jesse_the_k: black border collie standing in hug licking my chin (JK loved by BELL)
The World Institute on Disability is seeking "Disability Ambassadors" to attend various professional conventions and advocate for improving con accessibility. This is NOT for SF cons, but for academic/business/political cons. As WID says on its site:

"Across America, convenings of civil rights and community development organizations help to set the economic opportunity agenda. Unless the conferences fully integrate disability access issues into their content—and people with disabilities are present—the needs and perspectives of the disability community will be largely left out of the discussion."

They supported folks attending ten conventions last year, including the NAACP, La Raza, and the National Housing Coalition, and nine cons this year so far!

Apply to be an ambassador here

https://wid.org/consulting/conference-accessibility/

x-posted to access_fandom.dreamwidth.org
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 [twitter.com profile] leeflower
has a GREAT! intro post re: SFF & Disability.
http://thebias.com/2016/02/16/the-geeks-guide-to-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.
[…snipped…]
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: sign reads "torture chamber unsuitable for wheelchair users" (even more access fail)
[Thanks to Carly Findlay, I've untangled who said what from yesterday's post; here's the revised version.)

"The Mighty" is a site funded by a US TV network executive. Real money is available to make an online magazine whose stated mission is Real People. Real Stories. We face disability, disease and mental illness together.

Mid-December, they published a mother's story about "Meltdown Bingo," where she described how her autistic son melts down. For a long time disabled writers have spoken up about the parental focus of the site. The "Bingo" article foregrounded the mom while invading the son's privacy. After a Twitter storm
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CrippingTheMighty
The Mighty pulled the story
http://themighty.com/2015/12/editors-note-why-we-removed-a-story/
and invited disabled writers to participate. But The Mighty won't pay for prose, and the editors have changed submitted copy to swerve focus more to parents. Among the many angered by The Mighty, two Australian bloggers invested heavily in educating its editors. They joined the Mighty's private Facebook group for contributors and diplomatically discussed how previous stories were ableist, and how to improve. The Mighty's reaction was rapid and hostile. They banned the new writers from the Facebook group.
Refusing to Listen )
Phone call with Mighty staff has no impact )
jesse_the_k: harbor seal's head with caption "seal of approval" (Approval)
Last week I went to an informal get-together organized by UW students for folks interested in academic disability studies as well as community activists and disability services providers.

Heard two tales which opened up my heart and gave me hope for the future.
re raising Deaf kids and organizing disabled students )
jesse_the_k: Underwater picture of chubby woman stroking and blowing bubbles with a grin (lynne cox swimming)
I had one of those encounters in the weeks before WisCon. I want to record it for posterity, and I welcome your thoughts as well.
What she said, what I did and didn't say )
The ideal response is not having it matter it all. Not surprisingly, Dave Hingsburger's recent entry explores what it's like when we can really not care. Dave Hingsburger's recent entry explores what it's like when we can really not care. )
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (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 U.S.an, 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: White woman with glasses laughing under large straw hat (JK 52 happy hat)
I'd hoped to have a delicious thinky post about the difference 20 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act has made for the world, the nation, the state, and me. Meditating on those topics proved so depressing I didn't even leave the house yesterday. Ha! Depression is the gift that keeps on stepping on my toes.

So: the ADA and what it enabled today. In my zippity, comfortable power chair I zoomed to a "regular" bus stop and thence to my accessible health club where I swam for 40 minutes. I used half of the seated showers (what the staff insist on calling the "handicapped stalls.") Most of the people I encountered treated me respectfully and without patronizing me. I saw at least 10 other people whose impairments were readily evident to me. Another bus to the next stop. I had no worries about crossing a six-lane 45mph road because my chair goes fast enough (but not, alas 45mph). There were curb ramps which almost met ADA specs almost all the places there should have been -- the speedy chair simplifies crossing the street via driveways when necessary. I stopped in three stores during these errands. At one store the counterperson dramatically jumped back and performed the Vanna White maneuver to demonstrate that there was room to move in the shop. (Oh really?) The other stores gave me exactly the same attention as the evidently enabled* people who entered at the same time.

OK, that's all about assistive technology, and there's more AT-related items I could enumerate (built-in enlarging features in apps and OS simplify computer use; cordless phones; I'm stopping now).

The biggest change has not been in my body but in my perspective. In the late 80s, I'd been educating myself on social-model, disability-rights reading, but my impairments were not yet evident to others. That disabled people's rights had been enshrined in law was hugely important to me. That the ADA used "mental illness" as an example finally tipped me into considering therapy.

So, thanks for my life, ADA: many mundane things, and a few great big ones.

The law is not enough; as Cal Montgomery taught me:
Discrimination is always illegal; only activism makes it unwise.

So thanks to these RL advocates, who taught me advocacy:
  • Caryn Navy, who was infinitely patient with my AB privilege, remade a corner of the world at Raised Dot Computing, and demonstrated dignity through snark
  • Chris Kingslow, who taught me that mental illness isn’t the end of the world
  • Catherine Odette, who published Dykes Disabilities & Stuff, founded Able Lives Theater, and gave me permission to take as long as it takes
  • Cal Montgomery, who decoded the disability studies stuff I couldn’t follow, made me laugh, and taught me that there is dignity in “behavior management,” as well as potential for abuse
  • Mike O’Connor, who held my hand while I took my first steps into the public square
  • Fayth Kail, who cranked open many minds as she served as an Assembly page in the state legislature while also campaigning for abortion rights, reminding me that advocacy has a life cycle

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Jesse the K

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