Recommended Reading for April 8, 2010

A white person's right arm in a (self-described) terminator-esque arm brace.  It has thick black straps supporting the upper arm, a huge dial on the elbow, and more thick straps on the lower arm

Description: A white person’s right arm in a (self-described) terminator-esque arm brace. It has thick black straps supporting the upper arm, a huge dial on the elbow, and more thick straps on the lower arm

Daily Access Irritations: The Moan Meme

I thought I’d rant a little about the access irritations I encountered today.

Today I’ll complain about inaccessible elements of the environment which nominally increase access. Otherwise known as “access theater,” or access done wrong, it’s particularly infuriating.

Implementation of Low Vision Rehabilitation Advice for People with Intellectual Disabilities

People with intellectual disabilities are at a very high risk of visual impairment, often due to undiagnosed refractive errors and cataracts. Oftentimes, however, these people are being cared for in facilities that do not have knowledge about low vision, and do not know how to detect it. Low vision centers in the Netherlands take a pretty proactive role in screening for visual impairments in people with intellectual disabilities. However, it doesn’t help much if the advice these centers give, for example for glasses or lighting, is not followed up on by the intellectual disability facilities the people live in.

Miscellaneous Thoughts on Parenthood [NBC series]

-Shockingly (or not), the behavioral therapist turns out to be a Magical Therapist who not only helps Max play with another child, but gives soothing advice to his mom–allaying her fears and improving her sex life. All in one afternoon!

It really bothers me to see people who work with autistic people portrayed as saints with no obvious flaws, which is what this therapist character (Gabby) seems to be so far. Because obviously anyone who would choose to work with autistic people must be a saint, by definition. Far too many people actually believe that kind of nonsense, which obscures the very real power which therapists hold over their clients, and the very real potential (and actuality) of abuse. It’s just really, really uncomfortable. Pretty Nice Behavioral Therapist Girl holds power over the children she works with.

Being inclusive vs not being exclusive

This is something I come across once in a while, and have had at least one argument with someone over. A group of people put on some creative project, and someone notices that there’s a lack of representation of X Minority for whatever reason, sometimes noting that they themselves are in the minority. The people organising the project get defensive and say “But we’re not excluding anyone! We are open to everybody! They just need to sign on!”

There is a huge difference between not being exclusive and being inclusive.

In the eye of the beholder

But we have entered into another phase of the understanding of beauty. We are staying, right now, in a huge resort north of Toronto. It’s on the way to the consultation and will cut our driving down by several hours. We decided, what the heck treat ourselves. Into a huge lobby, up to a luxurious room. Wow. Then Joe went into the bathroom and said, breathlessly like he has when listening to Madama Butterfly or contemplating a painting by Turner or finishing a book by Furst or by watching that nude scene in A Single Man … it’s, it’s, beautiful.

One Can’t be a Cutup when one is talking about Cutouts

The guidelines for my suggestions of “ideal cutouts” are simple:

1. All of the ADA style guidelines related to angle and such (not crucial for me with the iBot or most powered chairs, but much more important for scooters that can’t handle angles, manual chairs, or people that might have trouble with the angle);
2. Always have the ramp be at a complete 18090° with the street it is bisecting, with a consistent and equal upward trend until it reaches the top.
3. Keep the direction of the inclination be the same as the direction of travel, without requiring left/right “yaw” adjustment.
4. Have the cutouts as close to the curb as is feasible.
5. Position the cutouts firmly in the crosswalk’s span.
6. Keep the cutouts on opposite sides of the street that assume a lateral connection lined up with each other.
7. When fancy painting/grooves are done, have the paint/groves match both the angle and the direction of the inclination (i.e. if any of the previous two points — especially points 2 and 3 — are not done, do not use the paint/grids as if they were).
8. Remember that Functional > Aesthetically pleasing but impractical > impassible (by which I mean impossible).


US: Appellate court rules [service] dogs ineligible for food stamps

Just to let y’all know, we’re going to be splitting up Recommended Reading duties among FWD contribs for a while, starting tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for April 8, 2010

  1. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with this particular post, but just wanted to say how refreshing it is that all pictures on here are described. As a blind person who uses the net all the time I’d become totally used to pretty much all picture contents being inaccessible to me, I know there’s a picture of something there because my screenreader says so, but have no idea what it is. It’s amazing how you can become so accustomed to this exclusion from visual images that when I see all the picture descriptions on this site and a very few others it’s such a delightful change, shame it can’t be the norm!

    I know a lot of sites don’t consider picture description because they either don’t think visually impaired people can use the net (frighteningly common assumption, I use up more spoons than I should having to explain my screenreading software to curious strangers and acquaintances all the time) or because they assume that blind people aren’t interested in the visual content, as long as the text is accessible.

    I can’t speak for visually impaired people with varying levels of sight or those who have always been completely without useful sight, but as someone who was able to see and is now totally blind, I have a very good visual memory and enjoy knowing the colour and appearance of things as I can reconstruct the images in my mind pretty accurately from just a few details, I love art galleries for that reason, if the painting is described to me I really feel like I’m actually seeing it. Someone once asked me why I liked a particular color as I could have no concept of color, this kind of comment is particularly ignorant as it assumes that any young person who is blind must never have had any sight, that all visually impaired people have the same level of vision and that even those who have always been totally blind can’t have any concept of the visual world and are living in darkness, it’s impossible to explain to sighted people that our world doesn’t consist of darkness, but these kinds of preconceptions are part of the reason nobody usually bothers providing picture descriptions for us, so, thanks again for doing this and doing it so well, the descriptions are excellently done!

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