Quick Bites.


I'll Have the Regular Special

At a recent IEP meeting she attended, attorney Judith Gran reports that the school spoke of the student being in a "regular special ed class, not a special intermediate unit but a regular special ed class."

In a related story, a Public Agenda poll in June found that one in six parents of disabled kids has considered suing or threatened to sue the school district over services. "Parents feel that schools don't offer help unless families insist," the poll found.

New National Council Chair

Lex Frieden, director of ILRU, the Independent Living Research Utilization Programs at Baylor College of Medicine, is the new Chair of the National Council on Disability. Frieden, long a mover and shaker in IL, once told your editor how he got the cash to get to Berkeley and check it out. "I hit the Salvation Army for $50, then went down to Goodwill and said, 'Here's what they gave me toward this vital trip. I'll bet you can do better.' That one's worth putting in the grassroots fundraising file.

He succeeds Marca Bristo, who did a brilliant job in her eight years.

Non-Profit Hospitals Safer

A recent study in the U.S. conducted by Canadian researchers concluded that patients in for-profit hospitals are more likely to die than patients of non-profits1,400 more deaths every year in the U.S. About thirteen percent of American hospitals are private for-profits, often part of chains. "If Canada opens its doors to private, for-profit hospitals," the study said, "they would be the same U.S. chains."

The Urge to Kill with Care

Two nurses, one in Missouri at a general hospital and one in Texas at a VA hospital, have been charged with killing patients in their care (eight so farmore are being exhumed.) Both are charged with capital murder.

All victims discovered so far were disabled, most of them over the age of fifty-five.

Medical Privacy

The director of D.C.'s National Zoo denied The Washington Post a look at its animals' medical records in order the preserve the captives' right to privacy. Sounds familiar somehow.

Statistical Malpractice

"If nearly everyone you and I know hangs up on pollsters," Jack McEnamy asks in The New Hampshire Gazette, "who's talking to them?

Who's giving W the high marks?"

McEnamy reveals the dirty secret in survey research: "Americans refuse to tell perfect strangers over the phone what they think about anything." In some polls, 70 percent refuse to respond. So who does? "The gasbags and the bedsitters with nothing better to do," he says, citing the term physicists use to describe worthless research: "Not even wrong."

Just Goes to Show

Twin sisters who helped integrate New York City's public schools graduated from high school in June. One had told President Clinton about their school's segregation. He joined their struggle and later spoke proudly at their graduation. Alba and Anastasia Somoza, and their mother Mary, are also graduates of New York Partners in Policymaking.

photo oops: candidate tries out disabled life

"Whaddaya mean, I can't buy toilet paper with food stamps!!"

page 10 sept - oct 2002 mouth