Friday, May 22, 2009

Housekeeping Time

I notice that I've still got "new" tags on the blogroll for things I added in May 2008. So it must be time to cull through--move dormant and defunct blogs out of the active blogroll, delete links that don't work anymore, and add more blogs. I've given up trying to keep up with ALL the disability-related blogs out there--it's a huge universe compared to where we were just three years ago! But I'll add the links I've got, anyway. Stay tuned.

UPDATE (5/28): Okay, done with my first pass. All bad links have been removed. All dormant blogs have been moved to the dormant/inactive list. Reactivated blogs have been moved off the dormant list and back to the blogroll. Some new links have been added and marked "new." Old "new" tags have been removed (if that makes sense). Some were judgment calls--blogs changed names or URLs, or have only posted once in 2009, or whatever. Please correct me if I've put your blog in the wrong category, under the wrong title, etc.

I was sorry to learn that two disability bloggers, Grace R. Young and Alyric, have died in the past six months without being acknowledged here. Condolences to their families (in both cases, family members put a note on the blog to alert readers to the news).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Definitely Severely Euphemized

[Image description: "Severely Euphemized" t-shirt from the Nth Degree.]

Proving once again that faith organizations can be among the most strenuous in bending inside out and sideways to avoid using the word "disability," I give you the Lutheran (ELCA) summer youth event for disabled teens.... the Definitely Abled Youth Leadership Event. Look around the page, see if you can find the word "disability," or "disabled," or "accessibility," or.... hoo-boy.

(The program may be fine for what it is, but you have to wonder about a program that won't even use the D word in its website.... )

Disability Blog Carnival #56 is up now!

It's Carnival Day for May! Go check out the latest edition of the Disability Blog Carnival, featuring the usual diverse and interesting collection of links, at Same Difference.

The next edition will be hosted by Jodi at Reimer Reason on June 11, with an open theme. You can submit links for consideration by leaving comments here or there, by using the form (Warning: CAPTCHA is still in place there), or by using the phrase "disability blog carnival" in your post (I usually catch those in my search nets).

Want to host a future edition? Email me and we'll see if we can match you with an upcoming date.

Website: Hidden Lives of the Waifs and Strays

[Image description: a black-and-white photograph of ten smiling English girls in 1915, at least three of them (in front) seated in wheelchairs.]

A remarkable website has come to my attention (hat-tip to Jennifer Bazar). Hidden Lives Revealed is a "virtual archive" preserving the photographs, publications, stories, and sometimes extensive case files of British children in care, 1881-1918. The personal names of the subjects have been removed, but you can access transcripts of correspondence as well as facsimile images. And, because "disability" is one of the keywords in the index, you can find the stories (and there are many such) in which a child's or a parent's disability is a factor in their care arrangement.

Take, for example, J., whose file runs over fifty items. J was born in 1870, and the very first boy in the Society's care. A childhood fall and an accidental burn resulted in physical "deformities." The boy was working as a streetsweeper at age 10; a health inspector removed him from his "wretched and degraded" family and placed him in care. At age 12,
He is now able to run about but a year ago he was compelled to lie on his back & was considered by several doctors in a very precarious condition he is naturally a very good, quiet, little boy & where-ever he has been he was evidently a great favourite. He is decidedly ignorant & can read & write very little.
J. was featured in a Society publication in 1901, as a success story. At the time, the thirty-year-old was working at a printing firm, married, the father of a little girl. But the case file continues for years past this happy ending: there are letters from J himself, and poems he wrote for Society publications. There's a photograph of him c.1923, in a suit and mustache. In 1930, he writes to tell his contacts at the Society that his health has worsened (tuberculosis) and he can no longer do physical labor. There's a flurry of letters as the Society tries to find provisions for this "first boy," but J. died in February 1930.

A. was born in 1892, and orphaned before she was 10. She lived with an older sister who wasn't well-equipped to care for another child; and A. contracted tuberculosis that required a right leg amputation. She was admitted to the Lockett Home for Crippled Children, Southport, in the winter of 1901, in good health. Five years later, a report explains that she's using crutches, healthy and strong, but "her intellect is not very bright." The report concludes that she could earn a living doing ironing if she had a "false leg." "She might also do stocking knitting," opined the writer. Unlike J., we don't know the rest of A.'s story--we don't even know if she got that leg.

Students might quickly take from these case files that work and vocational training are a major concern of the Society--much of the paperwork involves finding placements for teenagers who will soon leave care and need to support themselves. Another issue is morality--standard forms will ask such questions as "Are you aware of her being addicted to any unchaste practice?" The legitimacy and baptismal status of a child is frequently recorded, and the alcoholism and sexual behavior of parents is also a constant theme. Tuberculosis and untreated infections and injuries may strike some students as remarkable common in these materials--an opening to discuss the ways medical care changed in the twentieth century, and how medical history intersects with disability history.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Class Portrait - Disability and Social Policy

Good morning DS,TU readers! Last night students and faculty celebrated the last class of Disability and Social Policy. The class portrait, which reminds us of one of those rock band publicity stills, features student Dusty Nathan in a sweater and tie for his class presentation. Another student in the course, Sara Acevedo, has been sick and thus missed the portrait shoot. We'll make sure to get her next time! To see the enlarged version, you can log into Flick using your YahooID and password.

Thanks to all of the Institute staff who gave us a hand this semester by visiting and sharing their expertise: Diane Bryen; Kristen Ahrens; Amy Goldman; Kathy Miller. Shout out for George Heake who served triple duty as an Institute presenter and as a student participant and presenter. We look forward to continuing to draw on Institute areas of strength and expertise in upcoming semesters. Keep an eye out for more news from the Disability Studies Program!

Friday, May 01, 2009

BADD: A Week-by-Week Calendar of Disability History Birthdays

This is our fourth year participating in Blogging Against Disablism Day. My last three years' contributions were about US disability history (2006, 2007, 2008); I thought I'd present history for my BADD post a little differently this year.

History is the essence of innumerable biographies.
--Thomas Carlyle
I've been using the same calendar for a couple years for the "born on this date" posts, and we've gathered a pretty full calendar of dates now. I've written some of them up, some I'll do eventually, some I'll probably never get around to, so sharing some of them here gives everyone a chance to play.

Why learn about the stories behind these names? They're not listed here to be your heroes, or inspirations, or role models. Instead, the idea is that having a list of names and knowing their stories means you can fight the idea that "disabled people don't [X]." Because chances are, no matter what [X] is (for better or worse), yeah, they can and they do. And they probably have done so for generations.

So in the coming year, or years, fight invisibility with a weekly biographical dip into the history of disability. With no claims to completeness (far from it! add names as you see fit for your own uses), and abundant admissions of randomness, here's the week-by-week (linked if we've covered that person on their date):

January 1-7: Louis Braille (4 January); Father Damien (3 January), Syd Barrett (6 January); Loretta Young (6 January); Anne Stevenson (3 January); Slava Raskaj (2 January)

January 8-14: Stephen Hawking (8 January); Harold Russell (14 January)

January 15-21: Frances Browne (16 January); Ronnie Milsap (16 January)

January 22-31: Ed Roberts (23 January); Sleepy John Estes (25 January); Jacqueline du Pre (26 January)

February 1-7: Daisy and Violet Hilton (5 February); Benode Behari Mukherjee (7 February); Liz Swados (5 February); Reynolds Price (1 February)

February 8-14: Laura Redden Searing (9 February), Florynce Kennedy (11 February); Lisel Mueller (8 February)

February 15-21: Amy Tan (19 February); Alvaro Obregon (19 February)

February 22-29: Gustinus Ambrosi (24 February); Barbara Jordan (21 February); Christian Watt (24 February); Lesya Ukrainka (26 February); John Puleston Jones (26 February); Maria Fassnauer (28 February); Phyllis Frelich (29 February); Takuma Aoki (24 February)

March 1-7: Antonia White (1 March); Doc Watson (3 March); Pete Gray (6 March); Maria Gutierrez-Cueto y Blanchard (6 March)

March 8-14: Marco and Raul Midon (14 March); Granville Redmond (9 March)

March 15-21: Josef Sudek (17 March); Sunaura Taylor (21 March)

March 22-31: Flannery O'Connor (25 March); Mary Webb (25 March); Vincent Van Gogh (30 March); Anna Sewell (30 March); Teddy Pendergrass (26 March); Rebecca Horn (24 March); Antonio de Cabezon (30 March); Fanny Crosby (24 March)

April 1-7: Thomas Rhodes Armitage (2 April); Edith Södergran (4 April); Claude-Andre Deseine (6 April); Alison Lapper (7 April); Lise Thibault (2 April); Marjory Stoneman Douglas (7 April)

April 8-14: Annie Sullivan Macy (14 April); Robert Haig Weitbrecht (11 April)

April 15-21: Ida Freund (15 April); Shunsuke Matsumoto (19 April); Erastus Smith (19 April); Florence Austral (16 April); Deng Pufang (16 April)

April 22-30: Evie Hone (22 April); Ellen Glasgow (22 April)

May 1-7: Willie McTell (5 May)

May 8-14: Douglas Martin (8 May); Stanley Elkin (11 May); Chang and Eng Bunker (11 May)

May 15-21: Mark Zupan (20 May); Alexander Pope (21 May); Robin Howard (17 May)

May 22-31: Margaret Fuller (23 May); Helen Brooke Taussig (24 May); Dorothea Lange (26 May)

June 1-7: Colleen McCullough (1 June); Robert Tannahill (3 June); John Hockenberry (4 June); Thomas D. Schall (4 June); Sophie Bell Wright (5 June); Olivia Robello Breitha (6 June)

June 8-14: Ida McKinley (8 June); Cole Porter (9 June); Peter Dinklage (11 June); Alfred Newton (11 June); Harriet Martineau (12 June); John Forbes Nash (13 June)

June 15-21: Margaret Benson (16 June); Henry Lawson (17 June); Blaise Pascal (19 June); I. King Jordan (16 June); Tony Coelho (15 June)

June 22-30: Derek Bentley (30 June); Helen Keller (27 June); Andrew Foster (27 June)

July 1-7: Nancy Mairs (3 July); Christine Lavant (4 July); Frida Kahlo (6 July)

July 8-14: John Clare (13 July); Woody Guthrie (14 July); Harriet McBryde Johnson (8 July); Josiah Wedgwood (12 July)

July 15-21: Dorothy Cottrell (16 July); Hermann von Reichenau (18 July); Elizabeth Joan Jennings (18 July); Harry Relph (21 July)

July 22-31: Doris Irene Taylor (25 July)

August 1-7: Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August); Anna Haining Swan (7 August); Kristin Hersh (7 August); Rahsaan Roland Kirk (7 August)

August 8-14: Andre Dubus (11 August); Louise Bogan (11 August)

August 15-21: Jack Metcalf (15 August)

August 22-31: Max Cleland (24 August); Isabel Mary Mitchell (25 August); Rick Hansen (26 August); Janet Frame (28 August); Justin Dart Jr. (29 August); James Brady (29 August)

September 1-7: Sarah Orne Jewett (3 September); Jane Addams (6 September)

September 8-14: Jose Feliciano (10 September) Gabriela Brimmer (12 September)

September 15-21: Frances Farmer (19 September)

September 22-30: Andrea Bocelli (22 September); Ray Charles (23 September); Horatio Nelson (29 September)

October 1-7: Tanaquil LeClercq (2 October)

October 8-14: Art Tatum (13 October)

October 15-21: Hugh Gallagher (17 October); Lajos Tihanyi (19 October); Daniel Sickles (20 October)

October 22-31: Gertrude Ederle (23 October); Sigrid Hjerten (27 October); Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (28 October); Sarah Bernhardt (23 October)

November 1-7: Morris Broderson (4 November)

November 8-14: Aaron Fotheringham (8 November); Walter Geikie (10 November); Vachel Lindsay (10 November); Kim Peek (11 November); Silken Laumann (14 November); Neil Young (12 November); Edward Rushton (13 November)

November 15-21: Wilma Mankiller (18 November); Dahlia Ravikovitch (17 November)

November 22-30: Joaquin Rodrigo Vidre (22 November); Josh Blue (27 November); Linda Bove (30 November)

December 1-7: John Henry Davis (7 December)

December 8-14: Gustav Flaubert (12 December); Cootie Stark (9 December); Matilda Aston (11 December); Diane Schuur (10 December); Annie Jump Cannon (11 December); John Milton (9 December); Rosemary Sutcliff (14 December); Bill Hargreaves (12 December)

December 15-21: Chantal Petitclerc (15 December); Richard Leakey (19 December); Laura Bridgman (21 December); John Greenleaf Whittier (17 December)

December 22-31: Elizabeth Ware Packard (28 December); Satish Gujral (25 December); Henry Moyes (25 December)