Friday, August 28, 2009

Another "hilarious" blind cartoon character ?!?!?

[Visual description: animation still; the human character is an African-American woman wearing a white headscarf, shawl, and dress, sunglasses, bracelet, ring, and large gold earrings; she's holding the head of a large snake in her hands, and smiling at it.]

Hoo-boy. Get ready for Mama Odie, the fairy godmother in Disney's new feature, "The Princess and the Frog." She's a 200-year-old swamp-dwelling seer and she's blind (get it? get it?). She has a "seeing-eye" snake. Yeah, that won't confuse any children about the work of service animals...

Allison Carey, On the Margins of Citizenship

I want to take this opportunity to get the word out about very good friend, Disability Studies colleague and DS,TU reader, Allison Carey's first book, On the Margins of Citizenship, released today by Temple University Press. For those of you who live in the area, we are hosting a reception and lecture by Allison in celebration. Several DS,TU contributors enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside Allison at Temple University's Institute on Disabilities in the early 1990s before she moved on to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Shippensburg University. We would love to have you join us this one-of-a-kind event: lecture, book signing and reception. The talk, as well as the book, examines the discourses of rights and citizenship for people with intellectual disabilities as well as the sociopolitical factors that too often diminish the effectiveness of their ability in securing choice and self-determination.
When: Wednesday, September 9, from 12 noon to 1:30 pm
Where: 1810 Liacouras Walk, in the ground floor conference room, in the North Philadelphia main campus of Temple University. Maps and Directions.
RSVP: on our Disability Studies Meetup site so we will know to welcome you properly.
UPDATE: The typescipt and audio recording of Allison Carey's lecture have been posted on the Institute on Disabilities' website - enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Disability Studies Speakers - Temple U. Fall 2009

SAVE THE DATE! The Institute on Disabilities has announced their lineup of speakers for Fall 2009. Each of these lectures will be held at 12:00 noon in the 1810 Liacouras Walk Conference Room on Temple University's main campus. Watch this space (or even better, subscribe to our RSS feed) for more information.

Wed Sep 9, 2009 – Allison C. Carey (Shippensburg University) "On the Margins of
Citizenship: Intellectual Disability and Civil Rights in Twentieth
Century America"
Wed Oct 21, 2009 – Tobin Siebers (University of Michigan) “Disability Aesthetics”
Wed Nov 18, 2009 – Leroy Franklin Moore, Jr. (San Francisco) "Krip-Hop
Nation: Disability in African American Music."

Monday, August 24, 2009


Gotta love the headline "Stephen Hawking Both British and Not Dead." In fact, I'm considering making pins with a similar phrase--want one?

Update: I made the pins.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Accessibility and Inaccessibility at Nay Aug Park

While we were in Scranton PA on this month's trip, we visited the new accessible treehouse in Nay Aug Park. Very dramatic! The walkway through the trees lands you in a wooden structure hovering 150 feet above the gorge. Maybe not a good spot for those bothered by heights, but it's a beautiful design. (There's a brief video of the treehouse here, and another video view here. Neither has audio beyond the ambient sounds of the site.)

Less beautiful was the inaccessibility at the nearby Everhart Museum. To get in, you ring a bell at the emergency entrance in back--using a button that's likely too high for many chair users to reach. A guard comes and opens the door, and you use an elevator from there. But to get out? Good question! There is no bell on the inside of the same door. My son and I waited inside the (very hot, glass-enclosed) vestibule for a while, shouted "hello? guard?" a few times, and eventually had to resort to pantomime to ask family members on the outside to ring the bell for us. I asked the guard if we missed something, if there was some way to alert him that we wanted to leave, or some other exit we should use. Nope. Lovely. I was a volunteer at the Everhart in my teens; I'm disappointed -- but not exactly surprised -- that so little has changed there in the past thirty years.

Disability Blog Carnival #58 is up now!

Sorry I'm so late with this, we've been out of town. Disability Blog Carnival #58 is up now at Touched by an Alien, hosted by Laura, with the theme "Relationships and Disability." It's a good collection, go check it out.

I've had a volunteer to do the next edition, but so far not one non-spam entry for it... and I'm thinking we might be heading to the end of the Disability Blog Carnival's run. Blogging has changed a lot in the past three years; there are many, many more disability-related blogs out there, and there are many ways to manage favorite content across blogs, and alert friends to the most interesting bits you've seen. I think the Carnival was a good thing--it certainly had many fine moments--but many blog carnivals are struggling these days, and maybe the need for the format itself has diminished.

What do you think? I'm interested in your thoughts. Stay tuned for more on this.

Monday, August 03, 2009

OAH Magazine of History 23(3)(July 2009)

[Visual description: cover of the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, featuring a sepia-toned photo of an African-American man in uniform, crutches at his side, displaying the site of his leg amputation]

The current issue of the OAH Magazine of History (Vol 23, no. 3 , July 2009) is devoted to Disability History. Here's the Table of Contents:

Teaching Disability History
Daniel J. Wilson

Making Disability an Essential Part of American History
Paul K. Longmore

"Nothing About Us Without Us": Disability Rights in America
Richard K. Scotch

Creating Group Identity: Disabled Veterans and American Government
David Gerber

(Extraordinary) Bodies of Knowledge: Recent Scholarship in American
Disability History
Full Bibliography
Susan Burch

"No Defectives Need Apply": Disability and Immigration
Daniel J. Wilson

Using Biography to Teach Disability History
Kim E. Nielsen

Disability History Online
Penny L. Richards

Only the introduction, the full bibliography of Susan Burch's article, and my article are available open-access online--click the links at the link for the issue, above--the rest, however, are well worth tracking down in hard copy at your local university library (apparently individual copies of the magazine can also be ordered).

Does the cover illustration look familiar? If you're a longtime DS,TU reader, it should--we had a post about that photo in January 2008, and I suggested it for my article. I guess they liked it enough to promote it to the cover.

Prolific blogger explores the world of vision impairment and audiobooks

My favorite blogger Ethan Zuckerman is getting retinal surgery and exploring options for books on tape the entertain him while undertaking carpentry projects around the house during recover. Since Ethan is very well connected into the tech geek world, I thought our readers would be interested in some of the options he is considering. He invites you to share your comments and suggestions, as long as he realize that he won't be able to read them on a computer screen until September.

Normal at Any Cost

New book of note: Normal at Any Cost: Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry's Quest to Manipulate Height.

This is the first detailed account of the way in which tall girls and short kids have been experimented on for decades.

The discovery that massive doses of estrogens could stunt a girl's growth, and that human growth hormone could make a child grow faster, turned height into an industry. A cultural disadvantage became a medical problem.

... "Normal at Any Cost" chronicles how genetically engineered growth hormone, a product so profitable and aggressively marketed that it sparked court challenges and criminal prosecutions, launched the biotechnology industry. Yet, there were only a few thousand approved patients. The book describes the scene as, twenty years later, the FDA approved this product for healthy children and ushered in a new era of treating kids for height. Doctors now wield an arsenal that allows them to time and manipulate puberty, as well as to administer a variety of powerful hormones in doses far beyond what is natural or what some of their colleagues believe is safe. All for a few inches in children who have nothing physically wrong with them but where they stand on the growth charts.

"Normal at Any Cost" does what physicians and pharmaceutical companies do not -- follows up some of the tall girls and short boys, now grown women and men, whose lives changed because of these treatments.

As the new age of genetic medicine offers parents and doctors increasing opportunities to alter inherited characteristics, the temptations are only beginning.