Onvrede over de zorg voor je dierbare als drijfveer voor vernieuwing

thomaslogoDe zorg in Nederland staat hoog aangeschreven, toch is lang niet iedereen gelukkig met de zorg die geboden wordt. En soms gaat het helemaal mis, zoals bij de verstandelijk gehandicapte Jolanda Venema die naakt vast zat een touw vanwege haar moeilijke gedrag. De foto die haar ouders in 1988 de wereld in stuurden heeft veel los gemaakt en geleid tot meer aandacht voor gehandicapten met moeilijk te hanteren gedrag. Inmiddels zet een toenemend aantal ouders een volgende stap, uit onvrede over de zorg voor hun dierbaren organiseren ze die nu zelf. De Thomashuizen zijn daar een sprekend voorbeeld van. In dit artikel aandacht voor klokkenluiders als de ouders van Jolanda Venema en het succes van de Thomashuizen. Als opmaat voor een serie over pioniers die momenteel hard aan de weg timmeren om hun droom te realiseren. ZorgLAb2015 volgt ze voor een langere periode, bericht over hun plannen, de ups en downs, de bureaucratische hobbels die hun pad kruisen en de dilemma’s waar ze voor komen te staan.

Het is inmiddels een iconisch beeld van uitwassen in de zorg die tot dan niet voor mogelijk werden  gehouden: de foto van een naakte Jolanda Venema die met riem en touw vastgeketend aan de muur, dociel naast haar moeder in een kale kamer staat. De foto dateert van 1988, Jolanda verbleef destijds vanwege haar verstandelijke handicap en ernstige gedragsproblemen in een grote zorginstelling. Daar konden ze totaal niet met haar gedrag overweg. Jarenlang hadden haar ouders zich ingespannen om het lot van hun dochter te verbeteren. Tot ze uit onmacht en woede een foto van hun dochter maakten en ten einde raad de publiciteit zochten. De publieke verontwaardiging was groot en ook in de politiek kwam de discussie over de behandeling van zwaar gedragsgestoorde gehandicapten in een stroomversnelling. Want door alle aandacht in de pers werd duidelijk dat isolatie en het ketenen van gehandicapten vaker voorkwam. Het resultaat van al deze ophef was de komst van een gespecialiseerd centrum dat zorginstellingen met kennis en advies terzijde kan staan in situaties zoals bij Jolanda.

Klokkenluiders
In navolging van de ouders van Jolanda Venema zijn er meer familieleden die in de loop der jaren de publiciteit gezocht hebben om aandacht te vragen voor een schrijnende situatie. Zo vertoonde de EO in 2008 schokkende tv beelden van Alex Oudman, een zwaar autistische man die maandenlang 24 uur per dag naakt opgesloten zat in de isoleercel van een psychiatrische instelling. Hij had daar alleen een plastic matras en een toilet tot zijn beschikking. In 2011 toont de EO opnieuw een extreme situatie in een zorginstelling. Deze keer sloeg de moeder van  de licht verstandelijke en gedragsgestoorde Brandon alarm. Zij vertelde dat haar zoon al drie jaar lang rondliep in een tuigje dat met een touw van anderhalve meter vastzat aan de muur. Volgens de moeder was er al die tijd geen sprake geweest van enige vorm van behandeling. In vervolgreportages over Alex en Brandon komt naar voren dat de situatie erna aanmerkelijk is verbeterd dankzij een aanpak op maat en de inzet van deskundigen. De publiciteit rond Jolanda Venema heeft aan het licht gebracht dat er alle reden was om een expertisecentrum voor dergelijke situaties in het leven te roepen. Onvrede over de zorg voor hun dierbaren is voor de ouders en familie een belangrijke drijfveer om als klokkenluider bij te dragen aan het verbeteren van de zorg.

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Louise Scholtz – South Africa: Why Is There Not Enough Affordable Rental Or Social Housing For The Poor In South Africa’s Cities?

JohannesburgallAfrica.com. May 2014. Why is there not enough affordable rental or social housing for the poor in our cities? As the Constitutional Court’s Grootboom decision highlighted, cities should be read as shorthand for well-located spaces that provide access to economic and social opportunities for the poor.
This lack of affordable and well-situated rental or social housing accommodation is not unique to South Africa. There are many urban centres in the world where land has run out and state support is insufficient to keep up with demand, let alone plan for the future.
There is also an obsession with ownership that has borne witness to the large scale selling off of rental stock. South Africa has also seen large-scale sales of social housing by municipalities, perhaps more in response to the operational challenges presented by the cost of on-going maintenance and challenges linked to non-payment.

Read more: http://allafrica.com/stories/

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Chris Newfield – The Humanities In The Post-Capitalist University

The humanities disciplines have been asked to defend their value yet again, and various projects have risen to the task. Many of these defenses take the form of showing that the humanities have positive economic impacts.

In this talk, Christopher Newfield argues that these defenses are futile and misguided, in large part because they are claiming to have adapted to a capitalist economy in the very moment in which it has reached a historical limit. This talk first discusses the arguments that favor the end of the current model of industrial innovation towards which the “practical” humanities is oriented. It then identifies elements of past and current humanities practice that will address the needs of the emerging, more sustainable, post-Western-capitalist society.

Christopher Newfield teaches American Studies in the English Department at UC-Santa Barbara. His books include Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (Duke, 2003), and Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (Harvard, 2008), and he is the author of recent articles on solar energy policy and collaboration in nanoscience. He blogs on higher education funding and policy at the blog Remaking the University, as well as The Huffington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education. His current book project is titled “Lower Education: What to do about our Downsized Future.”

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JM Coetzee – Universities Head For Extinction

Photo: talloiresnetwork.tufts.edu

Photo: talloiresnetwork.tufts.edu

Mail & Guardian. November 2013.

Dear John,
Thank you for letting me see your essays on academic freedom in South Africa. The general question you address – “Is a university still a university when it loses its academic autonomy?” – seems to me of the utmost importance to the future of higher education in South Africa.
Hardly less important is the junior cousin of that question, namely: “Is a university without a proper faculty of humanities (or faculty of humanities and social sciences) still a university?”
As you point out, the policy on academic autonomy followed by the ANC government is troublingly close to the policy followed by the old National Party government: universities may retain their autonomy as long as the terms of their autonomy can be defined by the state.
The National Party had a conception of the state, and the role played by education within the state, to which such tenets of British liberal faith as academic freedom were simply alien. The indifference of the ANC to academic freedom has less of a philosophical basis, and may simply come out of a defensive reluctance to sanction sites of power over which it has no control.

But South African universities are by no means in a unique position. All over the world, as governments retreat from their traditional duty to foster the common good and reconceive of themselves as mere managers of national economies, universities have been coming under pressure to turn themselves into training schools equipping young people with the skills required by a modern economy.

Read more: http://mg.co.za/universities-head-for-extinction/

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Savage Minds | Notes and Queries in Anthropology

savageSavage Minds is a group blog devoted to ‘doing anthropology in public’ — providing well-written relevant discussion of sociocultural anthropology that everyone will find accessible. Our authors range from graduate students to tenured professors to anthropologists working outside the academy.

Savage Minds was founded in 2005. In 2006 Nature ranked Savage Minds 17th out of the 50 top science blogs across all scientific disciplines. In 2010, American Anthropologist called Savage Minds “the central online site of the North American anthropological community” whose “value is found in the quality of the posts by the site’s central contributors, a cadre of bright, engaged, young anthropology professors.” In 2014 we hope to have our blog deposited into the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian.

The title of our blog comes from French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss’s book The Savage Mind, published in 1966. The original title of the book in French, Pensée Sauvage, was meant to be a pun, since it could mean both ‘wild thought’ or ‘wild pansies,’ and he put pansies on the cover of the book, just to make sure readers got the pun. Lévi-Strauss was unhappy with the English title of his book, which he thought ought to have been “Pansies for Thought” (a reference to a speech by Ophelia in Hamlet). We liked the phrase “savage minds” because it captured the intellectual and unruly nature of academic blogging. As a result, the pansy has become our mascot as well.

Go to: http://savageminds.org/

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Scott Sherman – University Presses Under Fire

books2The Nation, May, 26. On May 24, 2012, the University of Missouri System announced that it would close the University of Missouri Press so that it might focus more efficiently on “strategic priorities.” Admirers of the press mobilized rapidly to save it. “By abrupt fiat,” the author William Least Heat-Moon wrote in a local newspaper, the university “wants to eradicate a half-century of dedicated work in fostering, developing and publishing more than 2,000 books.” During a concert in Columbia, Missouri, Lucinda Williams lamented the closing of the press and defended its beleaguered staff. The New York Times and NPR covered the controversy, and 5,200 people signed a petition supporting the press. Four months later, the university reversed its decision. “Without question, the best news from the University of Missouri Press,” its editor in chief, Clair Willcox, recently wrote, “is that there is a University of Missouri Press.”

The Missouri case starkly illustrates a dual reality about the world of university press publishing—many university presses exist on the edge, and a large number of people want them to survive and flourish. Says Peter Berkery, the executive director of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP): “University presses are experiencing new, acute and, in some ways, existential pressures, largely from changes occurring in the academy and the technology juggernaut. Random House can see the technology threat and they can throw some substantial resources at it. The press at a small land-grant university doesn’t have the same ability to respond.”

“It is one of the noblest duties of a university to advance knowledge, and to diffuse it not merely among those who can attend the daily lectures—but far and wide.” So wrote Daniel Coit Gilman, the founder of Johns Hopkins University and its university press, which, established in 1878, is the oldest in the country.

Read more: http://www.thenation.com/article/179712/university-presses-under-fire#

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