902: Good Disability Blogs, Part 3

I’m devoting this post to blogs by autistic writers. Some write chiefly about autism, some about a wider range of disabilities. Contrary to the stereotype of autistic people as robotic and literal, many of these writers use sarcasm and irony to express their frustration with injustice and disrespect and erasure and dishonesty.

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg’s Disability and Representation is worthwhile for the links in the right-hand column alone. But she has many good posts about  . . . well, disability and representation. Some of them controversial, as when she criticized a Guinness commercial.

Melanie Yergeau is a young autistic professor in Michigan who analyzes things.

Ibby Grace of Tiny Grace Notes is an autistic Christian educator whose posts offer a good mix of the personal and the more general.

Amanda Baggs has all kinds of disabilities and does great analyses of power. She has a separate blog for cat pictures. If you scroll down far enough, you’ll see references to her struggle when hospitalized recently to persuade medical personnel that yes, she really did want a life-saving procedure and did not think she’d be happier dead. There’s also a great “Why Institutions are Bad” post somewhere in her archive.

Julia Bascom has some passionate pieces about being oppressed and then finding a community with which to resist. Also criticizes Glee fans.

Lydia Brown is a Georgetown student trying to make that elite school notice
disability. She gets impatient with Pity-and-Tragedy rhetoric about autistic people.


902: Indignity at WorldCon

I ran across this account of an accessfail at a major (perhaps the major) science fiction convention. The author, Rose Lemberg, raises important questions of recognition and dignity. I found the comments even more valuable, though — in particular, there’s a point where a convention organizer gets defensive, blaming the disabled attendee for not being better at finding accommodation, and others say, no, no, there’s really something wrong. Blogger and editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden sums up the difference between accommodation and access, although he doesn’t think the con did a good job with either one: “The point of disabled access is so that disabled people can, as best as we can manage, interact with their fellow human beings with as few obstacles as possible and with as little advance preparation as possible, rather than having to make elaborate plans in advance which then can’t be deviated from. Obviously, given how the world works, and given the limitations of already-built facilities, we can’t do a perfect job of this no matter how dedicated we are. But it’s hardly absurd to suppose that Worldcon might notice in advance that a program participant is visibly disabled — when they register, when they check in at the programming desk, or any of a number of obvious checkpoints — and ask if they have special needs that can be met . . . “

902: Good Disability Blogs, Part 2

Cheryl Gottlieb’s Finding My Way also takes personal experiences, good and bad, and fits them into the big picture. She’s a different gender, size, nationality, and age than Dave HIngsburger though.

Ben Mattlin’s Adventures in Modern Life mostly discusses news and media. It’s a good way to keep up with issues.

Mike Ervin of Smart-Ass Cripple is a muscular dystrophy poster child turned activist. Witty commentaries.

Scott Rains’s Rolling Rains Report is devoted to reporting on access (and the lack thereof) in travel and tourism. Don’t miss his pieces on Delta Airlines.

Leaving Evidence contains beautiful but infrequent essays and speeches by the young Asian-American queer disability activist Mia Mingus. Her concept of “Access Intimacy” is invaluable.

902: Good Disability Blogs, Part 1

Beth Haller’s Media Dis&Dat mostly aggregates news stories.

Dave Hingsburger’s Rolling Around in My Head tells mostly first-person stories with a point to them. Some are happy stories and some are about injustices and indignities.

Wheelchair Dancer. What it says.

Stephen Kuusisto. Blind poet, teacher, and activist.

Haddayr Copley-Woods has MS and an autistic son. Note the great radio commentaries.

LeRoy Moore’s POOR Magazine. Focused (but not exclusively) on people of color; often features performers in Moore’s Krip-Hop Nation project.

902: Changing Children’s Attitudes.

Here’s an article I ran across about a study on children’s attitudes toward their disabled peers. Of course, medicine is not an exact science, and media coverage of science is notoriously sensational (I especially have questions about the Autism Epidemic: we’ll discuss that in class in a couple of weeks); but the article makes some points that connect to issues we’ve discussed in class, about what might encourage or discourage prejudice. Take a look: it’s very short.