Hi folks! If you’ve been following my Dreamwidth account, you may know that I’ve been cleaning out a huge backlog of email. And that huge backlog of email has included links for recommended reading that I hadn’t seen previously because they got eaten in my inbox.
I apparently am not actually always available by email. But I’ve weeded out close to 5000 email messages and am now slogging away at the final thousand.
Anyway, here’s some of the links that came out of my backlog. Please note that these links are mostly for interest, and not necessarily reflecting the views of myself, the people who sent them in, or the FWD folks.
CD Baby blocks blind artist and fans (via Avalon’s Willow)
“I am so sorry!” begins the letter, “We are aware that our website upgrade was actually a huge downgrade for the blind. Our site used to be VERY user friendly, and I think that it was overlooked by our programmers. It IS a priority though, and we are working on making a dial up site that will be readable. This isn’t going to happen anytime in the next 2-3 months, but we ARE working on this and it is an issue that is not being ignored! … We were really proud of how accessible our site was before for the blind, and we would love to have this fixed so we don’t loose these customers.”
Three Blind Phreaks (via Jha)
The young Badirs closed ranks and vowed that their blindness would never be an impediment. They taught themselves to take apart telephones, to mimic voices and verbal tics, and to get around Tel Aviv without canes or guide dogs. They became obsessed with technology and telephones. After encountering their first computer, in 1989, at Tel Aviv’s Center for the Blind, Ramy and Muzher became enchanted with the IBM clones. They hung around Tel Aviv University while working, with little success, as software and telephone consultants; their early crimes were the phreaker equivalent of shoplifting a Hershey bar.
The total number of working-age disabled people without jobs nationally exceeds 70 percent, said Bill Ditto, New Jersey’s director of disability services. The Garden State has 1.9 million disabled residents of all ages.
In Pennsylvania, about 530,000 working-age individuals receive Social Security disability benefits. In 2008, about 5 percent of them also had a job, said John Miller, vice president of AHEDD, a nonprofit placement agency based in Camp Hill.
“The prevailing attitude in society is that if you’re disabled, you’re unable to work,” Ditto said.
Workers and supervisors at the Abilities Center know that’s not true.
Commence the comical nightmare of being told that we now possess an “unfair advantage” in wearing prosthetic limbs to run. The scores of amputee sprinters who had competed with the limbs for the previous 13 years—and were still comfortably categorized as “disabled”—were virtually ignored. What is fascinating is the immediate shift in society’s regard of a disabled athlete as an “inspiration” (cue the patronizing “awwwww”) to a legitimate threat to other athletes (“Uh, what the hell do we do now?”).
[A fuller set of recommended reading posts will be going up later today – I just wanted to get this out of my ‘to post’ list!]