Archives January 2007

More Evidence of the Ills of the Disability System

One of the things I talk about in Raymond’s Room is how some agencies in the disability industrial complex have lost touch with their mission. This recently came to light again in Minnesota. An AP article from January 21 wrote about the Star Tribune’s investigation of Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI). MDI plans to layoff 250-300 workers, many of whom are workers with disabilities in their workshop making around minimum wage. At the same time, it seems the MDI management staff (and sometimes spouses) are provided “executive entertainment” including parties, spa vacations, and golf outings. On one trip to a casino, the executive director handed out $100 bills to gamble with.

As I point out in the book, this kind of behavior is not typical of the system, but it is symptomatic of the incoherence of the segregated model and the rules it works under. Segregation leads to powerlessness, and this type of self-indulgence is only one of the more obvious results.

It takes a community…

Hi everyone. Wow- writing and releasing Raymond’s Room has been an amazing journey. There is already a lot of information on the web site about who I am and what this book is all about – so I won’t explain all that here. What I would like to share in this blog is how this message of ending the segregation of people with disabilities is being received out in the world and how well we are getting the message out.

This week we sent out about 550 press releases to disability newsletters, newspapers and other media. We will follow that up with a regular mailing to about 850 media. The book is now also posted online on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. We have a press release up in our press room. Readers of this blog should feel free to access anything on the RR web site for distribution.

TRN is a very small publisher, and we can’t hope to advertise in big markets, especially with the minimal profit on this product (we priced it at $15 in the hope of reaching the public). We need to rely on network marketing through our friends and colleagues. We hope that you will read the book and that you will consider mentioning or reviewing it through any outlets you have – via newsletters, your e-mail lists, or writing an article about Raymond’s Room in any appropriate publications you have.

Also, please consider posting a comment online – people do make book buying decisions based on them. on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Many people have already sent their endorsements, for which we are exceedingly grateful, and we have posted them on the web or printed them in the book itself. We know not everyone can endorse the book, although that would be great, but as long as you let people know it is available, we will have hope that it will reach those who mght be open to the message and maybe keep someone out of an unnceccsary facility. Please contact Dawn Langton if you need any additional information. A story idea is attached, and further downloadable information, including a cover image, photos, audio and a text interview, is available on the Raymond’s Room website.

Thanks in advance. I really appreciate anything you can do to help this effort.