I got to talking about Torn World
who suggested that I copy here the list of TW characters with disabilities. Torn World is a shared world project, science fantasy with an emphasis on time-bending technology, in which a bunch of writers and artists and worldbuilders collaborate to create a large and intricate web of creative goodies. For one reason and another, we've built up a significant number of characters living with handicaps. Come and meet some of them...Alko
is a Southerner, a retired soldier who walks with a limp. This character is one I created and own. He figures into Rai's story arc.Kalitelm
is a Northerner, a healer who has a crippling form of dwarfism. She is adoptable and appears in a bunch of stories, linked on the character page. Here's one of mine:
"The Song of the Wind, the Sigh of the Willows
" (publically visible)Marai
is a Northerner, a childcare worker who is deaf. I did most of the construction on this character, and she is adoptable. She appears in several stories; here are a couple of samples:
"A Day of Silence
" (publically visible)
"These Teeth, Like Stars
" (publically visible)Rai
is a Southerner, a shopkeeper who is legally blind. I created and own this character. I've written a couple of stories featuring Rai but they haven't been posted yet. He does appear briefly in a story about his twin brother, Bai:
"Paper Butterflies: Paper Trail
" (publically visible)Ularki
is a Northerner, a pest hunter who is mentally handicapped. I created this character, and she's adoptable. She appears in two stories of mine, plus a poem by someone else.
"Odds and Ends
" (publically visible)
!" (supporters only)
Also worth mentioning is the story "Pretending
" (supporters only) in which "The life of a cripple in the Empire isn't exactly what you might think..."
For sake of completion, there is a different form of dwarfism in the Southern Empire, a population with a substantial number of intersexed individuals, and provisions for citizens to change their legal gender identity. In context these characters aren't generally considered disabled, but some people consider those things to be handicaps; if you count them, you can dig around in the Torn World archives for more information.
Feedback on the accuracy (or possible lack thereof) in these renditions is welcome. Some of the contributors and canon board members did considerable research to make sure these characters and their conditions were presented in a responsible and plausible manner. (Bear in mind, though, that neither the Southern nor the Northern culture is a really close match for the world we live in; they handle some things differently than we do, which can work out better or worse.) We found some good tips and articles about portraying characters with disabilities, but links to more such are always helpful.
Do you want to see more portrayals of characters with disabilities? Support and encourage the people who create what you like! If you register as a Torn World member (which is free) then you can leave comments on art or stories, send karma points to favorite contributors, and/or participate in the discussion forums. If you become a supporter
(at various price levels) then part of your fee turns into credits which you can direct to favorite contributors; you can also adopt a character for free. If you get really hooked and want to contribute
, there are options for creating new characters or adopting current ones. (The cool thing about a shared world project is that it allows interested fans to get involved in creating canon material. No standing on the sidelines while other folks get to have all the fun.) Finally, you can watch the Torn World community
over on LiveJournal for our Muse Fusion days when we call for prompts -- that's your chance to ask our artists and writers for whatever suits your interests. Some of the items that come out of a Muse Fusion are posted free, while others first appear as "supporters only" but are available for sponsorship; that gives you another option, sponsoring your favorite stories or illustrations so that everyone can see them.
Vote with your attention and your money. Those are the most effective ways to get more of the things you consider important.