Recommended Reading for 15 July 2010

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post and links are provided as topics of interest and exploration only. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

Sasha Feather at Access Fandom: Better microphone use at conventions: a report

Microphone use: pretty good, but myself and others definitely encountered able-bodied privilege in the form of people claiming their voices are good enough, loud enough, and gosh darnit mics just aren’t natural. In smaller rooms, mic use was worse than in larger rooms. Some people were “mic hogs” (not good at sharing or passing microphones); therefore more mics would be better for 6-panelist panels. Some people gestured with the mics or held them too far from their faces. I believe this shift in culture will take several years but we are off to a good start.

The Quixotic Autistic: Fröken Salander & Me: How a misanthropic computer hacker will change autism in literature and life (Potential spoilers for The Millennium Trilogy)

It’s not just revolutionary because it has a character with autism. It has a person with autism as one of the main characters (I don’t think the word ‘protagonist’ is proper here) and often narrates using her point of view. Usually when this is attempted, it’s clumsy and ham-fisted, and filled with overly flowery prose about connecting to the outside world, or else presents the person as a narrow-minded tabula rasa with no personality, only a long series of ramblings regarding interests in very obscure subjects (I’m looking at you, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time!) Salander however, is given the full force of a well-developed personality, and while she is presented with savant-like abilities, she is shown to be tormented by them, her photographic memory in particular.

Astrid: Open Letter To My Body

I am autistic. Autism affects the way I perceive stimuli. For example, I tend to be somewhat hypeersensitive to noise. However, my autistic way of perceiving also relates to my internal sensations. When I feel a physical symptom or sensation, I cannot always localize it or describe its intensity. For example, I have dealt with abdominal pain for about three years now, but it took me forever to recognize firstly that it wasn’t normal, and secondly, to localize the pain. Sometimes, I perceive ordinary sensations, such as hunger, as painful. When I deal with pain at the same time, it all adds up and overwhelms me. Overload further impairs my perception of internal and external stimuli by either agravating or diminishing sensation.

BlindGal: My First Accessible Cell Phone

Last week I purchased my first accessible cell phone, and I can’t believe I waited this long. I have been a cell phone user for over 8 years, but not until now have I been able to do anything but make and receive calls. You may be thinking that should be enough, but with all that cell phones can do, I was really paying for features I couldn’t use. I couldn’t even tell who was calling me or if I had messages waiting for me. Thanks to Apple and their commitment to making their products accessible to all their customers, the Iphone 3gs is opening new doors to me.

Forced Migration Review: Disability and Displacement (Free download)

It is not common practice to include people with disabilities among those who are considered as particularly vulnerable in disasters and displacement and who therefore require targeted response – yet statistics tell us that up to 10% of all displaced people will have a disability.

The 27 feature theme articles in this issue of FMR show why disabled people who are displaced need particular consideration and highlight some of the initiatives taken (locally and at the global level) to change thinking and practices so that their vulnerability is recognised, their voices heard – and responses made inclusive.

At Access Tourism NZ: Colombia Nears Goal to Become World’s First Country with Accessible Bus Rapid Transit Service in Every Major City While NZ Lags

The June 201 Access Exchange Newsletter reports that Colombia is amongst world leaders in providing Accessible Bus Rapid Transit services for people with disabilities (PwDs). Meanwhile in New Zealand, The NZ Tourism Guide (one of our largest tourism guide websites) advises that “most urban transport buses are not equipped to cater for the disabled.”

“If the world’s megacities are to be livable places in years to come, the Colombian approach to public transit is likely to be a big part of the solution. Access to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) by passengers with disabilities, which means better access for everybody, is a cutting edge feature of this solution” says Tom Rickert of Access Exchange International

New Straights Times: Magazine took away my date (via email)

I wish to highlight an incident where a disabled person was discriminated against.

Anti-Rec (although some points for actually talking to blind people when developing the show): DVR Playground: Setting his sights on a new challenge, Christopher Gorham Talks COVERT AFFAIRS

Actor Christopher Gorham relishes a challenge.

Or at least that’s the distinct impression one walks away with following some time spent with the actor on a recent visit to the set of COVERT AFFAIRS, USA’s latest summer series in which he plays blind CIA operative Auggie Anderson.

Exciting and daunting. Particularly when one takes into account the added responsibility Gorham signed up for which has the actor putting a very public face a blind/visually impaired minority that unfortunately gets little to no exposure on primetime television. A responsibility that not surprisingly is not the least bit lost on the well spoken actor.

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com

By 15 July, 2010.    recommended reading