Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Disability Blogs Roundup, #11

In two recent editions (here, and here) the Carnival of Feminists has included several disability bloggers---yeah! Continuing the conversation, we'll start this month's roundup with a focus on some recent feminist posts in the disability blogs.

Blue's post on Ms. Wheelchair America just missed the Carnival deadline, but it shouldn't be missed otherwise. At A Letter to My Children, a deafblind mother describes a typical stare-filled outing to the grocery store as her twin sons reach the 18-month milestone. Now, she says, naysayers have only have 16.5 more years to ask "what-er-ya-gonna-do-when..." as they continually question her ability to be a good mother. (Also check out her Bullet Points, including "I bought Aaron a 'Little Mommy' toy shopping cart. It is lavender, I believe. Sue me.") Sally was called "lazy bitch" for using a wheelchair on the public sidewalks; "I wonder if it is my independence and a certain style that causes them to want to bring me down to their level," she speculates. The Goldfish commented in solidarity at her own blog, and drew a chorus of agreement about books and covers. Goldfish also had a post on body image and diet and "this beauty crap"--no, disabled women are not immune to the cultural messages there. HarriettheElf has been frustrated with efforts to get a committee on women's health to make accessible meetings a priority. Imfunnytoo reminds us that disabled people need to pay very close attention to the debate around gay marriage. Finally, Emma has a meditation on the questions of male and female careworkers, heterosexism, double standards, and sexual harrassment.

Autism bloggers have been very, very busy of late, beyond the Katherine McCarron memorial posts linked here earlier. The video "Autism Every Day" coming right before a spate of well-publicized criminal deaths of autistic children combined to spark a lot of posts. Kristina Chew at AutismVox has stayed with the McCarron story with almost daily posts, and has Katherine's grandfather writing in the comments section of at least one post on the subject. Conuly posted her play-by-play reaction to the disturbing video. Amanda at Ballastexistenz draws from her own past to recall "real children, real people," devalued and killed for their differences. ABFH wonders, when there are still "experts" being cited who believe autism prevents a person from feeling love, who are these experts? "If an autism specialist doesn't understand that autistic people have feelings and makes ignorant public statements on the subject," she continues, "he or she is a menace to the autistic community and needs to be ostracized."

Elsewhere.... Mark Siegel is wondering if his wheechair has magical age-defying properties; AmpuT will be dancing this weekend here in Los Angeles, as part of the Dandelion Dancetheater's Undressed Project; Katja has an English translation of Christiane's "How to Annoy Your Customers," about a two-story bookstore with clueless staff and no elevator; Kathy at From the Port describes efforts to keep popular outdoor dining areas from becoming sidewalk barriers in Cambridgeport this summer. (If the sidewalks are still inhospitable, Ziggi has advice about power-wheelchair on-roading.) What can you do with Velcro? Sara seems to be the expert on its adaptive uses. Miss Mumpy, meanwhile, tells of a physical therapist who refused to give her an icepack, and then violated her privacy rights (HIPAA? Huh?). Timmargh encountered a part-time emergency helpline--so schedule your emergencies very carefully, eh? The history of arthritis and its treatments is recounted with fine detail and illustrations in a six-part series by Charles Dawson (here, here, here, here, here, and here). In more recent history, Scott Rains looks at Katrina: Lessons Never Learned.

Bad Ads Department: There's a tangle of ugly messages in the new Canadian ad campaign against drunk driving, notes Ouch! blogger Crippled Monkey; and Lady Bracknell "is not now, and never will be, persuaded" that wrinkles are ugly, "anti-expression" products notwithstanding.

Recommended reading: Kestrell passes along news of Anna Dresner's new book, Blog On! Reading and Writing Blogs with a Screen Reader (National Braille Press), and Robert McRuer's Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability (NYU Press 2006). At the Ragged Edge, William J. Peace reviewed Simi Linton's new memoir, My Body Politic (University of Michigan Press 2005), with high praise.

Finally, Happy Father's Day (US) to Shawn who confirmed once again that sometimes a goofy simple pleasure is just the thing with kids; and Darren at GetaroundGuide; and all the other blogging dads out there. Oh, and a big howdy to all the folks who are at this very minute at the Society for Disability Studies conference in Bethesda!

[Diagrams about minimum passing and turnaround space on narrow sidewalks, above, taken from the Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, website on Sidewalk Guidelines and Existing Practices.]

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