Recommended Reading for Wednesday, 28 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.

Chantal Petitclerc and Warren Spires, two people wearing 'right to play' shirts and sitting next to what appears to be an ice skating rink. One of the people, Chantal, is in a wheelchair.

Warren Spires is the president of Right to Play Canada, and the organizer of the Right to Play charity Skate. Chantal Petitclerc is a disabled athlete, one of Right to Play’s ambassadors. (Photo by Flickr user NailaJ, Creative Commons License)

RMJ at Deeply Problematic: Reminder: Disability Carnival!

The original due date was yesterday, but I’m going to extend my call for submissions to the day of the carnival, Thursday July 29, at 9 am EST!

Amy Cohen Efron at Deaf World As Eye See It: HR3101 Passed Unanimously!

As of 3:35pm – A tweet from Pratik Patel (@ppatel) who is a New York entrepreneur, running a business, working at University, and a passionate advocate for the blind and other causes, with a huge announcement!

This is fantastic. #HR3101 passes with a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives.

UNANIMOUS???? No opposing vote? It is voice vote that was passed today at the House of Representative with no one opposing. Not even one “nay” been voiced! Pratik Patel witnessed it on C-SPAN channel today at around 3:35pm.

(HR 3101 is the Twenty First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, designed to make communications more accessible for people with disabilities! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to get this bill passed.)

Lisa Factora-Borchers at My Ecdysis: Dear Sister Anthology

Call For Submission

Dear Sister is an anthology of letters and other works created for survivors of sexual violence from other survivors and allies. It is a collection of hope and strength through words and art.

Kathji Wolfe at The Washington Blade: Get to know a queer crip (via Media dis&dat)

One in five Americans (51.2 million) has a disability and from three to five million people are LGBTQ and have disabilities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. I am one of many who are disabled in the queer community. We are of all races, classes, ages, genders and occupations. Reclaiming the pejorative terms “queer” and “cripple,” increasing numbers of us proudly call ourselves “queer crips.”

Yet our presence isn’t well known or always welcomed in the LGBTQ community. Many places (from bars to shops) and events (such as conferences) in the queer community aren’t accessible to folks with disabilities. My friend, Hugh Gallagher, used a wheelchair. Gallagher, the author of “FDR’s Splendid Deception,” worked on Capitol Hill. “I can only get into one gay bar [in Washington, D.C.],” he told me in 2004, the year he died.

NASA: Astronaut Caldwell Dyson Sends Sign Language Message From Space Station (via @MarleeMatlin, be advised, there’s a bit of patronisation)

The International Space Station has had guests from all over the world, representing myriad languages. But until NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson came aboard, one language was still not represented. Said to be the fourth most commonly used language in the United States, American Sign Language, or ASL, made its debut on the space station in a special video recorded by Caldwell Dyson.

Transcript below the fold.

(Video opens on a woman in the International Space Station. Her hair is floating around her head.)

Hi I’m NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson. Here I live on the International Space Station. We Say ISS. The space station is about 220 miles over Earth. That’s pretty fat! Traveling to the space station is very fast, faster than a speeding bullet. Wow. I want to communicate the importance of what NASA is doing here in space and on the ISS. The school for the deaf has graduated many students who have gone on to do wonderful things. One thing I have learned is that deaf people can do anything. The only thing that can’t do is hear. Maybe some day you can fly into space and live on the ISS. For more information about what NASA is doing in space on the ISS, go to the web, type: www.nasa.gov/station

Now some quick questions people asked me:

Question: What is your job on the ISS?

Answer: Well everyday, maybe I work to help build things on the ISS. Some days I help to maintain the ISS, and most of the day I do science (chemistry). Some days I communicate with people all around the world. That is what I think is very important.

Question: How did you become interested in sign language?

Answer: Long time ago, when I was a young high school student, I met a girl who’s deaf; she’s same as me, a sprinter on the track team. So she taught me how to sign.

Question: How did you learn so much sign language?

Answer: Well, after high school, I went to college and when I wasn’t in class for chemistry, I was in class for sign language. I went to more places to learn sign language. After college, I went to graduate school. I learned more sign language because I taught chemistry to students and I had one student who was deaf. She needed help understanding chemistry because she had a teacher who wasn’t deaf, and she couldn’t watch the teacher, read and watch the interpreter all at the same time. It was difficult to understand chemistry (for her). I helped her and she helped me learn new vocabulary words. Like before, I didn’t know how to sign chemistry electrons…words like that.

Okay, well what’s all the time I have for questions. Thank you very much. I’m Tracy Caldwell-Dyson and I hope you have a wonderful day. Bye!

(she grins and floats away)