Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Notes from the Field: The West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (WVSDB) in Romney, WV

The West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (WVSDB), originally uploaded by Edu-Tourist. Image note: Photograph, taken at night, of the West Virginia historical marker located at the entrance to the WVSDB campus. The marker reads: "Established, 1870. The Classical Institute was donated by the Romney Literary Society as the initial building unit. Co-educational school giving academic and vocational training to the State's deaf and blind youth."

While returning from vacation with family in the Ohio Valley, I had the opportunity to visit the Hampshire County Public Library and briefly view the grounds of this distinguished West Virginia institution. Amongst the interesting and instructive stories attached the school is the life of one of the school's most successful graduates, Ernest Hairston.

By the early twentieth century, there two institutions, for 'white' and 'colored' deaf and blind youth in the state of West Virginia. As a result of the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education, the students of the West Virginia School for Colored Deaf and Blind (located in Institute, near Charleston, WV) were transferred to WVSDB in Romney. One of the students transferred, Ernest Hairston, went on to score at the top of his class at WVSDB, receiving encouragement from his English teacher to rethink his intentions(driven by the largely vocations curriculum at WVSCDB) to become a barber. Harston went on receive his Bachelor Degree in Education from Gallaudet College (now University), his Masters Degree in Administration and Supervision is from California State University at Northridge, and a doctorate in Special Education Administration from Gallaudet University. He is currently Education Research Analyst at the U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
Sources:Ernest Hairston and Linwood Smith (1983) Black and Deaf in America: Are we that different (Silver Spring, Md.: T. J. Publishers).
Glenn B. Anderson and Katrina R. Miller (2004/2005) 'Appreciating diversity through stories about the lives of Deaf people of color,' American Annals of the Deaf 149(5):375-83, profile on p. 378.

Friday, December 12, 2008


This. Yeah, just two years after Clint Eastwood was awarded as a "humanitarian" at the Oscars, we're going to have Jerry Lewis get a "humanitarian" award too? While it would be nice to see the award quietly rescinded, or the presentation streamlined out of the over-long broadcast, it's most likely going to happen... Read the Anti-Telethon blogswarm from 2007 to see why that's protest-worthy. (At least Tropic Thunder probably isn't up for any awards this season.)

So, who's coming out to Hollywood in February? It's usually a beautiful sunny day. And the Walk of Fame is quite wheelchair-friendly.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Geo-Politics of Disability Speaker Series, 2009 Edition

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, has released the lineup of invited guest speakers for rest of the 2008 - 2009 academic year. And quite an intoxicating brew it appears to be.

January 28 - Nicole Markotić (photo on right), Associate Professor of English, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
February 18 - Michael Bérubé, Paterno Family Professor in Literature, The Pennsylvania State University
March 18 - James Charlton, Access Living, Chicago, IL
April 15 - Adrienne Asch of Yeshiva University, New York City, NY
All talks take place at 1810 Liacouras Walk on Temple University's main campus, beginning at 12:00 noon. Requests for accommodations should be directed to Brian Zimmerman at the Institute on Disabilities.

We hope to post a DS,TU review of Dr. Markotić's new book Scrapbook of My Years as a Zealot (Arsenal Pulp Press: Vancouver, Canada) in advance of her visit, and distribute a video of the presentation by podcast, so stay tuned. If you live in the region, why not take the train into the city and join us?

Disability Blog Carnival #51 is up now!

[Image: Map of Area 51, in Nevada]

Shiloh at Sunny Dreamer has compiled the December edition of the Disability Blog Carnival, #51, with "Quotations, Sayings, and Songs" as the theme. This is the only December Carnival; next edition should post January 8, when Cherylberyl hosts. (More soon on that one.)

As with many blog carnivals, submissions have been down the last handful of carnival editions. I'm thinking that in 2009, we may move to a monthly format, to give each host a fair collection to choose from. Downside is, we'd have half as many chance to host. If you have feedback about this idea, I'm glad to consider it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Swing time

In the picture, my son and I at the dedication of a new accessible swing at a neighborhood park today... We like to show up for these things if we're available, because it's good for the city officials who approved the funds, and the park crew who will maintain the site, to see who will benefit. To see that it's not just window-dressing, that there are real kids who will enjoy the new equipment.

It's also the one and only day that you can assume the accessible swing will be in working order--in fact, this one had already needed a minor repair before the photo opportunities commenced. (Why do carers let kids mistreat playground equipment? It's not actually indestructible, and it's never inexpensive.)

Thanks again to the Hermosa Beach folks who worked for this swing (and who are working for further accessibility features in other parks), and to photographer Doris Beaman for the lovely picture she took.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Helen Keller's Flickring

Helen Keller and Mrs. Macy (LOC)
Originally uploaded by The Library of Congress

This week's batch of Flickr Commons uploads from the Library of Congress's G. G. Bain Collection includes a series of photos of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy, taken in some kind of conservatory or museum. In the photo I've featured here, Keller is seated in a wicker chair, and posed in profile, while Macy stands behind the chair and is seen face-on. Both women wear long dark dresses and have long hair arranged in low chignons at the nape. The Bain Collection photos are from 1910-1915.

If you have more information about the occasion or location of these photos, you can add that to the photos at Flickr. (The photos can also be tagged by visitors.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sensory Friendly Film Screenings

Got this email through a local group:
Subject: Autism Society of America and AMC Entertainment to Host Films

AMC Entertainment (AMC) and ASA have teamed up to begin testing a pilot program to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis.

"Sensory Friendly Films" premiered across the country last August, and are continuing with a special showing of the new film Bolt for December.

For these movies the lights are up a little, the sound is down, there is no "silence is golden" rule, and people can bring in special dietary snacks.
An interesting experiment, similar to Parent Movie Mornings at some theatres on weekday mornings, where babies are welcome instead of frowned upon, secure stroller parking is offered, and the volume is down. And no doubt any such realistic accommodations are a godsend for many families.

But once again, the sensory-friendly screenings are targeting families and showing kid movies at this pilot stage, rather than imagining there are adults who might also like to "enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment" that includes lower volume and BYO snacks. These conditions don't have to be "special" or just for children--they might be appreciated by a much wider audience if the option were offered.

Monday, December 01, 2008

CFP: Society for Disability Studies (Tucson, June 2009)



The Society for Disability Studies is pleased to announce a call for proposals for its annual convention, to be held June 18-21, 2009, in Tucson, Arizona, at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort. The theme for this convention is “It’s ‘Our’ Time: Pathways to and From Disability Studies—Past, Present, Future.” Time, in all its forms, conceptualizations, and manifestations, will be the central focus of the conference, though proposals on any topic relevant to Disability Studies are welcomed. We imagine a number of different ways of approaching the issue of time, a concept critical to all aspects of disability experience and culture:

Cultural: Is there such a thing as“disability time”? How do different cultural constructions and experiences of time affect people with disabilities?

Economic: How is time a form of “capital,” both for people with disabilities and those involved in the “disability industry?” For people with disabilities who must interact with ableist norms of time in the labor force?

Political: What is disability’s “moment in 2009, a time when, whatever the outcome of elections in the U.S. and elsewhere, “change,” a temporal and political idea, is declaimed and echoed in much rhetoric. What current issues are particularly “timely” for disability studies—and how are such issues tied to past and future?

Educational: How do issues of time, including controversies around and resistance to accommodations around time for people with disabilities, play themselves out in educational environments?

Psychological/Philosophical: What does phenomenology’s enduring interest in internal time consciousness have to offer to understanding the intersection of disability experience and cross-ability inter-subjectivity? How is individual experience of time related to such realms as social and community psychology? Do different disabilities lead to different psychologies and/or philosophies of time?

Historical: History is, in a sense, the “biggest” unit of time. How do different eras view the role of time in disability experience? What is the relationship between disability history and temporality? Both studies of specific historical moments of disability and cross-historical studies are welcome.

The Arts: How is time represented in literary, visual, musical, performing, and mediated forms of art? How are questions of duration and endurance crucial to the roles of artists with disabilities in the social and cultural domains of the arts?

Medicine/Science: How do issues of longevity, physical and psychological capability,and social regulation of the lives of people with disabilities affect access and opportunities? How are medicine and science reconfiguring time and creating new conceptions of futures?

These are only suggestions of possible directions proposals around the convention theme might take—we imagine members will go off in many more directions as well. After all, it’s “our” time.

PROPOSALS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN JANUARY 15, 2009. For specifics about formats and submission guidelines, see the SDS conference website.

Conference co-chairs for the 2009 convention are: Christine McCohnell, Ramapo College of
New Jersey, Joan Ostrove, Macalester College, and Bruce Henderson, Ithaca College. Questions may be directed to the co-chairs at sdsconference2009@yahoo.com

Proposals will be reviewed by the conference Program Committee: Christine Komoroski-McCohnell, Bruce Henderson, Joan Ostrove (co-chairs); Shilpaa Anand, Susan Baglieri, Christopher Bell, Allison Carey, Michael Chemers, Jim Ferris, Deborah Little, Carol Marfisi, Akemi Nishida, Michael Rembis, and Cindy Wu.

Manet's "Rue Mosnier with Flags" (1878)

[Visual description: painting by Edouard Manet, a street scene in daylight, with French flags flying from every building; in the foreground, a figure with one leg uses crutches, back to the viewer, wearing a large blue coat and a black hat]

We went to the Getty today, a gorgeous day here in Los Angeles. The Getty is a wheel-friendly place with free admission and amazing views, so it's a low-stress place for us to go be a tourist family in our own town, and we go a few times a year. This time I spotted the Manet above--hadn't noticed it before, somehow, but it's in the permanent collection there. Tyler Green's blog Modern Art Notes had a good discussion of this painting's historical context earlier this year; an excerpt:
You can't miss the one-legged man--likely a war vet--at the left of the painting. The scene is apparently set on that national holiday and Manet juxtaposes the man against one of Baron Haussmann's famously straight Parisian streets. On the right -- on the other side of the street -- are Haussmann's new streetlights and a prosperous family. They all ignore the one-legged man. Manet is reminding us of the cost of war and of France's willful negligence of its warriors.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30: Linda Bove (b. 1945)

[Visual description: Linda Bove in the 1970s, wearing a rust-colored turtleneck and signing "I"]

When I joined the cast I found the writers would write about 'How would a deaf person do this?' 'How does a deaf person do that?' And it was just related to my deafness and it didn't feel like they were treating me as a person. I found my character one-dimensional and kind of boring. It showed how brave a deaf person was to do this and that in everday life. I said it was no big deal. I have a sense of humor; why don't you show that? I can be angry over something. Show that I can have a relationship with another person.
Today is the birthday of Linda Bove, born on this date in Garfield, New Jersey. If you were a hearing American kid in the 1970s, chances are the first place you saw American Sign Language was on Sesame Street--and chances are, it was being used by Linda Bove, one of the show's longest-running cast members (1972-2003). Bove attended Gallaudet University and became involved in theater as a student; she toured with the National Theater of the Deaf, and co-founded the Little Theater of the Deaf and Deaf West Theatre Company.

Now, for old times' sake, video from Sesame Street, first aired in 1980, in which Olivia (Alaina Reed) and Linda sing and sign the song "Sing" (lyrics here):

Friday, November 28, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #50 is up NOW!

[Carnival logo: Patent drawing of a torso-bracing device, with the words "the Disability Blog Carnival a bracing event" superimposed in blue lettering]

Yes, #50. Many blog carnivals don't stay around long enough for a dozen editions, let alone two years' worth of quality collections--but thanks to all the hosts, contributors, and readers, we're still rounding up links from all over the disability blogosphere for a twice-monthly (except in December) carnival. The current edition is up at The Life and Times of Emma, with posts based on the theme "I am" -- a lot of honesty in this crop, as Emma observes, along with the usual quotient of passionate, funny, relevant, searching, and wise contributions.

The next edition will be hosted by Shiloh at Sunny Dreamer, on Thursday, December 11, and the theme is "favourite quotes, songs, writings, scriptures etc - specifically the ones that you turn to during the bad times and how they help." Submissions are due Monday, December 8, and can be offered through the blogcarnival.com form (warning, inaccessible CAPTCHA is still in place), through comments here, by email to Shiloh (celtic_me2000@yahoo.com), or just try putting "disability blog carnival" in the text of your post--I usually find those too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


[Visual description: cover of the Wii game, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party; cartoon bunny-like creatures with wide-open mouths, unmatched eyes, and a TV screen]

Finding items like this on the front page of Amazon makes me less enthusiastic about holiday shopping this season.

From the product description at Amazon.com:
The Rabbids have taken over almost every channel you can imagine, from music to movies - even TV ads. Help the Rabbids destroy all our daily viewing and drive Rayman crazy. In Story Mode, play through a week of television, with each day bringing new wacky challenges of skill and insane movements in a compilation of mini-games. With up to eight players in turn-based mode and four players simultaneously, get ready for you and all your friends to go insane.
Really, they need to use the word "insane" twice in four sentences? Crazy, wacky, raving, and rabid too... which all apparently mean screaming with wide open mouths and unfocused eyes, causing havoc, chaos, destruction? "Get ready for you and all your friends to go insane." Lovely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

November 17: Winifred Holt (1870-1945)

[Image description: black-and-white archival photo of two men seated at a table, in French military uniforms; they have their hands on a small checkerboard; one man appears to have his eyelids closed, and the other has fabric patches over both eyes; behind them, a woman in seated, and has her own hand stretched toward the checkerboard]

Co-founder of Lighthouse International (formerly the New York Association for the Blind) Winifred Holt was born on this date in 1870, in New York City, the daughter of publisher Henry Holt. She was a force in early twentieth-century advocacy --she and her organization worked for inclusion of blind children in New York public schools, for summer camps, vocational training programs and social groups run by and for blind people, for rehabilitation of blinded WWI veterans. She also worked for changes in medical protocols to prevent a common cause of blindness in newborns. She encouraged similar "Lighthouses" to operate in other cities around the world. Many of the projects she started continue in some form today.

In the photo above (found here, in the Library of Congress's Bain Collection), Holt is seen teaching newly blind French soldiers to play checkers in a rehabilitation program in France (Holt received the Legion d'Honneur for her wartime work there). Holt trained as a sculptor when she was a young woman; her best known work is a 1907 bas-relief bronze portrait of Helen Keller, online here. She also wrote a biography of blind English MP and postmaster Henry Fawcett.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sylmar Fires and Guide Dogs

The fires here in Southern California are wreaking more than their usual havoc--it's bad this time, so many houses destroyed and people evacuated and highways closed, and the air quality is rotten for millions (worst I can remember, in our part of LA). They're saying we might also have power outages over a wider area of the county, in connection with the fires. One of the many places threatened yesterday was the California headquarters of Guide Dogs of America, in Sylmar. (One of the major fires right now is centered on Sylmar.) There are emergency shelters for dogs and horses and other animals set up--but just like with people, this event has to be disruptive and stressful for them, and hazardous to the health.

The LAFD has a blog (who knew?) with constant updates for specific places, including Sylmar--seems like a good place to check if you know which neighborhoods you're worried about.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #49 is up NOW!

[Carnival logo--patent drawing of a torso-bracing device, with the words "the DISABILITY Blog Carnival a bracing event" superimposed in blue]

Blake at I Hate Stairs hosts the latest edition of the carnival, a list of links about lists--lists humorous and cynical, to-do lists and lists of excuses and fallacies, lessons learned and good ideas--something for nearly everyone, I suspect. Go have a read.

The next edition--the big #50--will be hosted at The Life and Times of Emma, around the theme "I am." Submit links for consideration via all the usual channels--in comments here or there, using the blogcarnival.com form (warning: CAPTCHA involved), or put the phrase "disability blog carnival" in your post--I usually find those too. The next edition is scheduled to post on 27 November--that's Thanksgiving in the US--so get your posts in by Monday 24 November, then you can bake (or eat) pies while you wait for the big event. Well anyway, that's what I'll be doing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 9: Walter Geikie (1795-1837)

[visual description: a memorial plaque that reads:
Walter Geikie RSA 1795-1837
Deaf Artist of Renown Co-Founder of the World's First Deaf Church and Society
Beloved of all in this Parish and City
Installed by his fellow deaf Scots of the Donaldsonian Association 6th April 1996
His true memorial may be seen in our city art galleries and in the quality of life and dignity accorded to deaf citizens of Edinburgh today
'Come join wi' me, folk of Auld Reekie
To weave a wreath for glorious Geikie'
engraved in gold lettering on dark stone]

Scottish painter Walter Geikie was born 9 November 1795, in Edinburgh. When he was two years old, he survived a serious illness with total deafness; because of his early age at the time, he didn't develop spoken language, either. Geikie's father, a wigmaker, believed the boy could learn, and taught Walter to read and do basic math. At 15, Walter was admitted to the new Institute for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb in Edinburgh, but soon his skills prompted a transfer to the Trustees' Academy of Industrial Design.

Geikie studied drawing at the Academy, and became a successful artist, specializing in scenes of urban life. He exhibited paintings in Edinburgh to critical acclaim. He also published two volumes of etchings. Walter Geikie was voted into the Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture as a academician in 1834.

Geikie is also remembered, as the memorial plaque above indicates, for co-founding the first deaf church in Scotland (or maybe anywhere), where scriptures were discussed and sermons delivered in sign language, by and for deaf believers. (An offshoot of the church, the Edinburgh and East of Scotland Society for the Deaf, still exists.)

Geikie died suddenly from typhoid fever at the age of 41. A posthumous collection of his works, titled "Etchings Illustrative of Scottish Character and Scenery," was popular and helped keep his name before Scottish audiences through the mid-nineteenth century.

For further reading:

Elizabeth Bredberg, "Walter Geikie: The Life Schooling and Work of a Deaf Artist at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century," Disability & Society 10(1)(1995): 21-39.

Archibald Geikie, "Brief Sketch of the Life of Walter Geikie, Esq., R. A. S., Edinburgh, Scotland," American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb 7(4)(July 1855): 229-237.

Harry G. Lang and Bonnie Meath-Lang, Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary (Greenwood Publishing 1995): 141-143.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Welcome to the History Carnival #70: Trick or Treat!

Regular readers at this blog will be more accustomed to seeing the Disability Blog Carnival appear here, or announcements about it--but this month, DS,TU is hosting the History Carnival. So grab your bowl of leftover Halloween candy, your sugar skulls, your Diwali sweets, a warm slice of pumpkin bread, or whatever other season-appropriate snacks you want to munch during the costume parade. (Go ahead, I'm eating a lot of candy while I assemble this, so it might read better if you join me.)

[Image description: a vintage photo of a large group of people posed in costumes, taken in the 1910s in Pennsylvania. From my own family collection; two of my great-grandparents are in the front row.]

Be careful about answering your doorbell on Halloween in the history blogosphere. No telling who might appear on your doorstep, with what costumes, disguises, masks, and hidden identities...

"the perils of prehistoric map hunting"
Heard about the cave wall in Turkey that was maybe the world's oldest known map? John Krygier at DIY Cartography reveals this famous image's more likely identity.

Want to be the King of Araucania-Patagonia for Halloween?
The short-lived South American kingdom still has a royal family in exile, and a flag, and now a website; if you're wondering about its borders, Strange Maps has the chart you need.

"regulation tight breeches and thigh-high leather boots"
Bellanta at The Vapour Trail takes us through the dressing rooms of the East End, to find actresses in Victorian London who played gun-toting highwaymen, wrought vengeance, engaged in fistcuffs, and otherwise kicked theatrical butt.

"The Irish Frankenstein"...
..."The Irish Ogre," and other political cartoons depicting Irish immigrants in America are laid out in Gwen's "Negative Stereotypes of the Irish," at Sociological Images.

"urban legends and hoary zombie errors"
What happens when a 'critical figure in English letters' just makes stuff up citations and all? And what if it involves roast pork and faux-Chinese faux-antiquities? Jonathan Dresner tells the tale at Frog in a Well: China.

"the louse and death are friends and comrades"
Daniel Goldberg at Medical Humanities offers a fine collection of images depicting the dangers of infection in various historical and geographic contexts. Be sure to scroll to the very end for the "I've got V.D." sandwich-board--definitely the worst costume idea I've seen this year.

"such foul slander and abuse"
Go read an extract from the speech Theodore Roosevelt gave after he got shot--about the inevitable effect of nasty campaign rhetoric has on audiences who are quite willing and able to be brutal and violent; at Ahistoricality.

"eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts"
Gregory McNamee asks, will Congress finally pardon boxer Jack Johnson? His 1915 conviction under the Mann Act was based on racial bias, according to the House resolution. As he says, "stay tuned."

"a jeweled metallic bra, long veils, and a jewelled headress of Javanese design"
Margaretha Geertruida Zelle is best known for her seductive Mata Hari costume, and for being executed as a spy in 1917 -- check out the details of her life at Elizabeth Kerri Mahon's Scandalous Women (in two parts!). Records released in 2000 showed her to be innocent of the charges against her. And apparently some of the legal files on Zelle won't be released until 2017, so stay tuned.
[Image description: Black-and-white portrait of Mata Hari in costume, seated on a pew-like bench, with flowers strewn at her feet]

Churchill said what?
Tim Lacy rounds up an impressive array of variations on a famous Churchill quote--which of them, if any, is the accurate version?

Ooh, I know, you're dressed as John T. Scopes!
The Smithsonian Institution Archives recently restored 52 previously-unpublished photographs from the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial, notes Grrlscientist at Living the Scientific Life. And they're all up on Flickr.

"the transformative figure she really was"
Green Raven heads into Election Day with a look back at Eleanor Roosevelt's life and work. [Link is working now.--PLR, 11/3/08]

"she was not a 70-year-old woman with a thick accent talking to us about the 1940s"
The school librarian, an assigned text in eighth grade, and a class speaker all had an intense effect on Progressive Historians' iampunha as a young person, because they were not what they first appeared to be--not boring at all, but writing, speaking witnesses to the worst of the 20th century. The lesson: "Justice is inched closer to when we do not stop talking about what happened, do not let people grow up without knowing what happened."


"stepping into their shoes...having a chance to retrace their steps"
The Spellbound Blog took a novel approach to Blog Action Day 2008, and mused upon Poverty in the Archival Record and Beyond--considering the documentation of poverty in photographs, music, newspapers, census records, maps, etc., and the problem of getting to first-hand accounts of poverty amid all the materials about it.

"a metal bird that we found in an old shed"
At Walking the Berkshires, a correspondent's 1915 suffrage artifact leads to biographical explorations of Massachusetts suffragists Gertrude Halladay Leonard and Teresa O'Leary Crowley.
(I love this entry, because I'm dressing as a suffragette for Halloween this year.)

"Take the humbles of a buck and boil them..."
Recipes from a 1772 cookbook spotlight the need for thrift and preservation (and a whole lot of salt and lard)--and prompt Historiann to be grateful for refrigeration. I suspect these dishes would haunt a house--and a belly--long past their welcome.

"...and made pilgrimages to their tombs"
Brian Ulrich considers the 18c. origins of Wahhabism.

Jules Verne Freely Translated
The Library of Congress Rare Books and Special Collections division recently held an open house to show off some diverse new acquisitions, including a first edition of Galileo's Starry Messenger(1610), a Mexican cookbook from 1831, 19c. Canadian editions of Mark Twain, and Jules Verne's The Baltimore Gun Club (1874), "freely translated" in a pirated edition.

Thomas Dolby's Aunties
Yes, that Thomas Dolby blogs about newly issued postage stamps that honor two of his great-great aunts--suffragist Millicent Garrett Fawcett and physician Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

"The doors ripped from their hinges"
And that's only the start of the destruction photographed by jdg of Sweet Juniper at Jane Cooper Elementary, a decommissioned school in Detroit. Read to the end. The images and the story may, indeed, haunt you.


Dmitri Minaev at De Rebus Antiquis et Novis offers "a self-righteous critique" of Richard Pipes' monumental three-volume history of the Russian Revolution--but in the treats department, Minaev also says the books are "amazingly well written and thrilling." (And Pipes responds, in comments.) Mary Dudziak, meanwhile, reviews the new film W. as history at Legal History Blog, saying "Stone does something in the film that I expect historians will do: he put George Bush back into the history of the Bush Administration." Heather Munro Prescott reports from the Little Berks meeting at Knitting Clio, including thoughts spun from her panel with two other historian-bloggers.

And finally (because I can't think of any way to categorize this one):
100 Years of Pink
A graphic timeline about the history of one color.


That's it for this month's edition of the History Carnival. Join Jonathan Dresner at Frog in a Well: Japan for the next exciting installment. Here's the handy History Carnival submission form, or you can email or tag entries, according to the instructions on the main page. This was fun! Thanks to all the contributors, and to Sharon Howard for the invitation to host.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Enrique Oliu

[Image description: Enrique Oliu standing in a press box, with a baseball diamond in the background; he's wearing a shirt, tie, headphones, and credentials, and smiling; he has dark eyebrows and greying hair]

I always run into skeptical people, but I've never had any problem doing my job.

--Enrique Oliu

Enrique Oliu is the Florida broadcaster covering the World Series for Spanish-language audiences in Tampa Bay. Oliu is blind. Born in Nicaragua in 1962, he attended the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in St. Augustine as a child, and graduated from the University of South Florida. He's been covering baseball professionally since 1989, and now covers all of Tampa Bay's games, as well as spring training camps in Mexico and Venezuela. "I played this sport and a bunch of others. Adapted, but I played. Blind or not blind, I have an opinion and I just state mine. That's what people want."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Welcome to Reality Tour" to visit Temple on Nov. 3

[Image description: Recording studio setup in a New York apartment. Two African-American dressed in black with red ball caps turned backwards, sitting in wheelchairs, Ricardo Velazquez at the mixingboard, Namel Norris at the microphone. Photograph shot from ground level.]
4 Wheel City's "Welcome to Reality Tour" will be making a stop at "The Underground" in Temple University's Student Center Complex, 13th Street and Montgomery Avenue at 1 pm on November 3, 2008. 4 Wheel City is an urban entertainment group and disability awareness movement started by Namel "Tapwaterz" Norris, rapper, and Ricardo "Rickfire" Velasquez, producer, two talented hip-hop artists who use wheelchairs since sustaining injuries from gun violence. Their mission is to use hip-hop music and culture to create more awareness and positive opportunities for people with disabilities, to inspire people not to give up in life, and to raise funds for spinal cord injury research. Follow this link for more information on the group and their visit.

Cognitive Disability: a challenge to Moral Philosophy

via Brian Zimmermann
Ipods from the Conference Cognitive Disability: a challenge to Moral Philosophy held in Stony Brook College past September are now available. Starring Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum, Eva Kittay and other. In some of them you will be able to see how these scholars get when left Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27: Sigrid Hjertén (1885-1948)

[Image description: A self-portrait by Sigrid Hjertén, showing herself painting, seated, in a plumed hat, with a pale-green top, bowtie, black belt, and red trousers; a child --presumably her son Ivan-- and his toy are nearby in the background.]

Born on this date in 1885, in Sundsvall, Swedish painter Sigrid Hjertén. Today she's recognized as a major figure in Scandinavian expressionism. She studied with Matisse; she married a fellow artist, Isaac Grünewald; she designed tapestries and ceramics. She had a solo exhibition at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in 1936, which was well-received.

By 1938, she was in her fifties, divorced, and experiencing mental illness. She had been hospitalized with symptoms of schizophrenia (as it was assessed in her time) as early as 1932; she would spend her last ten years in a Stockholm hospital, until she died from excessive bleeding during a botched surgical lobotomy in 1948.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Disability in other campaigns this year, part 2

Because disabled people (like Itzhak Perlman) don't just have opinions about healthcare and disability rights, but about the whole range of issues in play this election year:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #48 is up now!

Terri at Barriers, Bridges, and Books has the latest edition, with links around the theme of "Capacities and Capabilities." I especially appreciated the links that took a critical look at the theme itself--because our carnival is feisty and non-compliant like that, sometimes. Other posts cover creativity, ukeleles, adaptive technology, inflatable climbing structures, the upcoming presidential election in the US, new babies, good restaurants, college, Thanksgiving, and chemistry. Must be something in that list to pique your interest, so go over and check it out.

Next edition of the Carnival will be held at I Hate Stairs, where your host Blake has set the theme as "Lists." Dos and Don'ts, Top 10s, bucket lists, packing lists, to-do lists, reading lists, shopping lists, you name it, he wants your links, by all the usual means. You can leave a comment here, or at I Hate Stairs, or submit a link for consideration through the blogcarnival.com form (warning: inaccessible CAPTCHA feature). Or you can put the phrase "Disability Blog Carnival" in the text of your post, I usually find those too. Deadline for submissions is Monday, 10 November, and the carnival should post on Thursday, 13 November.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 19: Lajos Tihanyi (1885-1938)

[Visual description: A 1912 self-portrait by Lajos Tihanyi, showing the influence of cubism--he depicts himself as a pale man with expressive eyes and raised eyebrows, wearing somber browns, against a backdrop of white and crimson.]

Deaf avant-garde artist Lajos Tihanyi was born on this date in 1885, in Budapest, Hungary. His father owned a coffeehouse. Young Lajos survived meningitis at age 11, which was the origin of his deafness. (Though he's sometimes referred to as "deaf and dumb" or "deaf-mute" in older sources, Tihanyi spoke--he was just hard for many to understand.)

He briefly attended the School for Industrial Drawing in Budapest, but he learned the most from being with other artists. His work reflects the influences of the broader artistic movements of his day. In 1911, he was one of the founders of "the Eight," a group of modern artists in Budapest. His portraits subjects in the 1910s included many of the leading writers, composers, philosophers, and artists of Hungary.

Tihanyi and many other artists fled Hungary in 1919 after the fall of the short-lived Soviet republic, and never returned. During his later years in Paris, he lived in the Hotel des Terrasses and was a regular at the Dome Cafe, where he came to know Brassaï (a fellow Hungarian artist), Picasso, and novelist Henry Miller. At his death, the contents of Tihanyi's studio were donated to the Hungarian National Gallery.

See more of Tihanyi's works, here and here.

See also:

Valerie Majoros, "Lajos Tihanyi and his friends in the Paris of the nineteen-thirties," French Cultural Studies 11(3)(2000): 387-396.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Disability in other campaigns this year

We haven't had an equivalent of the 2006 Michael J. Fox ad this season (yet), but here's one current ad from a Senate race (New Mexico) that's tightly focused on disability, specifically on brain-injured young veterans:

[Video description: Erik Schei, a young man with close-cropped sandy hair and glasses is seated facing the camera, with a screen in front of him. We hear him in a computer-generated voice explaining that he is an Iraq War veteran who was brain injured by a sniper's bullet, and not expected to survive. He then thanks Congressman Tom Udall for supporting funding for research into traumatic brain injuries. At the end of the video, he mouths the words "thank you."]

Run across any others?

Added later: More on Erik Schei.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Say what?

From last night's debate (transcripts here):
MCCAIN: She'll be my partner. She understands reform. And, by the way, she also understands special-needs families. She understands that autism is on the rise, that we've got to find out what's causing it, and we've got to reach out to these families, and help them, and give them the help they need as they raise these very special needs children.
So... Sarah Palin understands about autism, because she has a six-month-old with Down syndrome? Walk me through that one, please. (Not surprisingly, Kristina Chew has the same question, with links. Yes, Palin has a nephew with autism. So do a lot of other people. That fact alone is not so impressive a qualification as McCain seems to think.)

And still, again, and again, only families with "very special needs" children are mentioned in the campaign's discussions of disability. What about disabled adults who need healthcare, jobs, access, transportation, etc. etc.? No mention of adults. What do they imagine happens to the "very special needs" children after about twenty years?

A hug and a wink from Sarah Palin won't keep my kid alive and well. Niceties are not a substitute for the programs and regulations that protect his rights--and his life.

Be sure to check out William Peace's commentary on the same passages in the debate transcripts, for further discussion.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This week's Geo-Politics of Disability lecture at TU

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University features a new 2008 - 2009 lecture series, The Geo-Politics of Disability. Our lecture in September, by Robert McRuer, was a great success. Our speaker this month will be Sumi Colligan, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

"Conceiving Social Justice: Disability Rights Discourse and Practice in an Israeli Setting": Professor Colligan examines ways in which national ideology, a climate of militarism, the penetration of neoliberalism, and the global circulation of human rights discourses shape and constrain contemporary conceptions, strategies, and struggles.

Date and Time: Wednesday, October 15, 2008, from 12 noon to 1:30 pm
Location: 1810 Conference Room, 1810 Liacouras Walk
On Temple University's Main Campus, Philadelphia, PA

For information and accommodations, contact:
Brian Zimmerman
Tel: 215-204-1356 • brian.zimmerman@temple.edu

Speaker Bio: Sumi E. Colligan is a professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a four-year public institution in the Berkshires. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her doctorate from Princeton University, both in cultural anthropology. She also holds a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley. She participated in an NEH Summer Institute on the "New Disability Studies" in 2000 at San Francisco State University and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange) Summer Seminar on "Disability Studies and the Legacy of Eugenics" in Potsdam, Germany in 2004. She served on the Board of the Society for Disability Studies from 2002-05 and remains an active member. She has published several articles on disability, including "Global Inequities and Disability" in The Encyclopedia of Disability, "Why the Intersexed Shouldn't Be Fixed: Insights from Queer Theory and Disability Studies" in Gendering Disability, and "The Ethnographer's Body as Text and Context: Revisiting and Revisioning the Body through Anthropology and Disability Studies" in Disability Studies Quarterly. She is currently serving on the Editorial Board of Disability Studies Quarterly and has just completed co-editing a special issue entitled "The State of Disability in Israel/Palestine" with Liat Ben-Moshe. She is presently engaged in interviewing disability rights activists in Israel in order to explore their understandings of social justice.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #47 is up now!

[Visual description: 18th century man facing right, standing with a cane and a wooden peg leg; words "disability blog carnival" superimposed in red]

Day al-Mohamed has the latest edition of the Disability Blog Carnival at Day in Washington, where the theme is "Policy." Government policy, sure, but also airline policy, statements from advocacy groups, voters' guides to candidates' policy stands, and much much more. Go have a read.

Next edition will appear at Barriers, Bridges and Books, where Terri has set the theme as "Capabilities and Capacities." What can you do, what do you know, what have you learned, because of your experience with disability? "Little things and big things," Terri encourages. Submit your links via all the usual means--at the blogcarnival.com form (warning: inaccessible CAPTCHA included), in comments here or at BBandB, or just put the phrase "Disability Blog Carnival" in the text of your post, I usually find those too.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Simi Linton on disability and architecture

More on the subject; one of my local reading groups is discussing Simi Linton's My Body Politic next month, so I happened to run across this passage just after writing yesterday's post. Linton is describing the steps at Columbia University:
My earlier body had been trained to walk such steps and my eyes to appreciate their grandeur. I grew up thinking, although I'm sure I never said it out loud, that steps are either a pragmatic solution, a means to connect spaces of different heights, or they are an aesthetic element, added onto a design because it makes the building more beautiful. But now, with their function lost to me, their beauty began to fade, and I saw something I hadn't noted before--attitude. Steps, and particularly these steps at Columbia, seemed arrogant. The big buildings sitting up on top said, "The worthy can climb up to me, I will not kneel down and open my doors to those below me."... The design of steps forbids the wheelchair user, and the designer of these steps, deliberately or unwittingly, provided us only a solitary and difficult route to get where those steps took all others. (p. 57)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Milestone for Tar Heel Reader

It's not the biggest library in the world, but it's one of the very coolest. Tar Heel Reader is
a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces (i.e. switches, alternative keyboards, touch screens, and dedicated AAC devices). The books may be downloaded as slide shows in PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash format.
according to the welcome page. The idea is to provide new readers of all ages with appropriate, interesting, accessible content--because new readers who are 12, 17, 23, or 41 don't necessarily want to read about puppies and kitties, right? Students and teachers and parents can also create books for the site, using the wealth of Flickr images or their own uploads. Tar Heel Reader is a collaborative creation of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies and the Department of Computer Science at UNC-Chapel Hill (thus the name).

Recently, Tar Heel Reader passed 1000 books in its ever-growing archive. About 5% of those, I wrote. I was never able to track back and figure out where I first heard of Tar Heel Reader--on a blog or news feed, no doubt, but which? But I remembered Karen Erickson from my own UNC days (we were doctoral students at the same time in the School of Education), and I knew that she did cool work, so I joined the effort very early on. I wrote several of the first twenty books in June, and I keep adding one or two a week. They're a joy to construct, an excellent challenge, to make interesting books within the limits of the form. My topics have ranged around, from food and clothing and color themes, to books about voting, the first amendment, gargoyles, calligraphy, Shakespeare, the solar system, mirrors, and drag racing. I'm still working on making a story--I've made a few attempts so far, but I'm not a fiction writer and it shows.

If you know a beginning reader who would enjoy accessible picture books on such a range of subjects, send them to Tar Heel Reader. In just their first twenty weeks they've had visits from over 12,000 computers worldwide. It's that cool, and it's getting better every day.

Who Belongs Where

Dirksen Bauman posted a link to this Washington Post feature story on the DS-Hum listserv--seemed like something worth sharing here, where geographers are thick on the ground.

The plans for Gallaudet's campus extension include interior and exterior spaces designed for visual communication--what does that mean? Among other features, they envision classrooms large enough for meetings to be conducted in a circle, rather than in rows of front-facing desks; choosing wall treatments and colors that won't distract or complicate ASL communications; ramped walkways (not just for wheeled access, but to allow better flow of signed conversations), curved and mirrored exterior walls that allow better visual warning of approaching cross-traffic than right-angled sidewalks and buildings.

The article is a reminder that the thoughtful design supports people across a wide array of disability categories. While the space needs of wheelchair users are perhaps most quickly noticed (if not always met appropriately or creatively), there are interesting, practical ways to configure buildings and outdoor environments for better use by people with sensory, cognitive, linguistic, neurological and psychological differences as well. And it's not about "special accommodations," it's about considering, from the start of any project, our preconceptions about who belongs where.

Good recent blog on related topics: David Gissen on "heroic architecture" (h/t to Jesse the K and Badgerbag for the link).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

October 1: Margaret Blackwood McGrath (1924-1994)

[Visual description: Margaret Blackwood, seated at a desk, in a blue checked vest and white blouse, in front of a shelf of books.]

"I spoke to more MPs. I shouted at them at their election meetings. 'You haven’t mentioned the disabled! Are we a dirty word?' I broadcast on the radio and on TV. I wrote to every newspaper I’d heard of. The time was ripe. Hundreds of people were getting in touch with me. When at school, I had been so timid I used to tremble when I read at prayers and begged to be excused. Now there was no stopping me. I was passionate."

The founder of Scotland's Disablement Income Group (DIG-Scotland), Margaret Blackwood was born on this date in 1924, in Dundee. She was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in her early teens, with discouraging prospects. She finished school in 1943, but found few job opportunities. "I sank into despair," she recalled.

When she was in her early 40s, she learned about the DIG founded by and for disabled people in Surrey in 1965. Soon Blackwood began a similar effort in Scotland, and, as she describes in the quote above, became a "warrior in a wheelchair." In 1978 she married fellow disability rights activist Charles McGrath, while he was in an intensive care unit. Charles died two weeks later.

Today, the Margaret Blackwood Housing Association, based in Dundee and named in her honor, manages accessible and affordable housing for disabled tenants all over Scotland.

[Thanks again to Iain Hutchison for giving me the delicious Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, where I first learned of Margaret Blackwood McGrath.]

UN Press release on Koreans with Disabilitiesy

29 September 2008 Press Release No. G/46/2008

UN and Korea team up to improve access to technology for people with

Workshop in Incheon target policy-makers from six Asian countries

Bangkok (UN/ESCAP Information Services) -- The regional arm of the United
Nations in Asia and the Pacific has teamed up with the government of the
Republic of Korea to improve access to information and communication
technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities by offering training to
policy-makers from developing countries in the region.

Government representatives of Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, the
Philippines, Sri Lanka and Viet Nam are attending a regional workshop which
opened today (29 September) in Incheon, Korea. They are joined by ICT
accessibility experts from the International Telecommunication Union,
Germany, the USA, Japan, Thailand, and the Republic of Korea.

The four-day workshop was organized by the United Nations Economic and
Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and its subsidiary, the
Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication
Technology for Development (APCICT), in conjunction with the Korea Agency
for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (KADO).

Asia and the Pacific is home to approximately 400 million people living
with disabilities. Using a computer keyboard or being able to see
information on the Internet - things that others take for granted - could
be a huge challenge to many of them.

"The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
which entered into force in May this year, emphasizes among other things
the importance of the accessibility to ICT," Ms. Thelma Kay, Director of
ESCAP's Social Development Division, told the workshop at its opening.

"Improving ICT accessibility can involve anything, from designing
government web sites to work seamlessly with software to assist the
visually impaired, to making sure specialized equipment to facilitate
access is affordable," said Ms. Hyeun-Suk Rhee, Director of ACPICT.

The four-day workshop will discuss the ICT accessibility guidelines for
persons with disabilities, especially women and children, drafted by ESCAP
and KADO and will take feedback and suggestions for its improvement and
localisation to be better applied in participating countries. It will also
share good practices in the provision of ICT accessibility to persons with

The goal of the workshop is to adopt the guidelines and agree to develop
implementation strategies in the countries represented.

APCICT will also deliver its own flagship training programme the 'Academy
of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders: ICT Project Management in Theory
and Practices', designed to better equip policy-makers for ICT project

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Jeongkee Hong
Expert on Disability
Social Development Division, ESCAP

Mr. Dongchul Kim
Expert on ICT
Information and Communication Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction
Division, ESCAP

Jill Hanass-Hancock
Post-Doc fellow
Heath Economics & HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD)
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Westville Campus, J-Block, Level 4
Durban 4041
South Africa

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hey, there are lights at the old Bérubé place!

It's not haunted, eager trick-or-treaters, it's definitely the Michael Bérubé, because nobody else, but nobody, writes long posts this well on disability studies, academic conferences, and family trips all rolled into one. (It's also up at Crooked Timber, if you want to read through a different comments stream.) Today he explains, "My friends, I suspended my blog retirement so that I could see us through this crisis." I say that's a change we need.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Coming November 1 to DS,TU: The History Carnival

[Visual description: Logo featuring the words "The History Carnival" on a tan rectangle, with ripping and aging effects around the border.]

Still in the mood for more carnival? Upon kind invitation from Sharon Howard, I've agreed to host History Carnival #70 here on November 1. Given the date, I'm expecting a Halloween-candy-fueled, Dia-de-los-Muertos-colorful, election-anxious event. It would be lovely to have a block of contributions on disability history topics for the occasion, so Disability Blog Carnival regulars, consider this a bonus opportunity.

About nominations: The "simple nomination form" doesn't seem to have a non-visual code to type, so to improve accessibility, you may also email me with your links for consideration, or the carnival's coordinator (at sharon@earlymodernweb.org.uk ) with "History Carnival" in the subject line. For the History Carnival, it's also possible to enter a link by attaching the del.ici.ous tag "historycarnival" to your post. Finally, you can just leave a note in the comments thread for this message, I'll be checking.

UPDATE 9/27: I heard from Sharon Howard this morning that, in response to the accessibility concerns, she's activated a RECAPTCHA security feature instead. So the simple nomination form should be more useful to more folks now. But if it still doesn't work for you, the other options remain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Disability Blog Carnival #46: Falling

Welcome to the 46th edition of the Disability Blog Carnival! The theme this time is "Falling," and you'll see that bloggers took that one-word prompt in a variety of directions....

But first, we really need to celebrate with Lost Clown and others, on the US Senate's passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, just two weeks ago. And while we're at it, the recent ADAPT actions in Washington DC in support of the Community Choice Act are also newsworthy--but you wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, notes The Divine Miss Jimmi, who identifies a reason for the dearth of coverage: "When people with disabilities take to the streets and say that the system is broken, we don't want to live in your shitty institutions because the sight of us bothers you or that we want our rights along with choices that the mainstream public takes advantage of everyday--suddenly, we're not so cute and inspirational." CripChick pointed to that post, and added a celebratory blogroll-in-verse-form to mark the occasion.

And now, pack your parachutes, it's time for a whole lot of free FALLING....

Not FALLING down (literally!)
But what if he falls? At some point, every parent has to let go and let the child take a risk: Miryam leads us through the process of "letting him choose." In this case, her son climbs a ladder, and descends all aglow. Random Madness in Torrance isn't usually a disability blog (I read it because it's local to me), but a recent post involved shopping for a rolling walker--and finding some cool Scandinavian designs that should prevent further falls for a loved one. Occupational therapist Grace Young has some helpful tips for improving the odds of avoiding falls, trips, slips, and stumbles, especially important for people who may have higher risk for injury. And Ruth's caution is for the able-bodied students she sees daily: texting and listening to your iPod while walking is bound to result in collisions and nasty spills.

FALLING out of the workforce

Henk ter Heide explains his personal dilemma of finding suitable work in the Netherlands--but the contradictions and gaps in opportunity he's facing will sound very familiar to many disabled people, wherever they live; and meanwhile, Terri is concerned about her daughter falling into the gap between education and employment.

FALLING into the budget gap
You may or may not have heard that California was without a current budget for more than two months, ending this week--and in that time, some agencies and programs that serve people with disabilities stopped getting funded. Even when they're getting paid, the rate is so low that care needs go unmet (and that's definitely not just a California situation). Sally at Maggie World is hiring, but it's complicated, and agencies can't help like they used to. "Seems to me that home care for the most vulnerable and medically involved children should be given a little higher priority. It should be less of a game for the patients, the nurses and the families," she concludes. In other budget news, Coral and Opal notes that tighter transportation funds in some school districts have kids on buses for two or three hours each direction--a hazardous and traumatizing situation for the kids, and an infuriating one for their families and teachers. (And guess which group of kids is more likely to ride the bus, and for longer distances? Yup, kids in special education programs.)

FALLING in love
Do you control who you fall in love with? Lexie at Beyond Acquara considers (at wonderful length) this question, in the context of abled-disabled relationships, saying "although I have dated non-disabled people, I kept bringing home disabled people. My mother would just shake her head in disappointment." Cherylberyl decides that the quickest way to fall in love afresh with her own look is to get a good haircut.

FALLING into opportunities
Dave Hingsberger seems to fall into teaching moments a lot--or maybe they fall into him? Either way, it's good to have "a little chat" sometimes.

FALLING into the trap of cliches
Ah, an ongoing theme of the Disability Blog Carnival--bloggers unpacking the assumptions of politicians and media commentators. At Barriers, Bridges, and Books, Terri demands a rewrite from Katie Couric, after a grim, cliche-ridden and truly dated introduction to a story about Down syndrome. Kristina Chew confesses to being a Former Warrior Mom, against the media's apparent preference for the screaming-tigress-mom narrative. Gregor Wohlbring and Shelley Tremain at What Sorts of People explore the medicalization trap Joe Biden fell into recently, on the subject of stem cell research. Notes Shelley in comments, we should pay attention whenever politicians speak from
the pervasive medicalized misconception of disability, according to which ‘dealing with disability’ means prevention, elimination, and cure, and furthermore uncritically package this medicalized approach as what disabled people want, as what it means to support us.
Still in the same minefield, congressman Charles Rangel fell into one language trap (using "disabled" as a synonym for unintelligent, inexperienced, or misguided)... then another (setting up "disabled" and "healthy" as opposites)...and then the McCain campaign, in criticizing Rangel, landed in yet another (yes, they used the word "affliction" to describe Down syndrome). Wheelchair Dancer talks them all through the bottom line: "disabled is not a metaphor that you can use to describe uniformed, unrealistic, and, to my mind, frankly stupid perspectives on the world. Disabled is a reality that many of us live." Amen!

FALLING outside categories
When discussing emergency funds, Abby at I pick up pennies realized that "what most people consider 'worst-case scenario' is what Tim and I consider 'life.'" It's a little shocking to realize your life is the outcome many people fear most, she notes, and then turns that shock into a series of clear-eyed reminders about control and safety and survival. At Screw Bronze, Elizabeth is having dreams about slipping out of the human category--and frustrating real-life encounters with librarians who treat her like she's definitely not in the "take seriously" category. (I almost pity the librarians that discarded Accidents of Nature on Elizabeth McClung's watch--they have no idea who they're tussling with.... ;) )

FALLING for a scam
Karen is not falling for the lottery scam that's making the rounds (again, and again) via IM.

Autism Speaks is falling far short of real advocacy work, says Cody Boisclair at Standup UGA, pointing out the following analogies for readers unfamiliar with the issues:
Imagine, if you will, the sort of reaction the National Organization for Women would get if its leadership were made up entirely of men, or that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People would get if it were made up of white folks. It’s an utterly absurd thought, isn’t it? How is it, then, that Autism Speaks can continue not to even have a token autistic on its board of directors or anywhere else in its leadership, much less an autistic member in any sort of significant role, to provide any sort of oversight?
Hot cocoa for everyone!
And a nice fall note to end on: Rob at Kintropy in Action observed the autumnal equinox with some cozy anticipations of hot chocolate and rainy day reading.

Next time on the Disability Blog Carnival
The next edition of the Carnival will appear at Day in Washington--regular readers there will not be surprised that the theme will be Policy. Well timed for the last month of the US presidential campaign, and the last week before the Canadian elections, among other fall events. Deadline for submissions 6 October, and edition #47 should post on 9 October. Submit posts in comments here or there, at the blogcarnival.com site, or just put "Disability Blog Carnival" in the text of your post, that usually works.

[Posting now, will add images and maybe more links later--off to school.--PLR]