Sunday, September 10, 2006

Disability Blogs Roundup #13: Back to School edition

Fresh pencils sharpened, blank spiral notebooks ready, recalled laptop batteries removed... it's Disability Blogs Roundup time again.

Physical education: There's been a flurry of recent posts about the pleasures lived by the disabled body, most notably Blue's glorious The Joys of Impairment, but also Mark Siegel's I Sing the Body Electric and Telling it Like it Is, Wheelchair Dancer's Pleasures of a Disabled Body, and Piny's Life is Sweet. ImFunnyToo riffs off the comments of Blue's post in Illness vs. Impairment, and Goldfish responds to that post in Illness, Impairment, and Disability, and Al Masters links to Lisa Iezzoni's Going Beyond Disease to Address Disability.

Current events: The recent UN disability rights convention also got a lot of commentary: see especially Mark Siegel in Righting Past Wrongs and International Recognition. Liz Spikol covers the coverage of a noted psychiatrist killed by a teen in his care. Is it telethon protest season again already? Indeed. ImFunnyToo has a Dear Jerry letter, and Michael Bérubé reports on Jerry's latest bizarre statements. Autism bloggers have had a lot to say about news items as well: see thoughts on prenatal testing and eugenics from Ian Parker, Elmindreda, ABFH, and Zilari. Meanwhile, Amanda at Ballastexistenz had a surreal exchange with her mother, thanks to recent media distortions about autism ("Normalizing murderous thoughts is not support"); and Kassiane accepts the label of "autistic fundamentalist"--go read why.

What did you do on your summer vacation? Caelesti went to camp. Jocelyn summarizes some myths about independent disabled backpackers ("Losing the use of your legs does not necessarily ...remove the crazyheaded notion that exploring the rougher side of life might be a lot of fun"); the AmpuT reports on accessible accommodations and adventures in Hawaii (with pictures!); Lisybabe spent some frustrating time at a hospital for tests, where every conversation turned odd. (They really should staff that reception with rabbits holding pocket watches, so the Wonderland effect is complete.)

Book reports? Kestrell wonders if the author of a recent detective novel has ever actually met any "sexy blind women" before writing his heroine as one; Dispoet suggests On the Outskirts, a new collection of disability poetry; Blue offers links to several new books, including Susan Schwartzenberg's Becoming Citizens: Family Life and the Politics of Disability (I'm sold, it's now on my Amazon wishlist); Joseph Rainmound has a suggestion: if you're going to write about Deafhood, how about reading Paddy Ladd's Deafhood first? Stephen Kuusisto has a real new book, Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening, and a fake proposed title, Chicken Soup for those who have been Culturally Stigmatized.

Field trips: A museum exhibit meant to teach kids about disability is "an unnecessary disappointment," says AL Masters; Teri at CripChronicles gets a thrill wheeling over brand new pavement that's "smooth as a baby's butt"; Kathy Podger took pictures to explain why a newly built ramp in a public plaza isn't ADA-compliant; we'll also be crossing Jacksonville's Riverwalk off the list of class trip destinations, thanks to Darren Hillock's tip; and Feyandstrange has a timely tip: wearing a medical alert bracelet or tag may make the difference between a misunderstanding and a tragedy at the airport.

Extracurricular activities
: A random romantic encounter surprised Jocelyn at Awake:to:dream; and Katie in Brighton says "Random bloke, I love you," after a surreal conversation with a ticket inspector on a train. Bowling, anyone? Ziggi's got the technology.

AV Club: James Medhurst points out some promising disability culture inroads in radio, television, and podcasting comedy from England; but in the opposite direction, Nicole has the story of an Ohio radio station's "Mongoloid Mike" feature; there's also the question of what's next for Pete, winner of the UK's Big Brother; but there's no question about the Autism Acceptance Project Video--it's getting raves.

Quiz time! Emma has an answer key for nosy strangers, so they can leave her alone. Now. And Wheelchair Dancer has a great list of questions that three New York Times reporters could have explored in a story about a shooting--instead of falling back on the cliched "helpless cripple" angle.

Arts appreciation: Lene explores the beauty of the Persian Flaw. Marmite Boy reports on accessibility provisions at the Reading Festival. Erin Himmelmann encountered something way more than ignorance at a GooGoo Dolls/Counting Crows show.

Fire drill: How to respond when someone calls you a fire hazard--in church.

History projects: RidorLive has a multi-generational family history with photos, sharing the ancestors who attended the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (beginning in 1844) and the lives they lived afterwards. And Autism Diva has some archival video of George and Charles--"human calculators" answering an interviewer's calendar questions (keep watching for some questions raised by this footage).

And finally, some actual "back-to-school" posts: Teacher resources suggested by Shawn; the first-day scramble to the bus in Autismland; thoughts on science/tech/math education for blind students at Blind Confidential; Sarahlynn had a hard meeting with a school psychologist, sending her "beyond tears into anger"; Kristina Chew points out the limits of "early intervention" in the grander scheme of a long life; Alyson Perry has great ideas for raising a disability rights advocate; Charles Fox has timely tips on schoolbuses and special education law; and Nash starts kindergarten (his picture and its story appeared here at DS,TU in July--here's the update).

Whew! August was busy, even with some favorite bloggers on vacation, and others distracted. Expect another roundup sometime in October.

Images: "Making Map for Blind," "Deaf School Children Dancing," George Grantham Bain Collection, and "Boettcher School for Crippled Children, Denver CO," Historic American Buildings Survey, all in the Library of Congress.


Ahistoricality said...

Fantastic roundup, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Small correction: Jocelyn's excellent rant on backpacking can be found here:

Thanks for pointing it out at all. Cheers!

Penny L. Richards said...

Thanks for the correction, Sara! I think I fixed it just now.


Kay Olson said...

"Glorious"?! Thanks! The discussion following my post has been fascinating wherever it pops up.

What an exciting roundup!

Lene Andersen said...

Thanks for including me in this great company!

GM-Carson said...

I have a funny and thoughtful Phillies blog that I think you might enjoy. Come check it out at

Hope to see you there, and keep spreading Philly love!

Anonymous said...

Hello there,

My name is Nicholas Perdikares and I am a PhD candidate in the
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About two years ago I started blogging about my self in order to raise
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who know little or nothing at all about what living with a disability
means. In fact, my blog called "(disabled) Stories" was a part of my
dissertation- for my MA of Arts - in politics and communication. The
original texts were written in Greek.

Fortunately, my personal narratives helped in the creation of an
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As you will find out if you visit my blog, I was born with cerebral palsy.
Knowing that the narrations of my everyday life could work as a
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disability, I decided to go further and translate my blog in English,
so to give my writings a global identity.

You may visit my web page at the following url:

Please, keep in mind that I have now stopped posting. Even so, fell
free to comment on what is already written! I still need everybody's
help to make my weblog interactive again. Spread the news and
help me "promote" my web page.

Yours Sincerely

Nicholas Perdikares

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