Recommended Reading for October 28

Join Marlee Matlin in Demanding Captioning of Online Video Content

Academy-Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin has been using her Twitter account to actively lobby for captioning of all the digital video content that is flooding onto the Web. The issue has rightfully hit a boiling point for the deaf community because Netflix and other services are now streaming video online without captions.

The National Association of the Deaf sent a letter to Netflix Oct. 5 complaining about the lack of captioning for “The Wizard of Oz,” which was available for download free at the Netflix Web site as a promotion.

Matlin points out the irony of a recent video about the Helen Keller statue unveiling at the U.S. Capitol on the CNN Web site that has no captions!

Related: How to add Subtitles and Translations to your Vids, Captioning Sucks!.

Ableism in 30 Rock [Includes an embedded video from HULU that is not available outside of the US]:

A lot of feminists love 30 Rock. As they should: it’s a funny show, and a rarity for television – a women-fueled enterprise with a two main female characters, written and conceived of by a woman. That is Cool, full stop. And 30 Rock has many deft explorations of the many facets of being a white, middle-class, straight, woman with able privilege. But persons with disabilities don’t fare quite as well.

30 Rock trades on ableism on an almost episodic basis. The show’s disrespect towards folks with disabilites, particularly those with visible disabilities, is constant and unrelenting from side gags to b-plots to regular characters. 30 Rock constantly places bodies with able privilege in a position of supremacy above bodies with visible disabilities through humiliation and devaluation. Its abuse of persons with disabilities in the name of comedy goes beyond the casual ableist language like “lame” or “retarded”. Such language is unfortunately ubiquitous to even shows that have been critical of ableism (eg, The Office has critiqued ableism through Michael Scott’s typical obliviousness on a couple of occasions, but, as in life, “lame” and occasionally “retarded” is still a consistent presence) but 30 Rock’s ableism is constant, humiliating, and dehumanizing.

An Example of an Article about FSD [FSD = Female Sexual Disfunction]

I’m still not fully understanding the claim that FSD is profitable. If that’s the case, why is it so difficult for me, someone who falls into the pain category, to find a doctor who is equipped to handle me? My experience is that often, my first line of defense doctors get tired of seeing me after I don’t respond to conventional treatments. I think right now my local gyno probably never wants to see me again.

The article goes on to talk about hysteria. For the most part I don’t find this section of the article to be inherently problematic. Except for the part about “pelvic congestion,” being in quotes, since it is mentioned as a real thing in Heal Pelvic Pain (p. 16)

Identifing:

But the real reason it followed me and stayed there in the back of my mind was the times I thought, “Wait. That’s me.” And then my guilt complexes came in full-force, telling me no, you can’t call yourself that, that’s for people with real problems, any problem you have is just in your head. And maybe most of them are in my head, but well, it doesn’t make them any less real. It doesn’t make it any less hard to me to function or to try and figure out how to fit into society. It doesn’t make my very concrete limitations disappear.

In the news:

Clem7 Tunnel Labeled a death trap for the disabled [Australia]:

BRISBANE’S Clem7 tunnel could be a death trap for the aged and infirm, a disability group has warned.

Queensland’s Spinal Injuries Association said the 4.8km-long tunnel’s emergency exits were too far apart and too narrow for people with mobility problems to escape an underground disaster.

Mr Mayo argues there are no design rules for tunnels but believes this infrastructure should follow the Australian Building Code which mandates emergency exits at every 60m in buildings.

3 Comments

  1. Anna,

    There are very few celebrities I follow on twitter (celebrity worship is not my thing) but Marlee Matlin is one that I do follow. I sent many tweets regarding the closed captioning issue after seeing her tweets about it awhile back. She works for many great causes on twitter. Plus she’s funny. She is one of the people I miss since being off twitter. Unfortunately, an impostor set up an account posing as me on twitter on October 10th. (Having a twitter impostor is a total nightmare, by the way). So I have not been tweeting recently. However, I think it’s great that you are bringing attention to this issue here!

    Jeanne
    .-= Jeanne´s last blog ..Tired But Inspired =-.

  2. Aah! I’m on the recommended reading! Aaaaaaaah! Zomg!

    *blushes* thanks
    .-= Shiyiya´s last blog ..Identifying =-.