ambyr: pebbles arranged in a spiral on sand (nature sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy) (Pebbles)
[personal profile] ambyr2014-09-17 02:01 pm
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Asthma and The Mirror Empire

I thought this Whirling Nerdish blog post about the portrayal of disability in Kameron Hurley's latest fantasy novel might be interesting to some people here:

Asthma and THE MIRROR EMPIRE

As I write this, my hands are shaking. Not because I'm distressed. Not because I'm tired or hungry or my blood sugar is low. They're shaking because I took my inhaler. I woke up this morning, and for some reason, I couldn't take in a full breath.

...

Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire features a main character that has asthma. I'm only about 100 pages into the book, but so far, this girl is my favorite character. Because she's got a strong spirit, she's brave as fuck, and she gets shit done. But when things get real, when she has to physically exert herself--climbing stairs, fleeing bad guys, etc., she gets wheezy; she gets short of breath.

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Today I'm running a Poetry Fishbowl in the series P.I.E., which you can explore via that link.  This is urban fantasy about a mobility-impaired private investigator who handles paranormal cases and her accident-prone cop boyfriend. 

You may also want to browse recent discussions about disability in F&SF and the vocabulary of disability on my blogs.

Please drop by my Dreamwidth or LiveJournal to leave prompts for what you'd like to see me writing along the themes of urban fantasy, life with disabilities, or romance.  You can watch those posts for thumbnails of poems available for sponsorship, and at least one will get posted for free as thanks for the prompts.


davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
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Helva's Scream

 

 Where were you when they sacrificed my disabled brothers and sisters on the hillside

Where were you when they stripped my infant self of my womanhood-to-be

Where were you when they stunted me and sealed me in a box (no glass coffin for unsightly me)

Where were you when they taught me to deride those who saw the trap I was in

Where were you when they wrapped my coffin in a ship and made me one of their slaves

Where were you when they sent me into danger and made me hunt my kin

Where were you when they made my love an impossible dream

Where were you when they proclaimed my song 'a positive image of disability in SF'

*****

Seething over Ship Who Sang being put forward as a positive representation of disability in SFSignal's Mind-Meld
 

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
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MIND MELD: Disabilities in Speculative Fiction

New article on disability in specfic at SF Signal:

MIND MELD: Disabilities in Speculative Fiction


To summarize: Aaaargh! *Headdesk* *Headdesk* *Headdesk*

The Ship Who Sang suggested as an example of positive depictions of disabled characters - just shoot me now....

Disability overwhelmingly presented as a struggle, people coping with disability dismissed as non-representative, not a mention of the Social Model or the disability rights struggle, a panel that's clearly overwhelmingly non-disabled. There are one or two who have a clue, but overall, just no.

I have committed (possibly harsh) commentary.



Upcoming Event: P.I.E. Poetry Session

Based on an audience poll, there will be a bonus fishbowl session in my series P.I.E. on Tuesday, September 16. 

This series is urban fantasy about a wheelchair-riding private detective who handles the really weird cases, and her able-bodied but kind of accident-prone policeman boyfriend.  When the fishbowl theme is something that doesn't get much attention, I try to spread the word to relevant audiences.  So please tell any of your friends who are mobility-impaired or otherwise interested in this topic that it will be featured in a prompt call where they can come suggest things to be written.  If you're new to P.I.E. then you can find links to all its published poems via the series page; several these were prompted by folks with limited mobility.
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1 link 4 September 2014

Paper Knife: Accessing the Future Guest Post: How Not to do Disability SF

I invited Kathryn and Djibril over to Paper Knife, to talk about a few of the stories that they feel get portrayals of disability spectacularly wrong.

content note: discussion of eugenics; apologism in comments.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Drax

Post about Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy (image)

Transcript:
I took my little brother (who falls on the autism spectrum) to see Guardians of the Galaxy and after this scene he lit up like a Christmas tree and screamed "He's like me! He can't do metaphors!" And for the rest of the film, my brother stared at Drax in a state of rapture:

(images of Rocket and Drax)
Rocket: Metaphors are gonna go over his head.
Drax: Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I will catch them.

So for the last 6 days I have heard my brother repeatedly quote all of the Drax lines from the movie verbatim (of one his talents), begin studying vocabulary test words, and tell everyone he knows that people with autism can also be superheroes.

Now I'm not saying that Drax the Destroyer is, or was ever intended to be, austistic. All I am saying is that it warmed my heart for my brother to have an opportunity to identify himself with a character known for his strength, badassness, and honor. And that is pretty damn awesome.

So while I adored Guardians of the Galaxy as a great fun loving film with cool characters, I can do nothing but thank Marvel Studios and Dave Bautista for finally bringing a superhero to the screen that my little brother can relate to.

(end transcript)
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World Con report

DavidG at FlatOut: WorldCon on Wheels

A long report about attending WorldCon from someone who rented a wheelchair.
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep with a ball of white yarn for a body (Yarnsheep)
[personal profile] soc_puppet2014-08-24 04:47 pm

AnimeIowa 2014 Accessibility/Teaspooon Report

After many delays and much swearing over internet outages, I finally have my report completely posted. You can find my account of AnimeIowa as the head and lone staffer of the Accessibility Department here: Part 1 and Part 2

Now, an importnat question: Would anyone be interested in regular reports/updates on the running of AI's accessibility department? I feel like it could be a useful resource to anyone attempting to start their own such departments, or who want to help others do so/generate interest in getting one started. I also think it might help me run the department better, if I need to keep outlining my actions, and especially if I can get feedback on them. Any thoughts?

Disability in SF

Kathryn Allan at Pornokitsch: Friday 5: Five Positive Representations of disability in SF

I want to highlight five stories that present atypical and non-normative experiences of embodiment in creative, engaging, and thought-provoking ways. Technology is not always wanted or accessible as a “cure all.” People with disabilities can be three-dimensional characters! Each of the five stories on my list of “good disability in SF examples” examines the complex diversity of human bodies and minds.
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Hawkeye #19

AV Club: Hawkeye 19 uses Deafness to help a Broken Clint Barton to find his Voice

Has a bit of ableist language; otherwise a good article.

The easiest way for readers to see more diversity is to support titles that feature diverse casts and creative teams. Larime Taylor is a disabled comics creator born with arthrogryposis, and he writes, draws, tones, and letters his work with his mouth. His Top Cow series, A Voice In The Dark, is a chilling psychological thriller featuring a primarily female cast, and it returns in September with a new first issue in full color. Valiant’s Harbinger stars a disabled cast member in John “Torque” Torkelson, a teenage boy that is paralyzed from the waist down, but can project solid psychic holograms that turn him into a powerful superhero. Gail Simone introduced a new disabled superheroine to the DC universe with Vengeance Moth in The Movement, but low sales prompted that book’s cancellation after a year.

Bleeding Cool: How Hawkeye #19 Portrays the World of a Deaf SuperHero to a Hearing Audience, for Next Year's Eisner Awards

Has some images of the comic; does not appear to have image descriptions. If anyone has the wherewithal to put descriptions in the comments there or here, that would be cool. There are also several typos in the article, FYI.
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)

1 link: Disability Issues Series at SF Signal

I was under a rock. I just encountered "SF Signal." They host three podcasts as well as hundreds of announcements, reviews, interviews, "books received," and thematic series. (They've been doing this for more than a decade, and won the Best Fanzine HUGO in 2012 and 2013.)

One of those series may be of general interest here:

Special Needs in Strange Worlds

I'm not in love with the title, but the articles themselves have useful info.
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1 link 23 July 2014

Christopher Shinn at the Atlantic: Disability is not just a metaphor

The late, disabled playwright John Belluso had a theory about why actors who play disabled characters often win Oscars: It is reassuring for the audience to see an actor like Daniel Day Lewis, after so convincingly portraying disability in My Left Foot, get up from his seat in the auditorium and walk to the stage to accept his award. There is a collective "Phew" as people see it was all an illusion. Society’s fear and loathing around disability, it seems, can be magically transcended.
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Weird Al's "Word Crimes" song

Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes”

16 Kinds: 3 Reasons why I hate Weird Al’s ‘Word Crimes’ and 3 videos to watch Instead by Wiktor K.

Grammar Girl: Weird Al’s Word Crimes Video

Quoted from Facebook:
Jay T. Dolmage
Yesterday near Waterloo, Canada
One further thought about Weird Al's "Word Crimes": Yes, I will be teaching with the video in my writing AND disability studies classes. The video is a perfect way to get into not just all the "crime" that words like "moron" have empowered (including the eugenics that still encourages people to say "get out of the gene pool") but it also perfectly shows how we have ALWAYS used arbitrary grammar and usage rules to segregate, stigmatize, and harm non-normative minds and bodies. When the precursors to our modern literacy tests were being developed at Ellis Island, it was Henry Goddard using them to reinforce his invention of the term "moron" as a way to dial back the humanity of specific racial and ethnic groups. "Literacy" has always used disability in these ways.”
jesse_the_k: Human in professorial suit but with head of Golden Retriever, labeled "Woof" (doctor dog to you)

CFP: Social Media & Disability

Here's a "call for papers" to be published in an academic volume:

Disability and Social Media
edited by Dr Katie Ellis & Dr Mike Kent
Internet Studies, Curtin University


Abstracts are due 15 July 2014

Social media is popularly seen as an important media for people with disability in terms of communication, exchange and activism. These sites potentially increase both employment and leisure opportunities for one of the most traditionally isolated groups in society. However, the offline inaccessible environment has, to a certain degree, been replicated online and particularly social networking sites. Subjects, references to current work in this area, and more in the cut )

1 link 17 June 2014

Quarries and Corridors (Tumblr)
Interaction Badges.

A photo (described in the post) and explanation of color-coded interaction badges used at a convention for and by autistic people (Autscape).

ETA: Social Skills for Autonomous people

More explanations for the history and usage of these badges.

Red/green is not ideal by itself due to color blindness; therefore symbols can be added.

Image descriptions

Hello hello!

At Access Fandom we like to encourage folks to use image description, and this post is to give a shout-out and big thank you to people who do.

If you want to learn more about how to create image descriptions, our own [personal profile] lightgetsin wrote an excellent post on this subject.

[personal profile] eruthros created a spreadsheet listing Tumblrs that use image descriptions. Check out these Tumblrs! You can also add to the spreadsheet if you know of others!

If you want to start using image descriptions and feel like you need help, we at access fandom are here to help you. Ask questions!

Image descriptions benefit many people. They are beneficial for people who use screen readers (such as blind and vision impaired folks), people who have a hard time parsing images, and people who don't know what fandom or celebrity your image is referring to. Probably other folks as well!

Image descriptions: Love them, use them, don't strip them from your posts.
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1 link 4 June 2014: CFP

Academic Editing Canada:
Call for proposals: Anomalous embodiment in YA spec fic. Jun 4 2014.

We are particularly looking for contributions on works which either (1) interrogate, problematize the dominant discourse on normative embodiment present in YA fiction, (2) emphasize, by a play on repetition or any other means, the limitations of the traditional discourse on the ‘abnormal’ or ‘disabled’ body, and signal the inherent violence of such normative paradigms, and/or (3) propose an alternative approach to the anomalous body.
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)

1 link: "Hulking Out" with the Niece & Nephew

Just caught up with some of my Blogging Against Disablism Day/May 1 blog posts. (I own my slowness). One particularly apt post talked about educating kids about what "disability" means using the Incredible Hulk and modeling clay.

From Never That Easy, 1 May 2014
begin quote  "And I guess it isn't exactly super-normal that you change into a big green monster when you're angry either" suggested her brother, ALMOST apologetically. "Well, I'm not sure disabled and normal are exact opposites there, bud" I corrected him gently (because you try and correct a 14 year-old any other way), "but yeah, I think maybe Hulking out could stretch into the disability category if we really tried, because it's something in his body that he's not always got control over and a lot of disabilities -" I gestured to myself "are kind of like that. Cousin Sara once called her seizures Hulking out." (Our cousin has epilepsy.)
 quote ends