Evil Albino Trope

Tue, Feb. 25th, 2014 02:49 pm
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Nalini Haynes writing at Jim Hines' blog:
Evil Albino Trope is Evil

The evil albino trope is lazy writing, creating a sense of ‘other’ by victimising a small minority group. The evil albino trope alienates albinos, punishing us for looking different and suffering bad eyesight. Reinforcing perceptions of incompetence and evil-ness in this people group is discrimination and victimisation.
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Ada Hoffmann writing at Jim Hines' blog: Autism, Representation, and Success

Maybe we, as autistic people, need to be shown warts and all sometimes. Maybe what we need most desperately to see is that we can be visibly disabled, and unsuccessful, and fail to meet NT expectations in all kinds of ways, and be treated with all sorts of horrible ableism, and still be human. And still be lovable and worth something, even if no one else sees it.
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of my Blue Heeler Lucy's deep brown left eye (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
It IS exciting to see kids interested in engineering, and I know [personal profile] selkiechick posted with the best intention.

However, that announcement pushed a whole row of my Assistive Technology Geek buttons, and I gotta rant. I'll can use the "BRAIGO" to illustrate why I get so hot under the collar. (My cred: I've hung out with people who use assistive technology since 1982; I designed and sold braille translation software and embossers in the late eighties; and I've personally depended on assistive technology since 1991.) Based on thirty year's close attention to the development/PR/funding/purchasing/abandonment cycle for assistive technology, here's my take on the BRAIGO announcement.

DESIGNERS GET COOKIES FOR PROTOTYPES, NOT AFFORDABLE PRODUCTS )

DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT EXPERT ENDUSERS IS POINTLESS  ) That's why the BRAIGO can't create useful braille.

PR BECOMES DISINFORMATION ) A $350 embosser would be an amazing thing. Hundreds of well-intentioned editors and readers are willing to take the inventor's word for it. But this device is not a embosser.

EXPERTS ARE AVAILABLE on REQUEST! ) We live in a press release culture: what the company wants to say is what we hear. Or in this case, what a 12 year old (who mentions absolutely no contact with braille users) says gets broadcast.


FAST FACTS RE EMBOSSERS & BRAILLE )

Start from the first dot at the RNIB's Learning Braille site or pick an excellent start for adults at the Achayra firm in India. Teach more at the National Federation of the Blind's Braille is Beautiful resource for kids.

tl;dr Just because assistive technologies are tools for people with disabilities doesn't mean we must accept only good intentions. We want the best engineers working on our designs, the best marketers making them affordable, and the best politicians making them subsidized.
[personal profile] selkiechick
I am on a committee of a conventions and we are talking policy. We are talking about medical documentation requirements for accommodations, and I am having a hard time finding the right words to tell them why this is a /terrible/ idea, and as a newb of sorts, I'd love to have some authority to stand on. Is there a good blog post or website out there already outlining the reasons why that is a bad requirement, and why?

Thank you.

(I promise, my next post will have content)
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
[personal profile] kate_nepveu: Arisia Panel: Blindness: More than Metaphor

Description:

Blindness has been used as a metaphor in fiction for centuries, a way to talk about knowledge, enlightenment, ignorance and agency. But for some people it is a simple fact of everyday life. We have moved away from using gender and appearance strictly as metaphor in stories (pretty = good, ugly = bad). Are we ready to look at disabilities as part of who people are, and start including them in more kinds of stories and in more diverse roles?

Gann Monroe, Sarah Smith, Rachel Tanenhaus, W. A. (Bill) Thomasson, Tanya Washburn (m)
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
[personal profile] lightgetsin: Alt text

The point I'm getting to is if it's a question of utilitarian vs. evocative, I go evocative every time. Descriptions are opinions, yes. So have an opinion! Have fun with it. Embrace the personal nature of describing someone's art or photo. Become a participant in a pretty cool transmedia project.
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Susan Nussbaum, HuffPo Chicago:
Disabled Characters in Fiction

Disabled characters are written into stories for one reason: the disability. Do most people actually believe real disabled people spend our days obsessing about being cured? Or rhapsodizing about killing ourselves? Here is the truth: Disabled people barely ever even think about our disabilities. When we do think about them, it's usually because we are dealing with an oppressive, systemic problem, such as employment discrimination. Can't there ever be a disabled character in a book or film just because?

From 11/19/2013
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of my Blue Heeler Lucy's deep brown left eye (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Tor.com is hosting threads on the three episodes comprising Season 3 of the BBC's Sherlock. They're timed to the UK broadcast times, and enthusiasts like me who take advantage of TunnelBear and iPlayer to stream them before their U.S. premiere.

major SPOILERS for SHERLOCK season 3, episode 2 really SPOILERS )
sqbr: (genius!)
[personal profile] sqbr
Hi! I decided to try making a Twine (text based html) version of my most recent visual novel since visual novels aren't very accessible, and want to make sure it actually is more accessible.

So! I would love feedback from people with screenreaders/colour issues/other visual issues that make using visual novels difficult on this game, "SOON". ("SOON" is the name of the game, you don't actually have to be super fast)

I'm still bug fixing, so you may or may not be able to actually finish the game, but just looking at a page or two is enough, and no download is required. Letting me know about bugs would also be great but I'll track them down myself eventually :)

I didn't mess with the default fonts/colours etc, on the assumption that anyone with specific needs will probably have custom css. Is that a reasonable assumption?

By the way, the game's protagonist is disabled themselves, and there's a little snark about accessibility in there amongst all the time travel :) Also, making a Twine version of a Renpy game turned out to be a pain and a half so I don't know if I'll do it again.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
[personal profile] sqbr: Why I don't want to live in Night Vale

As the most recent episode (34 - A Beautiful Dream) made explicitely clear, this is a town where ableism is rampant for exactly the same reasons it is in the real world (albeit with a surreal Night Vale spin), where disabled children are held up as tragic, pitiable figures doomed to misery as their calls for accessibility are either ignored or have to be destroyed for the greater good.

Tumblr: Welcome to Disabled Vale

A repository for Welcome To Night Vale headcanons and fanwork featuring disabled characters.

Unfortunately, many of the images at this Tumblr lack image descriptions.
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of my Blue Heeler Lucy's deep brown left eye (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
That Crazy Crippled Chick [twitter.com profile] spazgirl11 encountered frustration upon frustration at the Long Island Dr Who con held 8-10 November 2013. Wheelchair access promised but not delivered on the shuttle, leaving a paid-up member in the street; narrow corridors; heavy doors preventing travel; jam-packed panel rooms; and total indifference from con staff.

She wrote an outstanding complaint letter, posted in full here:

http://thatcrazycrippledchick.blogspot.com/2013/11/an-open-letter-to-staff-of-long-island.html

quoting from the rousing finish:
begin quote The Doctor says that he’s never met anyone who wasn’t important. But your convention and apathy towards accessibility made me feel like my fellow disabled Whovians and I were not important enough to be worth considering. I am saddened and disgusted that a convention representing such a diverse fandom failed to include people with disabilities. quote ends


I loved this letter because it was specific, forceful, yet not furious. From personal experience, I know how being furious makes me incoherent. When I can turn off the snark and fire, I can organize my complaint as thoroughly and clearly as [twitter.com profile] spazgirl11 has. Non-disabled people generally need all the detail we can stand to give to make their cons accessible.

(I'm trying not to make the "tone argument", but may have failed.)
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Inside Higher Ed: Disabilities Studies Meeting Wasn't Accessible to Those with Disabilities

“Access is a problem. No thought is really put into cultivating professors with a disability or students with a disability. And what happens is disability becomes a spectacle and it becomes a problem that has to be managed and solved," Peace said. "What took place at Hobart and William Smith Colleges was a microcosm of what could happen at any place.”

[personal profile] selkiechick
So my local con, Arisia, is having a Ribbon Game this year, a contest to see who can collect the most ribbons on their badges.

To this end, they are encouraging staff members to make their own ribbons to hand out. So I thought that perhaps I could come up with a good disability advocacy message to offer fans who want to be advocates. Last year my little pins with the icon for sign language, handed out to anyone who could sign, and wanted one, went over pretty well.

But I cannot, for the life of me think of a good message.

I thought about "Not all disabilities are visible" but that is well over the 28 character limit.

Suggestions, ideas? Is this a terrible idea?
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
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TwihardsGleeksAndAvatards
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
http://stephaniesaulter.com/2013/11/05/what-i-thought-of-wfc-2013/
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.
http://joelyblack.com/2013/11/06/wfc2013-stories-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:

...so 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:

www.thealternativelimbproject.com

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,
2013


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

DW cross post: World Fantasy Con, 2013.

July 2014

S M T W T F S
  12345
678 9101112
1314151617 1819
202122 23 242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags