So maybe I can start out with a good news of the year so far list and see if it will take on a life of its own.
Maybe it will self-replicate and I will have exponentially long lists of good news gathering in piles across my floor with the dust bunnies that rarely get any attention. So here goes:
- I have won ten scratch off lottery tickets so far this year; scored two free tickets and a net gain of $12.00. Woo Hoo!
- My next book, Disability Servitude, has been accepted for publication by Palgrave/MacMillan. I have three whole months to finish the revisions!
- I have wonderful students in the two sections of the Disability History course I’m teaching at CUNY this semester.
- I have a wonderful husband, three wonderful sons, and two funky cats.
- I have awesome nieces and nephews!
- I have a new used car that rocks–a 2008 Suburu Outback with a manual transmission.
- I’m part of a Civil War Civilian History Interpreters group and I participated in my first event as “L. Virginia French“–a 19th Century writer and poet from Tennessee.
- I have finished one weaving project, warped one loom, am winding another warp, and am finally getting to finish the Weave Trust with Truth wall hanging I’ve been working on.
- The State of Tennessee has agreed to close the last remaining institution for individuals with intellectual disabilities by 2016 as part of an exit plan for the People First of TN lawsuit against Clover Bottom Developmental Center.
- And soon it will be warm enough to start working on our house again. It’s Christmas in the new house or bust this year for sure.
That’s what’s fit for print right now. Hopefully there will be much, much more to follow.
It’s official. Palgrave/MacMillan has accepted my next book, Disability Servitude: From Peonage to Poverty for publication!
Here’s a bit of the overview:
For well over a century, institutional peonage held individuals with intellectual, along with a host of other disabilities, in thrall to the maintenance and operation of the nation’s public institutions. By 1972, residents accounted for 47,000 workers in the institutions for individuals with intellectual disabilities alone. Resident workers shoveled coal; labored in the fields; worked in the laundry; cooked and served meals in the dining halls; scrubbed and cleaned throughout the facilities; and provided direct care for fellow residents. Resident workers drove tractors, ran machinery, and even fought forest fires. They did all these things and more—all unpaid—an invisible workforce that labored for ten to twelve hours a day, seven days a week. Five years later, it all came to a grinding halt.
Beginning in the early 1970s, residents in institutional settings from across the country brought a number of lawsuits with Thirteenth Amendment claims—asserting their right to be free from involuntary servitude. The Peonage Cases, along with a number of other significant legislative and litigation efforts, set the field on a new course of normalization and the expansion of community based services. In 1974, in the matter of Souder v. Brennan, the Federal District Court in D. C. ruled that, for the first time, the Fair Labor Standards Act as amended in 1966 applied to hospitals, including the public institutions. This meant that, for the first time, resident workers were to be paid minimum wage for the labor they performed.
Instead, states opted to cease their work programs and replace the resident workers with other non-disabled paid employees.
My final revised version is due on May 15th along with a permission to use an abundance of quotes from current and historical references. I’m also teaching two Disability History classes for CUNY this spring. And, there always weaving to take into consideration. But, it does looks like I will be chained to my laptop for some time to come.
Sigh. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s all coming along now that I’ve got my website access straightened back out.