Monday, January 02, 2006

Disability Blogs Roundup, #6

And a happy new year!

Except if you're the manager of the Star nightclub on New York's Upper West Side--shouting "
You can't come in here, you're in a wheelchair" at a prospective partier is hardly festive. (Seems like New Yorkers are having enough access problems these days with the transit strike, anyway. And the city parks.) Not that Californians are behaving much better where access is concerned....Mary Johnson's been following the recent ADA controversy in Julian. Meanwhile in Oregon, schoolgirl Emily Lang needs to sell bracelets to raise money for a door to her own school...and Mary Johnson rightly asks, what about the school's responsibility? The parents' organization? The other students? "Why only her?" Katja at Broken Clay is looking for statistics to refute the ever-popular "I have never, ever seen a wheelchair passenger on the route" refrain. What do YOU say to that one? Planes aren't a much friendlier alternative for the chair user--not even if you wear your tiara, as it turns out.

Sigh. Out with the old and out-dated, please, and in with the shiny and new. There are always new-to-the-roundup blogs to note. Damon at Do Your Worst is having PA problems (a holiday-season epidemic, it seems); Eeka at One Smoot Short of a Bridge found the project's website fascinating (and you might, too: they're "documenting a current artistic project about the abandoned mental institutions of Massachusetts"); The Willa Woman patiently explains why "winter and wheelchairs do not mix." On the tech front, Gary at 6by7reports has an hour-long audio report on the World Congress and Exposition on Disabilities, a trade show recently held in Philadelphia.

And for some innovative winter technology, try the Trail Boss, or maybe the Snowpod. (And then when you get lost in the snowy wilderness, Scott Rains suggests this gadget.)

Got some big resolutions for 2006? Maybe you've promised yourself, "I'm going to find time for more serious literature." Well,
David Faucheux tipped readers off to the fine, fine service Librivox, which is a free audiobook service delivered by free download or by podcast. Site visitors are invited to volunteer; by reading public-domain texts, costs are minimized. This month: Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground, with new segments available in various formats every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting 2 January. There are plans for non-English-language reads soon, and the weekly poetry reading invitational also looks fun. Maybe you've decided to garden more--Gimpy Mumpy has the telescoping tools to make that more comfortable for many. Did you decide you need new ornaments for the tree next December? Firinel suggests making ASL salt-dough ornaments--better get started now! And while you're in the kitchen, some Braille biscuits might also be nice, says Lady Bracknell at Ouch! (part of the "Merry Cripmas" feature that makes Ouch! such a fine blog).

It can't be January without some best-of-2005's Gimpy Mumpy's. Susan LoTiempo's "Very Short List" of the best disability films of 2005 includes Murderball, and...well, that's it. LoTiempo wonders, where's the disability-friendly movie that's NOT about men and masculinity?
She clarifies, "one that didn't concentrate on wheelchairs crashing into each other, locker room blather and overdoses of testosterone." Sounds great. (I'd suggest Liebe Perla, for its scenes about shopping and appearance--being of small stature, Perla Ovitz cannot buy suitable adult clothing readymade, and instead sews her own dresses, and advises her young German friend Hannelore Witkofski on fashion--no testosterone in sight.)

Next roundup should be posted in early February. Until then, stay warm (northerners), stay cool (Australians), and stay dry (my fellow Californians).


Anonymous said...

A couple of disability-themed films released in 2005 that were NOT about wheelchairs crashing into each other:

39 Pounds of Love:

Little Man

Mike Dorn said...

Thanks for these suggestions. I will make a point of checking them out. Don't know that they have made their way to Philadelphia yet. How do I get local theaters to show these films? Mike

Penny L. Richards said...

I suspect you can't really get a commercial theatre to show them, but maybe you can plan a mini film festival on campus, and at least get them shown to students and faculty, stimulate some discussion anyway.