[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Ira's essay on Miles' neurodivergence (previous post)is just one of many interesting things in

Uncanny Magazine 24: Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction!

It's available for free:

This special issue includes thirteen stories, nine poems, forty essays by SF creators and readers, and two interviews. Uncanny also produces audio excerpts in podcasts. One can support the magazine by purchasing ebook editions–details at the site.

destruction in context )

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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Ira Gladkova at Uncanny Magazine:

Miles Vorkosigan and “Excellent Life Choices”: (Neuro)Divergence and Decision-Making in Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga.


Contains spoilers for all of the books, particularly for the book "Memory".

Making good life choices is hard. Making good life choices when you’re neurodivergent is damn hard. Perhaps the most relatable and engaging such struggle I’ve read is that of Miles Vorkosigan, from Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga. Miles and his “excellent life choices” entertain, astound, and horrify me even as they dig at something deep inside my bipolar, ADHD brain.
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
1. Ace Ratcliffe at io9: Staircases in Space - Why are places in Science Fiction not Wheelchair Accessible?


2. Peter Wong at BeyondChron: Nicola Griffith's 'So Lucky' tackels disability rights. Warning for some ableist language in the review.


But Mara’s greatest source of stressful anxiety comes from her being bombarded directly and indirectly with messages of her helplessness and lack of control over her life. Her neurologist is just the first of many people to treat Mara as a non-person lacking individual desires. More dangerously, what feels like a spectral threat of death that only Mara can see might be more than something imagined.

An angry Twitter #CripRage thread helps Mara begin to fight back. Re-claiming the derogatory term “crips” as a mark of pride, she proceeds to verbally chew the legs off those who profit from, sentimentalize, or even ignore crips’ needs.

3. An access-fandom community member suggests this Go Fund Me as being of interest to the community! It's raising money to make sex toys specifically designed for disabled people.


A few of links

Tue, Jul. 17th, 2018 11:52 pm
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Rose Lemberg at Strange Horizons: Sargeant Bothari and Disability Representation in the Early Vorkosigan Verse


(thanks to [personal profile] davidgillon for this link).

Kristen Lopez: ‘Skyscraper’ is a Surprising Mark of Improvement for Disabled Representation on the Big Screen


Kristen Lopez at the Daily Beast: Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and Hollywood’s Misunderstanding of Disability.

(warning for some ableist language in this article).

Looking for Input

Sat, Jun. 23rd, 2018 02:25 pm
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[personal profile] soc_puppet
I've come up with a really quick draft of something to help convention attendees decide if they should bring their Emotional Service Animals to conventions (and, if they do, whether they should bring the animal out or leave it in their hotel room). (Apparently I thought it was easier to try and write one myself than to use google.)

I've included everything I can think of that would help people make that decision or might impact that decision, but I'm sure that there are things I haven't thought of. In fact, I've thought of one while typing this entry that I'll be adding momentarily. If anyone has any suggestions of things I've missed, concrit of things I've included, or anything along those lines, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here's the link if you want to check it out. Thanks in advance!

Side note: While it's (probably) too late for me to arrange this year, as the con I'm staffing is in three weeks, next year I will be looking into hosting a Therapy Dog for a few hours to help out with anyone who does have to leave their ESA at home or in their hotel room. I'm hoping it'll also help defer people distracting service dogs, since the Therapy Dog will be there for them to pet and snuggle and generally go goofy over.

(Final paragraph edited for clarity.)
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[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Dr. Sean Zdenek is an associate professor of technical communication and rhetoric at Texas Tech University. I'm here to rave about his Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture (print, ebook). It was full of immediately useful information and showed how captioning contributes to an aesthetic experience. He's a fan of genre TV, and he brings fannish enthusiasm to the task.

Integrating Captions into the Artistic Process )

He hosts a supplementary site with videos of all the material discussed in his book. Just reading that site provides much of his message. It's also an excellent example of audio description.


BB-8 chirps and it's good )

[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hi all. Sorry if the subject line is a bit vague, but I'm wondering if the song that I've linked to here was actually meant to be sort of a disability-rights advocacy thing or if the timing when it came out was just right. The reason I ask is because I just heard another song by these guys a few minutes ago when I was at a neighbor friend's place across the hall. I've always really enjoyed these guys, and there is an advocacy organization here in Chicago called Access Living. Their website used to have a video with this song playing in the background, and it might still be up there but I haven't gotten it to play. Anyway, I was just curious about this. https://is.gd/D0UXiG
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[personal profile] jesse_the_k

CADET is free, downloadable caption-authoring software that enables anyone to produce high-quality caption files that are compatible with any media player that supports the display of captions. CADET can also be used to generate audio-description scripts. CADET does not require an internet connection in order to operate: it runs locally in any Web browser, so users do not need to upload private videos or proprietary content to servers or video-hosting sites in order to create captions.

feature overview and origins )

  1. Variously called “The Caption Center,” the “Media Access Group,” and currently “The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media.” ↩︎

[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Yes, the developer's name is in the game, because he chats with you as you play.


Why I'm posting it here: This game's character has the capabilities of a very strong paraplegic. It's a man sitting in an round-bottom iron cooking pot, climbing a treacherous landscape using only his upper body and the levering power of a very long sledgehammer. The game provides infinite opportunities to get it wrong, and you can't save your progress.

I'm not a gamer, so I may have been looking in the wrong place, but as far as I can tell nobody is talking about this disability angle.

Captioned game trailer for Steam )

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[personal profile] sasha_feather
"I belong where the people are: Disability and the Shape of water, by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry


I wish that I could just say, “Well, it’s fantasy,” and move on. But I can’t. Not when I’ve literally never seen a movie in which a disabled woman is desired by a non-disabled partner. Not when I know that my body is seen as less than desirable. Not when I know that subconsciously this film, it means she deserves a freak like her, and not a human like her.
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Uncanny magazine is acception submissions for "Disabled People destroy science fiction" from Jan 15 - Feb 15. Details at link:

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[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Annalee Flower Horne [twitter.com profile] leeflower, an SF writer and coder, just published an outstanding essay on disability representation. It’s a great entry point for educating folks with no disability experience. It also offers a useful new-to-me concept “TV paraplegia.”

Disability, Representation, and the X-Men

begin quote
Professor Xavier has “TV Paraplegia,” which is a form of nerve damage that completely paralyzes the legs of people on television without causing chronic pain, muscle spasms, or incontinence. Depending on the version of the X-Men universe he’s in, Xavier either has a spinal cord injury or his legs were crushed. Neither injury is portrayed realistically

​ […snip…]

Realism aside, the big problem with Xavier’s TV paraplegia is that while it’s the leading cause of wheelchair use in popular media, the overwhelming majority of people who drive wheelchairs in the real world are not paralysed at all. Those who do have some form of paralysis exist along a broad spectrum of motor function.
quote ends


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[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Headed by Alice Wong [twitter.com profile] SFdirewolf,

The Disability Visibility Project (DVP)® is an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture.

The DVP is also a community partnership with StoryCorps, a national oral history organization. Our aim is to create disabled media that is intersectional, multi-modal, and accessible.

Their podcast explores a variety of topics, from nitty-gritty politics to philosophy. Episode 5 addresses: “Orphan Black,” Reproductive Justice, and Disabled Women


The DVP lives its disability-positive guiding principles: all their work is available in multiple formats (in this case, Google docs & PDF transcripts). More unusually, the podcast participants have atypical speech patterns – it’s exciting to hear our voices in public.

In the show, Maelee Johnson highlighted one reason I found the Orphan Black so compelling.

I remember moments or seasons where the characters were so spread out. You felt like you knew they had to come back together because there’s that connection between them all being sort of the same person, at least at their root and core, who they are created to be. That also is reflected in the disability community. The thing I first love about the disability community is something you don’t commonly find in the able community, which is the ability to disappear and then come back. You may be back eventually. That connection can’t be destroyed just because you’re too sick to be around for a little bit. And everyone’s still like, “We knew you were coming back. We left your seat right here. It’s fine.”

[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Thanks to a link from the Facebook group "Fans for Accessible Conventions," I learned about an nifty guide prepared for The Majestic Hotel, a hotel in North Yorkshire UK.

https://www.thehotelcollection.co.uk/cms/the-hotel-collection/pdfs/the-majestic-hotel-accessibility-statement.pdf good and missing )

jesse_the_k: Rubik's Cube puzzle with all-white faces labelled in braille (Braille Rubik's Cube)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Describing Visual Resources Toolkit for Accessibility in Arts & Humanities Publications


The Univ of Michigan has prepared an excellent tool kit for anyone creating text descriptions of visual material. This isn't only relevant to blind or visually impaired users. Folks with narrow bandwidth often turn off image loading so that they can navigate the web in under four days. Adblocking software can also eat your images without warning.

The resource is also notable for how it's structured. They provide entry paths for different users. They reuse the same info in many orders, which increases the chance of matching the user's needs.

For the first time, I understood the differences between "alt" text and "longdesc"! They also make the c dial point that you can't design for today's technology.

Using the Mic

Thu, Sep. 21st, 2017 02:12 am
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
What you're Saying when You Say "I Don't Need the Mic"
By Erika A. Hewitt
August 31, 2017


This is directed at a Unitarian Universalist audience, but can apply to any group or event.

“When a mic is being used at a meeting and someone looks at it and says, ‘Do we really need this?’ I feel outright anger. That person just asked if people like me really exist and demanded that we defend ourselves.”
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
This is from last year but new to me!

Defying Doomsday is an anthology of apocalypse fiction featuring disabled and chronically ill protagonists, proving it’s not always the “fittest” who survive – it’s the most tenacious, stubborn, enduring and innovative characters who have the best chance of adapting when everything is lost.

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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Disability Erasure And The Apocalyptic Narrative
By Shoshana Kessock
Aug 28, 2017


Content note: discusses violence towards disabled characters; images of guns; some ableist language used

Examination of a widely-used SF trope:
As a disabled woman, disaster epics, apocalypse fiction, and post-apoc tales aren’t a vicarious thrill for me anymore. Theoretical zombie apocalypse escape plan BS sessions with friends aren’t amusing anymore. They’re an exercise in facing my mortality.

October 2018

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