Let’s say that someone finds out they are diagnosed with a failing vital organ. The doctor gives the bad news and the patient responds by saying that they do not want to pursue treatment. The doctor hears this, sighs and then tells the patient that if they do not comply that the patient will be held against their will so they can receive the proper treatment.

Upon hearing this many people would think this situation to be very unethical, demoralizing and controlling and I would be inclined to agree. However, to deal with “mental” health patients in this way is rather common. If someone in in such a state of mind that they are deemed a threat to themselves, they can be locked away. But not so for our friend with the failing organ who chooses self-destruction. Why the difference?

In the case of “mental” health there is a huge power differential. Those struggling with mental instability are seen as vulnerable, weak, dangerous, unpredictable and high risk and at second glance someone with physical instability may share many of these same characteristics. Nonetheless it is the “loony” that is shut up and locked away. We may view the physically ill patient as stubborn or maybe even stupid, but still empowered.

I will be the first to say that in both cases some form of treatment is necessary, but let us reexamine our double standard. The moment “mental” health come into play the cycles of oppression are set into gear (even subconsciously) and the individual is now being viewed as a negative on the whole. Often times mental disorders affect behavior, but too often times we take the behaviors as aspects of personality and judge people accordingly. The difference can be subtle, but making the distinction between behavior and personality has importance that cannot be overstated.  Even if the patient is receiving the perfect tailored treatment plan on paper, the whole process will be slowed or halted if these power differentials are not observed and addressed.

Consider how these power differentials may affect treatment. The patient not only my struggle to control their mind, but now outside forces are taking even more power and control away from them. This not only takes away options and power from an individual but also may result in vicious cycles and repeat institutionalization. It is very important that an individual is empowered to be the means of their own emancipation with their support network as a catalyst. Not the other way around.

We must reexamine under what conditions care providers choose to exact a psychiatric hold or other forms of restraint. Though safety and longevity are of a high concern we must also make sure that the healing process is not being encumbered. The ultimate concern is not whether or not physical restriction protects an individual from physical harm, because it does. However, it can be very damaging to the mind, which is ultimately the source of the harm. To apply a physical solution to a mental problem is very reflective of biased mentality and should be avoided at all costs.

It is very likely that as a society we have not moved as far beyond lobotomy as we may think we have. Though the practice of lobotomy has stopped can we say the same of the society that justified it in the first place? How have these past assumptions and worldviews lingered in our current practice of medicine? My opinion is that they are very much in play.

-Erich Zann*

*Erich is the pen name of our guest student blogger who can be contacted by e-mail at: thestrangemusicdeferred@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of Disability Access Services or those of Oregon State University.

CALLING ALL OSU STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES…OSU College Forests is in the process of conducting a study on the future of recreation on the OSU College Forests. As part of this effort they would like to hear the voices of not only their current visitors, but also of potential visitors who may be currently under-served by the programs offered on the College Forests. They are looking for individuals with great ideas about what activities and opportunities the Forests might offer to better serve the interests of our mid-Willamette Valley community. More information on the project is available on our website:


Please email Elspeth.Gustavson@oregonstate.edu if you are interested in participating. In that email, please let them know all the following potential dates you are available for:

Sunday, June 2nd from 6:00-8:00pm
Wednesday, June 12th from 6:00-8:00pm
Thursday, June 13th from 6:00-8:00pm

They will inform you of the best date for all those interested and a location for the meeting once we have heard from enough people.

Please contact Elspeth.Gustavson@oregonstate.edu with questions.

One out of five people have or will develop a disability in their lifetime, but we rarely think about society’s underlying assumptions regarding this common human experience. This course will explore disability from social psychological and disability studies perspectives.

We will explore the social construction of disability and its inter- and intra-personal ramifications. This course departs from traditional psychology courses that focus on impairments within the individual and attempt to normalize people with disabilities. Instead, this class will explore how society’s conception of disability is the main source of handicap.

Course information: Psychology of Disability T/Th 12-1:50. Prerequisites: Psy 202 and upper division standing.

Please contact Professor Bogart at Kathleen.bogart@oregonstate.edu if you would like more information about this course.

Did you transfer to OSU with a significant amount of credits from a community college? Check out the reverse transfer through OSU Degree Partnership Program where you can use your OSU credits to qualify for an AA degree. Oregon State University has partnered with Linn-Benton Community College to help identify and award Associate degrees to students that have completed the degree requirements but may be unaware of this achievement. At the conclusion of week six each term, the OSU Registrar’s office will send OSU transcripts for qualifying degree partnership program students to Linn-Benton. Linn-Benton will evaulate the course work to determine if requirements have been met for an Associate degree at LBCC. LBCC will contact eligible students.

The transfer of records from OSU to LBCC will cease once a student has been awarded an Associate degree from LBCC or applied for their Baccalaureate degree from OSU.

If you have questions or concerns about this process, you may contact:

LBCC: Jane Tillman, tillmaj@linnbenton.edu or call 541-917-4912

OSU Registrar’s Office: registrars@oregonstate.edu or call 541-737-4331

Check out all of the amazing events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Invisible War

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Location: Withycombe Hall – Room 109

Film Screening

Time: 6:00 PM

From Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick comes The Invisible War, a ground-breaking investigation about rape within the US military. Focusing on the powerful stories of several veterans, the film is a moving examination of the staggering personal and societal costs of these assaults. Both a comprehensive inquiry and an insight into what can be done to bring about much needed change, The Invisible War urges us all, civilian and military alike, to fight for a system that protects our men and women in uniform.

Key Note Presentation by Myla Haider

Time: 7:30 p.m.

For former Army Criminal Investigation Division Sergeant Myla Haider, working as a criminal investigator, prosecuting rape cases for the U.S. Army was difficult and often disheartening. Following the screening of The Invisible War, come hear Ms. Haider speak about her experiences as a criminal investigator and the past and current military practices surrounding sexual violence. Q&A to follow.


Take Back the Night

Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Location: MU Quad

A night dedicated to ending sexual violence. The purpose of Take Back the Night is to empower everyone to feel safe in their communities, while promoting awareness of the realities of sexual violence. The evening’s activities include a candle light vigil, performances by Divine a cappella group, and a march to express strength of allies uniting together to end sexual violence.



Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time: 12:00-3:00 p.m.

Location: MU Quad

Good intentions do not prevent assault; actions do.  Stop by the One Act table on the brick mall to share what your one act will be and learn more about what you can do. One act could mean one less.


Kristin’s Story – A Life Worth Saving

Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: LaSells Stewart Center

Kristin’s Story is a mother’s tale of her daughter’s rape and subsequent suicide. Speaker Andrea Cooper will address the realities of sexual violence, depression, and suicide. Presented by Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council.


Move Toward Hope 5K/10K Run

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2013

Time: Registration and check in starts at 9:00 a.m., race starts at 10:00 a.m.

Location: MU Quad

A FREE 5K/10K run focused on increasing participants’ awareness of sexual violence and the importance of bystander intervention in the prevention of sexual violence. Students, staff and faculty may register online or register the day of the race.

SAAM 2013 SPONSORS: Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, Associated Students of Oregon State University, Divine a Cappella Group, OSU Athletics, OSU Veteran Affairs, Women’s Center, Division of Student Affairs, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Services.

For accommodation requests related to a disability, or for more information about any of these events, call 541-737-7880. Presented in part by Every1.

This year the Center for Civic Engagement is sponsoring 5 environmentally focused service projects in recognition of Earth Day 2013. All projects will be taking place Saturday, April 20th. Morning, afternoon, and all day projects are available. Below summaries of each project and links to registration forms. Pre-registration is required. Participants will assemble in MU 109 before leaving for service sites. Snacks will be provided (lunch will be provided for the all-day project).



SOLVE/Corvallis Parks and Recreation: Dunami Creek wetlands restoration service project in Corvallis  at Starker Arts/Sunset Park for up to 60 volunteers. Volunteers will carry out a wide range of clean-up and restoration projects including planting native riparian plants, hazard pruning, litter patrol, and invasive plant removal (8:15am-1:15pm). Register for this project here: http://oregonstate.edu/cce/earth-day-registration-SOLVE

The Wetlands Conservancy: Day-long service project for around 12 volunteers in the riparian zone around the Alsea Estuary near Waldport, Oregon. Volunteers at this site will be cutting ivy, taking debris and trash to state park for pick up, and cutting willow off of an area and planting them on the edge creating beaver food and edge habitat. (8:15am-5pm). Register for this project here: http://oregonstate.edu/cce/earth-day-registration-TWC

OSU College Forests: Trail maintenance service project for up to 12 volunteers at Peavy Arboretum, north of Corvallis. Volunteers at this site will be maintaining interpretive tree i.d. posts that identify the many different species of trees in the Arboretum. The group will be adding gravel to the posts to set them firmer in place as well as ensure they remain upright.  (8:15am-1:20pm) Register for this project here: http://oregonstate.edu/cce/earth-day-registration-collegeforests

Produce for the People Community Garden: Volunteers will spread leaves on garden beds and plant seeds/starts and complete general maintenance and upkeep on community garden in Corvallis for up to 24 volunteers (9:15am-12:15pm).  Register for this project here: http://oregonstate.edu/cce/earth-day-registration-ProduceforthePeople

Starker Arts Garden for Education (SAGE Garden): Volunteers at this site will be mulching, weeding, planting spring starts/seeds, prepping garden beds, and harvesting food crops at an educational garden in Corvallis for up to 20 volunteers (1:15-4:15pm). Register for this project here: http://oregonstate.edu/cce/earth-day-registration-SAGE

For accommodations related to disability, please call 541-737-7673 or email beaver.volunteer@oregonstate.edu.

Please also be sure to check out the other events OSU is putting on as a part of Earth Week! Visit the Earth Week Calendar: http://web.businessservices.oregonstate.edu/apps/recycle/EarthDay/eventList.cfm

Take time to learn more about Earth Day: http://www.earthday.org/earth-day-history-movement

Language is thought, the fact of the matter is that we live in a very biased society. Even though one may claim to have “moved past” some of the “nastier” phases of historical injustices, we still suffer the impacts though language.  For example, we still use the word “hysterical” which refers to a woman on her menstrual cycle and all the misinformation and mistreatment regarding women’s health.

In particular I would like to address the use of the word “crazy”, “insane” or “psychotic”. Aside from generally being insensitive phrases for those close to that issue, I think that there is another destructive implication. For example

 “Hey, [person], don’t do that [verb], that’s crazy.”

This is a very common phrase and to be honest, I don’t think many put much thought into it. But when you examine the implications and assumptions, the phrase is actually very detrimental to everyone.

What the phrase is really saying, with context observed is this:

 “Hey, [person], don’t step outside of this social norm, only people who are mentally unwell do that. You don’t want people to think that about you. Do you?”

The same goes for any other synonym for “crazy”. The phrase is most often used when someone is doing something that is outside of a social norm, or has risk associated with it. The implication being, that a “crazy person” would engage in that behavior, because why wouldn’t they? They’re “crazy”. In this way everyone is limited. People should be allowed to explore new frontiers and ideologies without being told that their mental stability is questionable. On the other hand, persons with mental disorders do not deserve to be labeled as always being unstable or “crazy” on top of always being labeled as outsiders and engaging in high risk behaviors. Granted the idea or behavior may be “illogical” “hot-headed” or just down right “no bueno”, call it what it is. There is no reason to group a large demographic comprised of many ideologies and backgrounds into one word for the purpose of a misinformed adjective.

-Erich Zann*

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
― George Orwell1984

*Erich is the pen name of our guest student blogger who can be contacted by e-mail at: thestrangemusicdeferred@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of Disability Access Services or those of Oregon State University.

Incight is hosting a Career Expo for job seekers with disabilities at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

The event will take place on April 11, 2013 from 10:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Workshops start at 9:00 a.m. for job seekers. Attend a workshop on self-empowerment, networking, and starting your own business. Exhibitor Booths will run from 10am to 2pm.

Register now at: http://tappingfreshtalent.org/

Have questions? Contact Tiana at (971) 244-0305 or tiana@incight.org

Do you have a mobility disability (such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, muscular sclerosis, or spina bifida) that limits your ability to walk to any degree? Help us understand how people adjust to mobility disabilities by participating in our psychology research study. You must be 18 or older, live in the United States, and be able to read and write in English to participate. The study involves completing an internet-based survey which will take approximately half an hour.

To participate, go to http://oregonstate.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6W0z0dOv2vrfZIh.

If you have any questions, please contact the principal investigator:

Dr. Kathleen Bogart
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Oregon State University