Here are a few highlights from the web over the last couple of weeks that might be of interest.
This Longform article Autobiography of a body tells a really powerful story of a young woman’s struggle with sexuality and disability:
“Grealy visited the Sex Maniacs’ Ball in London, an annual event hosted by the Outsiders, an organization that promotes sexual freedom for the disabled. There she discovered that her sexuality was “part of something I am, a state of being rather than a state of action. And that’s true whatever my body looks like from the outside.”
This piece from The Washington Post, features Sam Tsemberis, a psychologist whose radical solution to the problem of chronic homelessness actually works and reminds us that thinking critically often leads to thinking differently, and that health professionals can sometimes bring radical new ideas to otherwise long-term social problems.
It turns out that the best way to solve homelessness is to give homeless people homes. Which may sound obvious, but it amounts to a revolution in American social services, for which a psychologist called Sam Tsemberis is largely responsible. The traditional approach is to use housing as a reward: kick an addiction, get a home. The Tsemberis approach is to give the housing first, then sort out the other problems. It works.
While we’re on the theme of social innovations related to physiotherapy, this piece from Vox looks at how building streets for humans instead of cars could help solve the problem of unaffordable housing in cities. It would also encourage more people to walk, make streets safer for children to play in and reduce pollution.
Atul Gawande is surely a critical thinker, and if he were a physical therapist, or even remotely interested in physical therapy, I’d like to think he would be part of the Critical Physiotherapy Network. In this piece from the New Yorker, he tackles a phenomenon that physiotherapists know all too well – the overdiagnosis of disease making for unnecessary treatment, high anxiety, and ballooning healthcare costs.
(If you don’t know Gawande’s work, you might want to check out his book The Checklist Manifesto which looks at an innovative way to reduce post-surgical complications, and his latest book Being Mortal about the appalling state of end of life care.
And just to end with something light and ever-so-slightly provocative to ponder over the weekend, here is a fine quote from South African and British social anthropologist, Max Gluckman;
“A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation”