Assistant Director/Policy Analyst, Not Dead Yet
Jules Good (they/them) is the Assistant Director and Policy Analyst at Not Dead Yet. They are late-Deaf and multiply-disabled. Jules holds a Master in Public Policy from the University of New Hampshire, and formerly worked as the Relay and Assistive Technology Outreach Specialist with Northeast Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. They also founded their own organization, Neighborhood Access, which works with communities to help them make their presence and practices more accessible to disabled people. Jules has served as a member of the White House Office of Public Engagement Disability Advisory Council, as well as a member of the Fair Fight Action Disability Council. Jules has worked with nonprofits, state agencies, and private businesses to aid in making their practices and processes more accessible to the disabled community. They are deeply involved in disability justice work both locally in their current home state of New Hampshire, and nationally.
I was 19 years old the second time I attempted to die by suicide. I had just been diagnosed with a chronic but not life-threatening illness, I had rapidly lost about 70% of my hearing in the middle of completing a music degree, and I was struggling with untreated anorexia that was taking a serious toll on my health.
At my intake appointment with a new therapist a few days after my attempt, I explained my situation and the hopelessness I was feeling. She nodded along, then looked me in the eyes and said something I will never forget: “I would probably kill myself if I were you.” She wasn’t the first person to say this to me as I started becoming more noticeably disabled, but she was probably the last person I expected to do so.
Because of my own experience and countless similar stories I’ve heard from other disabled people, I went into disability policy to advocate against policies like assisted suicide that devalue disabled lives. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people under 35, and disability in young people is even more stigmatized than it is for older adults.
For young disabled people with other marginalizations living in a time where our rights are being taken away and the idea of financial stability grows increasingly out of reach for many, a policy of assisted suicide will undoubtedly cause unnecessary death because it creates a tangible consequence for the pervasive idea among medical professionals and society at large that being young, disabled, and suicidal is rational and inevitable rather than tragic and preventable.
How do you pronounce your name?
Jules (Jules like jewels) Good (Good like ‘The food tastes good.’).