jesse_the_k: Happy & sad monster dolls over "bipolar = 2X Fun" (Bipolar = Twice the Fun)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I've now spent more than fifteen minutes on Facebook, and I'm still overwhelmed. Perhaps this group will be of interest to us?

Beneath the SURFACE: Disability and Popular Culture
is a digital repository that will provide scholars, practitioners, editors, and its own readership with the opportunity to engage in a broad array of reflective discussions about the representations of disability that exist “beneath the surface” and explicitly within mainstream cultures both nationally and internationally. Genres and subgenres that do not typically receive sustained attention in mainstream scholarly literature will be showcased.

Tragically, they first chose an offensive name, which lives on in its URL
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
My goal in reprinting these links is to encourage all cons to provide best access to all members.

Stephanie Saulter has an informative old-timer post
with these notes on access:

2. ACCESSIBILITY. Whether it’s for fans or professionals, or fans and professionals, WFC needs to be much more committed to providing full, uncomplicated accessibility. It’s not good enough to simply say, ‘oh, it’s an old hotel’ and throw your hands up. It is not acceptable for people who have paid their membership like everyone else, who have just as much to contribute and just as much to learn as anyone else, to be unable to access large parts of the con, to have poor to no directions on how to get to the parts they technically could reach, or for the hotel staff to whom they were referred to appear baffled by the question. And I also want to point out that disabilities and constraints are not only around mobility. If there were provisions for sight- or hearing-impaired members, for example, I saw no sign of them. (Maybe that’s because the con knew no one with those constraints would be coming. Fair enough. But is that because people with those constraints know there’s no point trying to come? That would not be fair. I don’t know which it is, but it troubles me.)

Joely Black comments on a mundane but crucial missing access feature: chairs.

Other than panels, the events at the convention were remarkable for their lack of chairs. You’d think this was a minor issue, especially as you could sit down during panels. Most of the big events were in the evening, and were chairless.
[... snip ...]
It made networking hard. Standing in a group of people, we’d agree that we needed a sit down. Just as we set off to find chairs, somebody would join the group and we’d all be pressed into fresh conversation. After hours of standing, walking, standing, we’d all grimace at them as they brought new party flotsam into the group as fresh opportunities to sit down slipped away.

From my con-running experience, there's a constant tension between enough chairs for folks to take a load off their feet versus fewer chairs for smoother traffic in functionally wider hallways. Joely points out their importance for everyone. Universal design, our friend!

World Fantasy Con

Thu, Nov. 14th, 2013 07:20 pm
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Cheryl Morgan: World Fantasy Convention 2013

A number of concerns about WFC, including accessibility: you might have thought that the convention committee would make a serious effort to ensure that mobility issues were a priority. Instead they appear to have done their space planning without any regard for accessibility. The kaffeklatsch area was, I understand, accessible only by stairs and by a staff elevator. The registration area was only accessible by stairs. The cafe area may also have been a problem.

Much of the pre-con displeasure could have been avoid if the convention had presented these issues in a suitably contrite manner and promised to do what they could to help out. Instead the lack of accessibility was presented in way that read like, “tough luck, you’re screwed”, and any offers of help came only as an afterthought once a storm of outrage had developed.
jesse_the_k: Sprinter with right AK prosthetic leg, shot from neck down (prosthetic sprint)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
This was featured in the New York Times Magazine last week, but the home site is even cooler:

Sophie de Oliveira Barata is the principal artisan of these bespoke limbs, which are marketed as functional, decorative, and expressive — some combination of a neck brace and a tatoo.
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
If you have more links or information on this topic, please share them in comments or via DM!

Mari Ness at LJ: World Fantasy Con,

In comments, an attendee reports that the hotel elevator to the programming floor is broken!

DW cross post: World Fantasy Con, 2013.

World Fantasy Con

Sun, Oct. 27th, 2013 12:22 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Cheryl Morgan: Welcome to WFC

From the latest Progress Report from World Fantasy:


Because the Hilton Brighton Metropole is an old building, please note that access to some areas may be limited or unavailable for those with mobility issues. This includes the Registration area in the Sussex Lounge, which is inaccessible by wheelchair.
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Kathryn Allan: Story behind Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure

Ms. Allan writes about the experiences of creating this book.

(no subject)

Sun, Oct. 13th, 2013 06:04 pm
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Liz Henry: Taking up Too Much Space

I am not an emergency or an obstacle! Get used to it! My public presence will just have to be YOUR mild inconvenience!

Liz Henry: The Superfest Dissie Awards

It was lovely to feel the audience reaction all around me as we cheered and booed how bad all the performances were as they played off stereotypes and made disabled people the butt of humor. It was often a hard call which movie to boo the loudest for as the judges watched and listened to the crowd, because the spectrum of Hollywood badness was so vast!
zizi_west: Quasar drenched in water vapor: NASA (Quasar)
[personal profile] zizi_west
Call for Papers: Disability Studies Area 35th Annual Conference of the Southwest Popular / American Culture Association
“Popular and American Culture Studies: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”
Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 19-22, 2014

Submission Deadline: 1 November 2013
Submission Address: Read more... )

Links 12 Oct 2013

Sat, Oct. 12th, 2013 01:41 pm
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
EJ Dickson at the Medium: Ricky Gervais is Being Offensive, but Not in his Usual Way. A review of the new Netflix show "Derek." (Sept 25)

David Perry: Ricky Gervais and the Angel/R*tard Dialectic. A response to the above article.
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Disability Studies has always paid lip service to including contributions from community members (aka "independent scholars.") Here's a chance for folks who've thought about comics to share their ideas with a wider audience. I've seen that one really great article from an outsider can have a deep impact on how academia perceives the world, theorizes about it, and thus teaches us to shape it.

I wish I were that writing person, but maybe you are?

--- begin forward ---
We invite proposals for chapters in a volume on disability and graphic literature for the new Literary Disability series from Palgrave Macmillan edited by David Bolt, Elizabeth Donaldson, and Julia Miele Rodas. Feats of Clay: Disability and Graphic Narrative will scrutinize the ways that disability has been employed in comic books, graphic nonfiction, graphic novels, underground comix, and/or webcomics. Our aim is to interrogate standard assumptions about disability and sequential art in order to open up new approaches and potential collaborations between both of these vital areas of study.

Some possible but not exclusive topics include analyses of the range of representations of disabled figures in both superhero comics and graphic narratives; considerations of the role of the visual in offering multimodal engagement with the textual experience of disability (beyond character, plot, and theme); critical investigations of how the systems of meaning associated with disability studies (see Donna Haraway, Tobin Siebers, and others) overlap with or challenge the language of sequential art (as theorized by Thierry Groensteen, Scott McCloud, and others); extended examinations of specific comic book characters (such as Batgirl/Oracle, Daredevil/Matt Murdock, Professor Xavier, or Cyborg/Victor Stone); delineations of disability as an organizing logic in ongoing graphic series (like Fantastic Four and Doom Patrol); and theorizations of the role of disability in the texts of individual graphic narrative writers (such as David B., Alison Bechdel, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Harvey Pekar, and Chris Ware).

Send 500-word abstracts to Chris Foss (, Jonathan Gray (, and Zach Whalen ( by Dec 15th.
--- forward ends ---
jesse_the_k: John Watson regards the void looking puzzled with white puzzle piece floating above him (JW puzzled)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I've got asthma, and I have been exceptionally chemically sensitive. Implementing fragrance-freedom at a large event is very difficult. There are members of our community who cannot leave their houses because of chem sensitivity. I was able to attend my first WisCons wearing an N95 respirator. Since then my immune system has gotten stronger, and I can cope without the mask (and with the inhaler, a lot).

I'm attending a conference which is attempting fragrance-free later this month, and I will definitely report back on how they did it. One of the first issues they faced is that the only way to ensure everyone has unscented products is to supply them when they register. They're not having much success at finding travel-size fragrance-free products. They may have to buy empty little bottles and dispense by hand the night before the conference.

In the meantime, let me share some of the links they use in their conference publicity...

a place for all of us by vanessa huang
Not only does this provide excellent details on risky and acceptable products, they show a three-part self test. It sorts you into "almost fragrance-free already," "pretty close," and "yep, this is going to require some rethinking on your part." Organizers are urged to do one-on-one followup with the latter group.

East Bay Meditation Accessibility Resources
Super detailed product lists sorted by function: deodorant, dish soap, hand soap etc.

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarashina talks through the process of finding products that work for her POC hair & skin

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 4th, 2013 10:05 am
soc_puppet: Words "Humorless Feminist" in pink (Humorless Feminist)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
Melissa McEwan of Shakesville posted a short video on [dis]ablist language yesterday, why it's bad, and how to avoid it. It's focused on language related to mental illness, but I feel like it's widely applicable. She's got a full transcript up as well (including a bit with one of her cats photobombing), and there's some great discussion in the comments (which are very well moderated).

You can find the video and transcript here.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Sami Schalk at Disability Studies Quarterly: Metaphorically Speaking: Ableist Metaphors in Feminist Writing

I provide a close reading of extended disability metaphors used in work by bell hooks and Tania Modleski, identifying the implications about disability and problems that occur in their overall arguments when the metaphors are read from a disability studies perspective. The article ends by offering recommendations for a feminist philosophy of language...

Thanks to [ profile] alothian for this link!
netmouse: Firefly, natch. (Default)
[personal profile] netmouse
The North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC) will be Detcon1 in 2014, held in the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, July 17-20. We are currently seeking an access lead as well as volunteers for the accessibility team at the convention.

(A NASFiC is only held during a year when the Worldcon is not in North America. The location is selected by a vote of the members of the prior Worldcon, giving us slightly less than a year to plan and produce the convention. The 2014 NASFiC will be nearly a month prior to the Worldcon in London, so people can potentially attend both. For more information, see

We have some advantages over many Worldcons and NASFiCs, in that our hotel facility has enough rooms and function space to completely contain the event, with no need for transportation to and from a convention center or overflow hotels, but we also have some narrow hallways we were thinking we should put lanes in like WisCon does, and of course there are plenty of other things we need to plan for and do.

A NASFiC is by its very nature a one-shot, and we want to do it right. We also have a safety officer and are forming a diversity advisory board to help us do outreach to fans of all kinds everywhere, and especially in Metro Detroit. We will further be running a scholarship program (the parameters of which have yet to be defined).

If you are interested in being involved with any of this, please leave a comment or contact me at, or contact the conchair Tammy Coxen at
sqbr: (genius!)
[personal profile] sqbr
I make the odd visual novel (both original and fannish): interactive games told through text and static images (mostly of sprites with varying expressions). Some use sound but mine don't. As an example, here's a fan game I made for Mass Effect.

It bothers me how inaccessible my Visual Novels are given that the story is mostly told via text. The creator of Renpy (the language I and many VN creators use) has said he would add text reader support if he could but it's not practical.

So I was wondering: if you are someone who finds visual novels innaccessible but would otherwise be interested in playing them, what would be your preferred approach to an accessible version of the story?
Read more... )
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
They're Mad I Tell You: the Portrayal of Mental Illness in Video Games by Sarah Nixon.

This post discusses horror games that feature asylums; it has one disturbing image.

The noticeable lack of realistic, appropriate, and approved characters with mental illness as well as the frequency in which the crazed enemy trope is used points to the severity and widespread control this malicious representation has in gaming.
jesse_the_k: Sprinter with right AK prosthetic leg, shot from neck down (prosthetic sprint)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Handy form which prompts you to fill in the accomodations provided for an event:

It's not perfect, but it's an excellent start. Could be useful when convincing other members of your group, since Oxbridge carries some credibility: "here's a Cambridge University resource for accessible event planning."

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