Thursday, February 02, 2006

Disability Blogs Roundup, #7

Where to start? It's been a busy month. From the world of disability history, don't don't don't miss Jonathan Edelstein's fine post on deaf defendants and gestural communication in the 18th century English courtroom. It's a preview of Edelstein's Old Bailey blog symposium, coming up February 12; I'll be contributing a post on DS,TU to this unique symposium, so stay tuned for more on this subject.

The confirmation of Samuel Alito as US Supreme Court justice just this week, and the Supreme Court's ruling on physician-assisted suicide law in Oregon a couple weeks ago, were matters of grave concern for many in the disability community -- but you might not read about that in the newspapers, as Mary Johnson noted. That's why you need the blogosphere. Google tried to celebrate Louis Braille's birthday with a faux-braille logo on 4 January--but Google's continuing inaccessibility for blind users is all too real, notes the Blind Access Journal. An online petition drive is underway to bring Google up to speed on this.

From my (current) home state, California, a few stories worth noting: the deceptively named "Opportunity to Repair Act of 2006" will be a proposition on our ballots. Seems fifteen years since the passage of the ADA, some folks still need more time to get accessible (news accounts of this topic are becoming a tiresome genre of their own). Mary Johnson, Ahistoricality, and Orac Knows are watching this one. But in good California news, longtime disability rights activist, author, and radio host Shawn Casey O'Brien is running for State Assembly (official campaign photo above, left).

Blogs are often quite personal, but this past month a few disability bloggers have gotten really intimate: Timmargh shares his last two ID photos taken for his "disabled person's parking card"--the most recent being taken with Tim in bed, pillow in full view. Even more personal: Alex at Pseudarthrosis shares recent x-rays of her own hips and knees. (Orthopedic xrays should come in wallet size, like kids' school pictures--they'd be so much handier to spring on unsuspecting strangers.) David at Blob is recuperating from a broken shoulder--but he's still online, and has the pictures to prove it. Kestrell has posted part one of her memoir, in which Coyote juggles eyeballs, Shakespeare is quoted, Dickens is loathed (by a real "half-blind orphan" who is definitely not interested in being a sentimental stock figure), and "I have come to sense my own body as technology: buggy, kludged together, and yet granting me the ability to sense the world, to move through it." Speaking of the body as technology--Gimpy Mumpy is right (as usual), this new musical "exoskeleton" MUST have applications for artists with disabilities.

This blog has noted random disability items from the world of Bollywood in the past (here, and here), but Nilesh Singit has posted a more detailed listing of current Bollywood titles featuring disability themes--check it out. And staying with intersections between Asian cultures and disability for a moment, momblogger Kristina Chew at Autismland wonders if growing up in California with her Cantonese-speaking grandmother Ngin-Ngin was, in retrospect, good preparation for the non-verbal communication skills she needs in raising her son Charlie.

Got a chair in need of repair? Lisa Egan had flashing castors installed on hers most recently, saying "If the fungus growing at the back of my kitchen cupboards in my dingy bedsit has hallucinogenic properties, I'll have everything I need to enjoy my own mini-rave!" Agent Fang, meanwhile, went and tried to fix her own wheelchair: "Taking it apart was easy. Mark this. It is the signal that things are going too well," she explains ominously.

Did someone say Valentine's Day? Oh, okay--well, if you're British, disabled, over 18, and in love, send a picture of yourself and your partner in a liplock to the folks at Ouch!--and they'll judge your technique and recommend specific oral-motor therapy goals for you. No, that's not true, but they will give a "romantic prize" to the winning photo. You have until 13 February to show them how it's done.

And finally: The Super Bowl is this weekend. Football fans, be sure to use your lucky leg to cheer on your favorite team.

The next roundup should be in early March. Tips are always welcome; it's been so exciting to see the number of blogs I need to check grow, grow, grow with each passing month.


Doug said...

Well done! I just found this site and was pleased to see my friend, Sean Casey O'Brien. Neat site.

Alex said...

Wow thanks for linking to me. I feel honored. Cool site here too!

Anonymous said...

Nice round-up once again! And thanks also for the link.

You might be interested in the next instalment of the broken shoulder chronicles - /no-metal-required.


dnw - David N Wallace - Lifekludger

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