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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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[personal profile] sasha_feather
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.”
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[personal profile] jesse_the_k
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
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Activist Mia Mingus:

Access Intimacy: The Missing Link (from 2011)

Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else “gets” your access needs. The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level. Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years. It could also be the way your body relaxes and opens up with someone when all your access needs are being met.

Book review

Tue, Apr. 15th, 2014 08:13 pm
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
A book review of The WisCon Chronicles vol. 7, Shattering Ableist Narratives.

Access and Fandom: Disability Studies From a Feminist Science Fiction Perspective

Review by Katie Wagner and Alexis Lothian.
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Jonathan Lavallee at Geek Feminism: Ableism in RPG gameplay

Thanks to [personal profile] j00j for this link.
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[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)
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[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
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[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.
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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.”

World Fantasy Con

Thu, Nov. 14th, 2013 07:20 pm
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[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.
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[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.

Links 12 Oct 2013

Sat, Oct. 12th, 2013 01:41 pm
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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.

(no subject)

Fri, Oct. 4th, 2013 10:05 am
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[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.
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[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 [twitter.com profile] alothian for this link!
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[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.
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
Rose Lemberg: Disability Access and Being a Bystander

So let’s put it on the agenda. The Other is us. It could be you, or a loved one, mortified and sitting below other presenters, on the floor, in front of a crowd of people who came to listen to your words but can neither see nor hear you. We must uplift each other. The time to care is now.

(People are tweeting and discussing these issues on Twitter using the hashtag #accessiblecons. I am @roselemberg there. Please join us).

July 2014

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