jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
This 4:10 captioned video provides great background on the "wheelchair symbol," more formally known as the International Symbol of Accessibility. Using plain language, the presenter explains its history, application, why it applies to more than wheelchair users, and why it might need changing.

If you're disabled, how do you feel about this symbol? Do you find it helpful in the abstract? Is it deployed usefully in your life? Do you know of any different symbols that don't use wheelchairs?
video under the cut )
jesse_the_k: Woman holds camera overhead, captioned "capturing the stars" (photographer at work)
Quartz showcases their favorite entries from the shortlist for the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year, an annual contest run by Britain’s Royal Greenwich Observatory.

Not only are the photos beautiful, but I believe the integral photo descriptions are outstanding.
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
The weather is delightful: on the low side of 70°F, with constant gentle breezes. I welcome the partly cloudy skies, as full sun down here burns me in a New-York minute.

Our little house is in one of the oldest parts of town, but the dwellings are so modest that it hasn't been gentrified. Next-door is condemned & they're living in their garage.

I rolled to a Farmer's Market — tragically no fresh greens, but OMG fresh pralines, a novelty almost as delicious as chocolate. (Butter, cream, pecans, sugar.) The sidewalks are just wide enough for my chair, around 36in. They've done an excellent job maintaining flatness considering the wealth of old, rooted trees. There was only one place I got airborne.

Late lunch at a pho restaurant called Pho. Tasty but not cosmic.

There's a concrete beach walk — around 25 yards from the low-tide line. After a suitable post-prandial nap, I was able to use my rolling walker for a stroll down to the "harbor" (a channel cut in to maximize water access).

Here's a Google beach view where I started:,-88.829476,3a,75y,91.02h,78.49t,357.76r/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1suV0Ps7oUw_Kir2No5w0ebQ!2e0!3e2!7i13312!8i6656

We had more clouds so more colors in our sunset appreciation, but this time-lapse provides a taste: described sunset video shot looking SSW )

jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
Adaptations by Adrian makes outerwear designed for us. I've had two of their capes, and they're wonderful. The capes are custom made, so you can make sure they're short enough to clear your wheels or long enough to cover your back bag. details )
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)

I operate my powerchair with a joystick, like a gaming control but much sturdier, smarter, and costlier. It’s a metal post sticking out of a rubber hood. One can readily change the handle that attaches to the metal post. My joystick came with a carrot–shaped handle. I was looking for a better fit that didn’t require me to pinch my fingers. I didn't buy a neat one but hacked a cheap one that works well )

jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
[ETA: fix Annalee's twitter handle and bad HTML]

Annalee Flower [ profile] leeflower
has a GREAT! intro post re: SFF & Disability.
quote begins
I’m hoping that if I walk through some of the more common misconceptions, I can move the needle a little–or at least save myself some time in the future, because I’ll be able to give people a link instead of explaining all this again.
The science fiction community tends to take this diluted version of the medical model to extremes. Because we’re used to speculating about abilities that humans could have if certain fictitious conditions were met, some of us consider all human bodies fundamentally broken. It’s easy for us to fall into the trap of thinking that, for example, since being able to fly unaided would be really cool and convenient, we must all be disabled because we can’t fly.

Here’s the thing, though. Because we can’t fly, we have built a world that is accessible to people who cannot fly. We build roads and sidewalks to facilitate ground travel and elevators to provide access to tall buildings.

quote ends

Read it and link like a wild thing :,)
jesse_the_k: Callum Keith Rennie shouts "Fuck no!"  (Fuck no sez CKR!)
(cross-posted to [community profile] access_fandom)

I'm not going to provide a link, for reasons that will become clear.

That announcement pushed a whole row of my Assistive Technology Geek buttons, and I gotta rant. I'll use the LEGO braille printer "BRAIGO" to illustrate why I get so hot under the collar when I see this shit. (My cred: I've hung out with people who use assistive technology since 1982; I designed and sold braille translation software and embossers in the late eighties; and I've personally depended on assistive technology since 1991.) Based on thirty year's close attention to the development/PR/funding/purchasing/abandonment cycle for assistive technology, here's my take on the BRAIGO announcement.


DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT EXPERT ENDUSERS IS POINTLESS  ) That's why the BRAIGO can't create useful braille.

PR BECOMES DISINFORMATION ) A $350 embosser would be an amazing thing. Hundreds of well-intentioned editors and readers are willing to take the inventor's word for it. But this device is not a embosser.

EXPERTS ARE AVAILABLE on REQUEST! ) We live in a press release culture: what the company wants to say is what we hear. Or in this case, what a 12 year old (who mentions absolutely no contact with braille users) says gets broadcast.


Start from the first dot at the RNIB's Learning Braille site or pick an excellent start for adults at the Achayra firm in India. Teach more at the National Federation of the Blind's Braille is Beautiful resource for kids.

tl;dr Just because assistive technologies are tools for people with disabilities doesn't mean we must accept only good intentions. We want the best engineers working on our designs, the best marketers making them affordable, and the best politicians making them subsidized.
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (CKR fuck no!)
Probably news to nobody reading here, but it was such stunning evidence of greed in the hospital industry I just had to memorialize it.

This is from 17 May 2013 NYTimes article on the East Coast hospitals with the highest billing and payment. There's such a disconnect between what's charged and what's customarily paid that one must account for both. The users who pay the most are the uninsured; Medicare pays the least, and most insurance companies negotiate something in-between. Bayonne Medical Should be Bayonne Financial )
This is like buying a towing company, distributing your equipment to all roads in town, and then digging ditches across the road to guarantee business. As [personal profile] laceblade would undoubtedly say, This shit is wrong!

ETA to fix erroneous time travel
jesse_the_k: sign reads "torture chamber unsuitable for wheelchair users" (even more access fail)
This example is better labeled “Design for none.” Not only was this stairway straight from MCEscher’s portfolio, it guarantees an unsafe trip for all users, of either ramps or stairs.

The brightly colored ramps from the Stop Gap ramp project could be an answer, but they’re definitely steep, and many manual chair and walker users would have a hard time using them. (Which creates yet another opportunity for my least favorite response to an access request, “Gee, everybody else seems to be able to use this fine.”)

Certainly in the Madison Central Business district, at least half the older shops have one step entrance. I’ve talked to numerous shop owners about installing a temporary use ramp, and they all think it’s a good idea and then ignore me.

This post pictures and ponders the drawbacks to any “just one step” ramp initiative (as opposed to a permanent redesign which obviates the step.
jesse_the_k: Red help button briefly flashes green and blue (Help! GIF)
Continuing our photo theme.

I'm working on "how to make accessible signs" guide. Every year I promise myself I'm going to take pictures of our signage.

Every year I forget it in the glory of the moment.

I've just spent quite a while paging through the Wiscon tag at Flickr. No joy. And really, who takes pictures of hallways? Our signs help you spend as little time in them as possible.

But if you have taken pictures of the signs
  • The overhead signs with room names, e.g., "Cap A" or "Childcare"

  • The signs on sixth floor which divided the idle lane from the travel lane, plastered under the plastic and climbing the walls

  • Or any other signs that thrilled you

  • I would be delighted to have a copy.

    If I include your photo in the guide, you'll get credit, a copy, and egoboo.

    You may comment here or email me via jesse_the_k at

    Thanks so much!
    jesse_the_k: barcode version of (JK OpenID barcode)
    Think & Smell )
    The air can fail us along several dimensions. In addition to being stinky, it can have lumpy bits—such as dust and particles––or toxic bits—such as poisons or radioactivity. In addition to a super-sensitive sniffer, I have reactive airways. Any bits make me cough and prevent me from breathing. Unfortunately, we're having an ORANGE particle alert tomorrow in my part of the world. I'm glad I can stay home. As is probably the case all around the U.S., and certainly in Mexico, the worst air conditions are experienced by workers waiting outside for public transportation.

    Intro to Decent Home Training via The New Basic Black )

    read Marina she's amazing )
    jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (volunteer)
    There are many things we can do to improve everyone's lives. Voting is not the only thing, but it sure is hell is easy to do. Many have given their health, their peace of mind, and their lives for the right to exercise the franchise. If you're a, head on down to the polls in your municipality this coming Tuesday. And while you're there, you might be wondering, "Gee, just how do people with disabilities vote?" As it happens, I know a little about this. And this time, dear readers, I've put it behind a cut. )
    jesse_the_k: Robot dog from old Doctor Who (k9 to the rescue)
    Even when I'm offline, it seems, I'm opening tabs!

    Prof Deb Reese accomplishes two useful things here at her American Indians in Childrens Literature blog: a. Speaking up on why the phrase "a few dead Indians" is problematic and b. Documenting info and rumor flow via Twitter, blogs, email, &c.

    Web-related book rave )

    Jesse Goes to the Ball Park )

    Ooops! Time's up! Back at you in a couple days.
    jesse_the_k: Sketch of pair of hands captioned "If you're OCD and you know it wash your hands" (OCD handwasher)
    A useful dialog about ASL and captioning re: increasing numbers of people with disabilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (abbreviated STEM by educator types).

    Among the many resources in that discussion was the
    ASL-STEM project developing standardized ASL signs for common STEM jargon, to cut back on the extensive finger-spelling. I found this for dampened oscillation to be particularly lovely:

    Description Non-dominant 1 hand faces out. Touched by tip of dominant hand, which then draws a tall oscillating curve that rapidly shortens to flat. At flat the dominant handshape changes from 1 to bent B, with "smooth" tongue thrust.
    jesse_the_k: Panda doll wearing black eye mask, hands up in the spotlight, dropping money bag on floor  (bandit panda)
    Read fascinating column from Ta-Nehisi Coates riffing on the social positioning of obesity and its parallels to the ubiquity of racism.

    Life without father becomes more familiar.

    Watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony on TiVo (what a fabbo invention). I love the First Nations art and dance but it feels completely appropriative and wrong.

    Excellent Chinese New Year party with old friend who has re-entered my life.

    Big fun with [personal profile] were_duck, including a lunch so attractive it belongs on an Olympic flag. (Too hungry for pix, again.)

    Loud & rowdy book group re The Sparrow.

    Conjoined twins, only one of whom wishes to be a country singer?
    Meet George & Lori Chapelle
    (In other words: no performance art from able-bodied poseurs, Ms Palmer, real life is strange enough.)

    See also Twin Falls, Idaho.

    Worked with [personal profile] sasha_feather today on our disability-themed presentations for the MBLGTACC conference this weekend. We're feeling confident. If any dwirclets have experience with a Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Trans & Allies College Conference, please share on what to expect.

    about me

    jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
    Jesse the K

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