jesse_the_k: Front of Gillig 40-pax bus rounding Madison's Capital Square (Metro Bus rt 6)

Jarrett Walker is a public transit designer/consultant/guru.

His latest blog, addressing "elite projection," turned on a very large light over my head. The people who determine policy are mostly members of a distinct elite. By definition, that perspective and experience is a small minority. When the topic is mass transit design, elite projection often creates unworkable systems.

begin quote

In challenging elite projection, I am being utterly unreasonable. I am calling upon elites to meet a superhuman standard. Almost everyone refers to their own experience when discussing policy. Who doesn’t want their experience to be acknowledged? But in a society where elites have disproportionate power, the superhuman task of resisting elite projection must be their work. And since I’m one of these elites — not at all in wealth but certainly in education and other kinds of good fortune — it’s sometimes my work as well. Like all attempts to be better people, it’s utterly exhausting and we’ll never get it right. That means the critique of elite projection can’t just take the form of rage. It also has to be empathic and forgiving.

quote ends

This is not only good advice for transit planning, but highlights why many "the market works better than the private ETA: public sector" schemes are only gratifying the very top of the market.

jesse_the_k: Red help button briefly flashes green and blue (Help! GIF)
Best seen with a desktop computer:

[personal profile] sovay posts seven photos of hopeful, political flash-mob art in a NYC subway.
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
For the last decade, I've been fortunate to receive the Inclusion Daily Express, an email-based news service. As their blurb promises
begin quote Inclusion Daily Express saves you time while keeping you up-to-date on what people with disabilities are facing, saying and doing. Each daily edition features six or seven important disability rights stories—many you cannot find anywhere else—along with links to dozens of other articles, press releases, opinion pieces and disability columns. quote ends

Inclusion Daily is well worth the annual cost of US$160. That might seem too much to pay, but you can specify ten email recipients for each subscription. If you're part of a working group, an agency, a school district, just one sub can keep everyone in the loop, you choose whether it's weekly or every weekday.

I've been able to keep up on disability-related news from all over. I find the info inspires me to action, provides examples, educates about other people working on "my" issues, and helps me know my place in the movement and the world.

You can try two weeks for free, and see if it's for you.

Here's a sample of what I found in the last two weeks, thanks to Inclusion Daily Express

Terrible Captions on UK TV )
So, I use captions. I loathe the state of live captioning, and I'm dismayed at the falling quality of offline captioning, as more services enter the market with seemingly no understanding of what good captioning means. From thousands of miles away, this article raises the question: Does the US's FCC* investigate caption quality? Do they supply a "how to do it" manual? Could I do something to help increase caption excellence?

*parallel agency to UK's Ofcom

Suing for Wheelchair Access to Hotel Shuttles )
Now this is highly relevant to my SF fan interests. Most cons are held in hotels; every hotel shuttle I've seen can't carry a powerchair. Sharing this info with other fans enables them to better advocate.

Irish= Disability Advocate's Long Life )

As [personal profile] sasha_feather taught me, there have always been social justice advocates. Martin Naughton was a "man of his time" as much as the hospital administrators who couldn't conceive of someone using a wheelchair outside the hospital. Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily's editor, casts his net very wide indeed. Sometimes the articles sampled don't represent an ideal perspective on disability rights. But always, they include the living experience of people with disabilities in the world, and that's always welcome in my in-box.

Samples from Inclusion Daily Express—disability rights news service © Copyright 2015 Inonit Publishing. Please do not reprint, post or forward without permission.
jesse_the_k: Due South's Ray Kowalski and Benton Fraser both rubbing their foreheads (dS F/K headache)
Been a while, but I've been amusing myself, as well as intermittent low bits. Turned my back on Facebook, abandoned Twitter after the SDS conference, spending way too much time on MetaFilter, which is beginning to annoy me in useful ways, as well as doodling away a happy hour on Tumblr posting nothing. Reading actualfax books—paper as well as e—and fanfiction, of course. Here's a sprinkling of things I've stumbled across. Ask me anything (as they say) in the comments and I'll bloviate.

I've worked as a freelance calligrapher, typesetter, and graphic designer. This cartoon beautifully, and painfully, captures the continual teeter-totter between "being true to your own self" and "getting paid"

I've been having more difficulty understanding speech, especially at noisy places like cons (use your mics!) and restaurants. I've also had a strange two-tone mechanical humming in my ears for the past year or so. Okay, time for a hearing test. Mostly painless: put on these headphones, play noise in one ear and words in the other, parrot back the words. But then there was
non-consensual penetration of body cavities )

That was a lesson in how to alienate prospective patients. It makes me wonder what in hell medicos mean when they say, "this will be uncomfortable, but let me know if it hurts"? Is there some level of pain which reliably causes a reflex response in humans, and therefore docs can ignore unreliable information like "Oww! That hurts! Stop that! NO."? I know that enough pain makes me pass right out. Or say if I vomit, does that mean I've crossed the line from "uncomfortable" to "hurts"? How about if I curl up on cool bathroom tiles? Or maybe when I sandbag myself with microwave hotpacks? I'm just working back from the "pain behaviors" I've demonstrated when it's hurt too much for me at home.

Anyway, the exam result is: I have

  • excellent hearing in optimal conditions (cool)

  • difficulty "hearing in noise" (yeah, that's why I was there)

  • tinnitus (Checking just now at HearingLossHelp druglist (PDF), I'm taking three meds known to cause tinnitus in some people. Huh and

  • Hyperacusis

She says wearing 29dB earplugs only makes the hyperacusis worse. (I wear them swimming and when I'm on the bus.) She's making "musician's earplugs" for me which dampen all sound equally across the noise spectrum which should "take the edge off" of the loudness of things.
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
The forecast was "1 − 3 inches" but the reality seemed more like 4.5. At any rate, I dragged my butt, late, spinning and swerving, to the bus stop. After ten minutes I called to see what was up. Nothing firm was promised, so I backtracked two blocks to another line. The bus arrived and was dropping the ramp when I realized I was stuck. I wasn't going to be able to move out of the ramp's way.

Then something so pleasant and organized and positive happened!

I waved the driver on; one of the descending passengers asked if she could help. Oh yes she could indeed. I gave her the "bullet" for helping-on-snow ) and she followed every instruction. After the first try, a guy stopped by and started grabbing for the handle and telling me what was wrong with my wheels. I let him know, calmly, "I've been driving this thing for twenty years so I'm pretty familiar with this situation." He did the universal sign of "no harm, no foul" (backing up and rotating his upper arms so his hands were head-high, palm out) and wandered away.

So Stephanie (we traded names later) gave me just the right traction and I was free of the now-icy bus stop.
"How will you get home?" she asked.
I said, not really knowing, "Oh, I'll figure it out somehow."
She replied, "I live just here (pointing nearby), can I accompany you home?"
I got a clue and realized that a) she was exhibiting all the signs of a sensible person and b) if I got stuck away from the main street I'd be really stuck.
So we s/trolled down to where I could see my tracks, and waved goodbye.

So that was truly good news.

Why can't I swim to the pool?
jesse_the_k: Fully unclothed dorsal Paul Gross from Slings & Arrows (naked & proud)
The temperatures have been above freezing, and my world has turned upside down. Mount Plow on my corner lot will probably remain until May, but the icebergs are gone from the streets, and the gutters are now visible. Many curb ramps are still blocked, but with open gutters there's enough room to travel in the streets without getting run over.

Even though I knew enough to complain and whine and moan about it, I underestimated just how wonderful it is to be able to travel independently again.

Wheeeeeeeee! Winter ends. Remind me never to move to Inuvik.
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
Wisconsin's hard winters make for closer friendships, forged in ice. In my well-spent youth, I loved to walk on the lakes and railroad tracks on the very coldest days. I could make my own warmth from the inside out, and savor the natural world through the hoarfrost lens.

As I've slowed down, winter has become less of a challenge and more of a prison. It took a decade to get the lightbox time just right to balance the depredations of less daylight. Now that I care to go out, getting out is no longer simple.

The powerchair battery performance plummets to less than three miles when the temperature dips anywhere below 20° F. When there's more than 3 inches of snow, the chair simply can't proceed. When even one person on the block hasn't shoveled their sidewalk -- or even worse, when they've cleared a path only one shovel wide -- I must choose between veering into the street or turning around and retracing my tracks in defeat.

Though I've certainly acquired, and pile on, enough layers to choke a dinosaur, not even knee-high Sorels & my swashbuckling leather cape can keep me warm when I'm sitting still outside. I was twisted enough to actually enjoy nose-freeze and eyelash-crunching temperatures like -15°F, but those days are past. (Fun fact: at -15°F, you can throw a cup of boiling water into the air and it freezes before it hits the ground.)

One thing keeps me from going completely bat-shit: paratransit. Thanks to the scores of disabled Madisonians who made it happen even before the ADA mandated it, people who can't use the fixed route bus (that's me when there's snow) can schedule door-to-door rides for just twice the bus fare. Yes, I have to plan a day in advance, which I'm lousy at. Yes, every trip takes at least an extra hour because it's a shared-ride service.

Yes, some of the drivers are annoying mumblers who play Rush Limbaugh (and worse) at top volume. But then there's [ profile] busman1994, who just dropped me off after the world's dullest meeting. This is why I love Madison! Not only does paratransit enable me to ply the wide world even in this snowiest of winters, it even has some drivers WAOLJ!

about me

jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
Jesse the K

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