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Book review

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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Ableism in RPG gameplay

Jonathan Lavallee at Geek Feminism: Ableism in RPG gameplay

Thanks to [personal profile] j00j for this link.

1 link: panel notes from Arisia

[personal profile] kate_nepveu: Arisia Panel: Blindness: More than Metaphor


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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1 link 9 January 2014

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

2 links: Welcome to Night Vale

[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.

1 link 19 November 2013

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.”

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World Fantasy Con

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.

Links 12 Oct 2013

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.
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(no subject)

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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Article on Language

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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1 link 12 Sept 2013

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.

Disability Access and Being a Bystander

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).

1 link 6 Sept 2013: Subtitles

Donna Williams: The BBC are Treating me Like a Second Class Doctor Who Fan

And then eventually, a few days later, a pathetic email apologising for the inconvenience. The inconvenience? Did they have any idea of what they’d done? That they had effectively withheld a stonking episode from me for days, whilst the hearing population could watch it at any time? Discrimination. I had to watch the special another few times before I calmed down. Ah, the power of the fix…

1 link 5 September 2013: Accessibility at Conventions

Rose Lemberg: Disability, Diversity, Dignity

What this means is that fans and professionals with mobility issues may feel fairly isolated in their regular places of residence; cons then become an important social outlet, a respite from this unwelcome social isolation. But when the disabled SFF geeks go to cons, they may end up spending thousands of dollars only to be in pain, to be humiliated, to be told that one is overreacting, in short to be treated as less than human.

1 link 21 August 2013

This link is from July 1, 2013.

The Ada Initiative (which supports Women in Open Source technology and culture):
New Accessible Dropdown Menus plugin for Wordpress Now Available

The post also contains a nice bit on why Accessibility is Important.
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Book Excerpt

Tor.com: Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure edited by Kathryn Allan.

Bringing together the fields of disability studies and science fiction, this book explores the ways dis/abled bodies use prosthetics to challenge common ideas about ability and human being, as well as proposes new understandings of what “technology as cure” means for people with disabilities in a (post)human future.