Two reasons for the uncooked, buffet format this time: It's hot in Los Angeles, record-breaking hot, so having a laptop anywhere near me isn't an appealing prospect (plus, rolling blackouts may interrupt composition of this post). And it's ADA Day--July 26 marks the 16th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. So, instead of writing up a real roundup, I'll be festooning the nearest placard parking space with crepe paper and balloons. (Not really. But if you do anything creative in observance of the day, I'll be interested to hear about it.)
So, here's the format: Alphabetical tour through a lot of disability blogs (and still it's only a segment of the whole disability blogging universe), with a quote from a July 2006 post at that blog. I tried not to take things out of context, but click the links to find out for yourself what these bloggers are talking about.
19th Floor (Mark Siegel): "I used to joke with people that I use a wheelchair and ventilator because I'm incurably lazy, but I never thought that laziness would become a bona fide justification for using a mobility device."
A Letter to my Children: "It is ALL ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE. I cannot stress to you enough how much this country's screwed up dismal disgrace of a health-care system has ruled both D and my life."
Along the Spectrum (Shawn): "Three out of four people with an ASD are male. Less than two out of ten autism conference attendees are male."
Amputeehee: "I am often asked about how I manage to bellydance on one leg."
Autism Diva: "No one is saying that parents of autistic children don't need support, or even lots of support. Sometimes the support needs to be fairly intensive, but frequently this intensive support is necessary for relatively short periods of time."
Autism Vox (Kristina Chew): "Is it possible that Greenspan is suggesting that a child can be 'at risk for ASD' due to improper care from the child's parents?"
Autismland (Kristina Chew): "Learning how to advocate for Charlie has taught Jim and me something simple about advocacy. It is not calling up people and yelling at them. It is strategy."
Awake to Dream (Josiejose): "People like to ask me questions in public places that they would NEVER ask an able-bodied person except in the strictest confidence and in private."
Ballastexistenz (Amanda Baggs): "The moment you create a kind of person that institutions have to be there for, you are creating an artificial 'need' for institutions where there was none before."
Blind Chance: "I have often wondered if there is a braille equivalent for stenography where perhaps each braille character--and there are 63 potential dot combinations--might represent a unique syllable of English?"
BlindConfidential: "Rules that only apply to blind students that get enforced entirely by sighted people rub me poorly."
Blob (David N. Wallace): "I was in a meeting with four, yes four, people paid to tick boxes....It's unsaid, but the reality is that they don't really expect somebody with a disability like I have to be working in the position I am. Certainly not full-time and in managerial/decision-making role."
Blog of a Blind Bookworm (Kestrell): "I was under the impression that sort of comment is typically considered a faux pas in modern literary criticism, like 'This work couldn't possibly be written by a female author--it must have really been written by her husband.'"
Chaironwheels Blog: "I found out yesterday that both Jerry Kainulainen, of the Sitka SAIL program, and Alice Rocke, of the Ketchikan DVR program, passed away."
Chronic Pain Lifestyle: "I've freed-up my hands, and solved one of mankind's great mysteries. I now know what women carry in pocketbooks."
Deaf in the City (Joseph Rainmound): "I think you find your Deafhood when you stop apologizing to people about who you are and stop being embarrassed by it."
DeafDC Blog (Rob Rice): "According to WJZ-TV 13, the Maryland School for the Deaf is considering the admission of hearing students who are proficient in sign language. If this were to happen, MSD would essentially be rendered as a mainstream program."
Diary of a Goldfish: "Why do we push difference out to the edge, why do we discourage variation when it is so very good for us?"
Did I Miss Something? (Imfunnytoo): "It's kind of seductive. On the Internet, we can 'pass' better than anywhere else. We can talk about feminism, the war, domestic spying....And unless we bring it up, no one knows we are disabled."
Disability Rants: "I am fiercely independent. Fiercely. Combine that with all the times I've been patted on the head, told I'm such a nice girl (by strangers who have no freaking idea how nice I am) been given help when I didn't want it and wasn't asked, and yes, I have a big chip on my shoulder. I know it. I admit it. I embrace it. That's me, I'm not gonna change. Deal."
Dispoet (EMMLP): "Political/economic oppression has a much larger role in the landscape of South African disability poetry than in American. The literal landscape is a key feature as well, in much South African work."
Fangworld (Agent Fang): "For the first time in 10 or more years I have been able to go outdoors and explore where I am living."
Fey and Strange (Feystranger): "I really wish I could be an anonymous citizen who could ride public transport without requiring an entourage of employees to aid me, whose simple use of public facilities didn't create delays and fuss. I wish I didn't have to dredge extra politeness and patience out of a store already depleted by fatigue and pain in order to deal with a bunch of people who I would rather hide from."
The Future Doc Wilson (Arlene Wilson): "At first conference attendees looked shocked. The group pulled out protest signs with slogans such as 'Not Dead Yet,' 'Democracy not Dictatorship,' 'ADAPT' and perhaps most importantly, 'Nothing About Us without Us!'"
Get Around Guide (Darren Hillock): "Can we really wait for everyone who is ambivalent about accessibility to injure themselves so they can finally appreciate it?"
Gimp Parade (Blue): "This is no longer science fiction, it's real. I wonder why exactly a bracelet or other external accessory containing the same type of information has been bypassed in favor of an implanted device."
Gimpy Mumpy: "The dog trainer who kept asking 'So you'll never run again?' was actually a very nice man but for some reason he could not grasp that no matter how he phrased this question the answer would always be 'No.'"
Help! I'm Turning Normal (James Medhurst): "I can relax my eyes but they tend not to stay relaxed, and my eye contact drifts unless I concentrate on maintaining it. Imagine having to concentrate to breathe, or make the heart beat."
John McManamy's Bipolar Blog: "A number of years ago it became politically correct for mental health groups and government agencies to start euphemistically referring to patients as consumers. Consumers? Have you ever heard of an AIDS consumer? A heart consumer? A cancer consumer? Let's analyze the term." (via Liz Spikol)
The Joy of Autism (Estee Klar): "...and as I talk my joyful talk, a look of subtle skepticism crosses her face. I've seen that look before. The kind where I feel like I have to talk wiser, faster, smarter....a glace like a drop of poison that could seep in slowly, killing everything."
Left Brain/Right Brain (Kevin Leitch): "I've set up a petition to make sure that the film-makers realise that not all parents of autistic people, or autistic people themselves, or professionals who work with autistic people, are harbouring thoughts of murder."
Marmite Boy: "If bands refused to play at venues with bad access or facilities for their disabled fans, then maybe some of the more reluctant venues might get their arses in gear."
Meanderings of a Politically Incorrect Crip (Charles Dawson): "This is a true story. My great-grandad told it to my grandad, my grandad told it to my mother, and my mother told it to me. They didn't want to let the memory of such an unrecorded incident die; and since I have no children ... I am doing the next best thing and putting it on the web, so that he who runs may read."
Moving Right Along (Sara): "I've been meaning to get back to ice skating for years, assumed I'd have to give it up forever after my transfemoral amputation, but now am not so sure."
NAG (Neighborhood Access Group) (John B. Kelly): "We were reminded of why we were out there when we saw a man zip by in a wheelchair, right in Massachusetts Avenue. This should be a scandal! Man risks his life to go somewhere, because a city and an institution can't be bothered to ensure access."
Ouch! (Crippled Monkey): "Equability UK--That's like equal and ability merged together and cleverly not having to say that awful word 'disability'? C'mon with yer, Equability. It's not clever, it's just two perfectly good words mushed into something meaningless and apologetic."
The Perorations of Lady Bracknell: "It is with unalloyed joy and considerable relief that Lady Bracknell can reveal to her readers that her local lending library has at last re-opened its doors to the public....She is also pleased to note that the designers of the new interior have taken accessibility issues into account."
Planet of the Blind (Stephen Kuusisto): "Contrary to what the movies might tell you, blind people do not generally go about touching the faces of people as a means of 'seeing.' I think it's safe to say the visually impaired are willing and even happy to know you by means of imagination and some good old fashioned common sense."
Rettdevil's Rants (Kassiane): "Unless you have phenobarb on you there isn't a damn thing that can be done about my seizures except waiting them out."
Rolling Rains (Scott Rains): "Vasile Stoica is on his way to somewhere I'd like to visit--Finisterra, Galicia. The difference is, he's going by land, by wheelchair actually, from his home country of Romania!"
The Seated View (Lene Andersen): "The first time I was in that hospital, I stayed for three months. My memories tell me that the book was always with me, either in my hands or in the pocket of my anorak, ready to take me away to Russia when I needed to escape. I no longer know if this is true."
Wheelchair Dancer: "I want to be able to get into a house and have accessibility be a core part of the design (and have it NOT look like a nursing home unit). I don't want to talk about well, if we smoothed this staircase, put a lift in here, removed that wall..."
Whose Planet is it Anyway? (ABFH): "If we end up in a society so intolerant of natural differences that millions of autistic children are routinely aborted...what do gay supporters of Autism Speaks expect will happen when researchers discover the gay gene?"
That's it today--the next round-up will probably be a back-to-school special in early September. Until then, Happy ADA Day, and stay cool.
[Illustration above: A self-portrait by German painter Anna Dorothea Therbusch-Lisiewska (1721-1762), showing her trademark spina frontalis monocle, which fit over the top of the head and brow rather than across the nose and ears. Read more about antique spectacles of all configurations here.]