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October Leftovers: Apologies and Exoskeletons

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  • Wired has an interview with first-ever autistic Presidential appointee Ari Ne’eman. The new National Council on Disability member has received lots of threatening emails from the anti-vaccine crowd (example: “assholes like Ari Ne’eman should have their tongues cut out”), so he must be doing something right.
  • The company Berkeley Bionics unveiled the eLEGS Exoskeleton, a device that brings paraplegics one step (ahem) closer to becoming everyday walkers.
  • Comedy Central aired its Night of Too Many Stars, an autism “benefit” hosted by Jon Stewart and featuring Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, and a bunch of other famous people. “Benefit” in quotes because proceeds went to the organization most dedicated to instilling self-hatred in autistic people around the world, Autism Speaks.
  • Sad: The BBC covered the discovery of another dead, dismembered albino kid in East Africa. Witch doctors use albino body parts in “magic” potions.
  • Sad, again: 20/20 reported on the suicide of 17 year-old Tyler Long. Long had Asperger’s, and was bullied about it until he couldn’t stand it anymore.
  • Saturday Night Live finally recognized, on air, that its mocking portrayals of sight-impaired New York Governor David Paterson are offensive. Paterson appeared on the show to accept an apology from some the show’s cast members. “Governor, we are really sorry,” offered SNL host Amy Poehler. His response: “You poked so much fun at me for being blind, that I forgot I was black.”

(Thanks Robin)

(via Media dis&dat and Disability Scoop)

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