inverse of your comment that families with disabilities are isolated that I don’t know any. I know people of many races, and a fairly large range of SES, adults and children who are LGBTQ, including non-binary and trans. But, I don’t know anyone with disabilities significant enough that they receive services.

    I do think that offering this community space, rather than trying to make schools into everything, is the way to grow community. And, I agree that community rehabilitation is something we need now. The pandemic has exacerbated the trends of staying home, shrinking social circles, . . . .


  4. I thought the description for the webinar would appear but it hasn’t so here it is:

    “Building Equity into the Talent Pipeline: Innovative Strategies to Support Career and Workforce Readiness for Individuals with Disabilities”

    –Join us for a special discussion with the Honorable Taryn Mackenzie Williams, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. Assistant Secretary Williams will share federal efforts to support workforce transitions among individuals with disabilities.

    –Dr. Laura Owens, president of TransCen and Lori Cooney, Program Director for Inclusive Education and Curriculum Design at UMass Boston will describe interventions for individuals with disabilities from two ends of the talent pipeline – design strategies for integrated employment for young adults and a technology platform to support career awareness among elementary grade students.

    Amanda Winters from the National Governors Association will comment on state interest for adopting innovative employment strategies.


  5. Have you checked out the Center for Independent Living (CIL) in your area? These are federally-mandated organizations that must by law have a majority of people with disabilities on their Boards of Directors and staff. Their mission is to provide services that enable consumers to live independently, or as independently as possible. They have peer-provided services including how to hire/supervise a personal assistant, how to access benefits, some have vocational rehab services/job finding services, finding housing including supportive housing, etc, etc. And, they often have consumer groups around art, policy advocacy, mutual support — whatever there seems to be an audience for. I was on the Board of our local one for several years. There are always several people with autism involved in the various programs.


    1. The directory says that there’s a group about 20 minutes away, but I never heard of it and don’t know anybody who attends. My guess is that’s it’s aimed at poor, severely disabled people, and the condition of the space scares away families like ours. But I’m not sure. Will look into it. Thank you!!


      1. You’re partly right — because services arae free, poor people are (or can be) a significant part of the consumer group. But you will also find people who simply benefit from the peer-led aspect. There is no special emphasis on people with high-functioning autism, which might be what you’re looking for, but there is plenty of room for them.


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