We agreed when we began that this site wouldn’t run indefinitely, that we would move aside when the time has come, and that time has come.
Long before FWD was even imagined, people were writing about disability and feminism, in spaces across the Internet, coming from a variety of lived experiences and beliefs. In the last year, we’ve noticed an explosion of new disability blogs, and an increased interest in disability issues at sites labeling themselves explicitly as feminist. This has been tremendously exciting to watch, as one of our goals was to join the ongoing conversation about feminism and disability, to amplify voices that weren’t being heard, to, yes, be part of the way forward towards a more intersectional discussion on feminism and disability.
It is time for FWD, in turn, to make way for the many fantastic people who have things to say that you need to know about, some of whom you can find in our blogroll. Many of the FWD contributors will continue covering disability, as well as many other issues, in a variety of venues, but our writing will no longer continue in this location. FWD/Forward itself will be maintained as an archive and resource so people can continue to access the content here, although comments will be closed.
The FWD/Forward Staff
For those of you who are savvy social media types, or if you are like me and lack the self-discipline to click the tab closed, you can now follow us on Facebook!
If you are a Facebook user I hope that you will check us out!
Check out Facebook’s FAQ for information on accessibility on Facebook, such as how to register using a screen reader (currently for the mobile version), and who to contact for troubleshooting with Facebook’s main site.
I wanted to bring folks’ attention to a few things on the blog!
- We’ve recently rolled out a new page, called “Need Help?” In it we list a variety of resources and aid agencies from around the world. The list is incomplete, and focused a great deal on English-language resources. If you are aware of any resources that are not listed, please let me know so I can updated it accordingly.
- We’ve also recently set up a delicious account that people can send links to! The account itself is at www.delicious.com/feminists , although it’s mostly going to be used as a way for people to send links to us easily. If you use delicious, anything you tag “disfem” or “disfeminists”, or send “to:feminists” is going to get to us. Suggestions for Recommended Reading, for resources for the “Need Help?” page, or for Further Reading would be great!
- If you don’t have a delicious account, don’t hesitate to use recreading AT disabledfeminists DOT com for any link-leaving needs!
- As a reminder, we don’t often check the @feminists twitter account for @replies. It’s almost entirely an automated twitter that we log into occasionally. It’s far better to email someone or even leave a comment if you have a concern.
I should note that we don’t link everything that comes to us for our Recommended Reading. This is because there is a lot of stuff out there, and we do try and pull from a variety of places, both in blog-terms and in physical locations. Mostly the aim of Recommended Reading is to show that there are a wide variety of blogs out there that discuss disability and disability-related issues and oppressions, and to keep track of news stories that may be of interest to our readers.
That all said: I hope folks who enjoy the World Cup (*cough* abby jean *cough*) are enjoying the World Cup. I’m going to take myself to the coffee shop so no one tries to tell me about it anymore!
Thanks to lots of hard work on the part of Viv, FWD/Forward has a new look, as you can probably tell!
As with all projects of this nature, it’s hard to tell how things will work out until we set them loose in the wild. So, it’s important to note that things are still very much in the tweaking phase. Adjustments will continue to be made over the following days as we see how the site behaves when people actually interact with it, and this means that what you are seeing right now is not the final, set in stone version of FWD’s look.
This is where y’all come in.
If you notice something that looks/feels wonky, please let us know, either in comments here, or in an email to admin at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note your browser and operating system so we have a starting point for figuring out what is going wrong and why. If you can take a screenshot and send it along to document exactly what you are seeing, so much the better. If not, don’t worry! We still want to read your bug report!
If you identify accessibility issues with the site (anything which makes FWD harder for you to interact with is an accessibility issue), please let us know. One of the things we are in the process of doing right now, for example, is tweaking the colours in the top navigation bar to make them more visible and higher contrast. We are also aware that, inevitably, there are some conflicts with accessibility issues; what makes the site easier for one person makes it harder for another, and we are trying to strike a balance which will not exclude anyone. One of the exciting things about the new look is that we have greater configurability, including, eventually, the ability to set up a theme switcher which will allow readers to switch between dark on light/light on dark versions of the theme.
We hope that you like the new look as much as we do; the old one was, believe it or not, temporary!
Hi y’all! Did you miss us? We missed you!
As many readers are no doubt aware, FWD/Forward was down for a day because our server was compromised. We are now back! And we apologize for the less than lovely appearance of the site at the moment; the look of the site will be changing in the next few days, and we may have some brief downtime at some point while we tweak things, just to warn you ahead of time.
In the future, if things are weird with the site as a whole (say, for example, when the main page is replaced with a Flash site in Turkish), please check our Twitter account, @feminists, for updates. It’s a little bit overwhelming to have the inbox filling up when we are trying to get the site back online, though the concern is appreciated! (As always, reports of bugs/accessibility issues are welcome, and it’s helpful when you provide information about the browser and operating system you are using when you report such problems.)
We appreciate everyone’s patience during our downtime; please consider this post an open thread to chat amongst yourselves!
For all of you who subscribe to comments via email: Thanks to a reader who emailed us to let us know, we are aware that the “manage subscriptions” page where you are supposed to be able to manage your email subscriptions is all borky (unless black on black is your thing). We are working on it and will hopefully have things in a more legible state soon.
We *always* appreciate reader emails about bugs and accessibility issues, and please consider this post an open thread for bringing up any bugs/accessibility problems/requests!
Please be advised that we are making some site tweaks, so if things go wonky on you, rest assured, they will straighten out. I promise. Because the site may be erratic, I strongly recommend saving copies of your comments in case they accidentally get eaten, although we will do our best to prevent that from happening.
Incidentally, if you do experience problems (other than the bold font, we know about that (this should be gone now, so if the site is displaying in bold, let us know!)), this thread is a good place to leave them; please let us know which browser and operating system you are using (if you’re worried about privacy, you can also email admin @ disabledfeminists dot com to report those issues directly).
This notice will go away when we’re done, and thank you for your patience.
(Note 27 Nomber: Site tweaks are mostly finished, although we are still working on some things, but we’re leaving this post up so that people can continue to report problems, and so that we have a nicely organized list of the problems people have reported.)
Anna’s mentioned in our daily linkspams that several of our contributors are guest blogging at Bitch Magazine, but I think it’s worthy of a formal announcement, too; Anna, meloukhia, abby jean, amandaw, Lauredhel, Annaham, and Ouyang Dan are writing as the “Transcontinental Disability Choir” for eight weeks–our introductory post briefly discussed what we’re doing at Bitch, abby jean discussed ableism and ableist language, and meloukhia reviewed the latest episode of Glee, Wheels. (Anna will be covering this episode here at FWD/Forward in the next few days.)
You can subscribe to the feed of Bitch Blogs to keep up with the latest, connect on the Bitch Facebook Group, or check out the Transcontinental Disability Choir on Bitch.
We’d love to have you reading along and engaging in comments, although you should be aware that Bitch is not specifically designated as a safe space for people with disabilities. While we are, of course, moderating comments on our posts, the moderation policy there is much different from ours, which means that some of you may not feel comfortable engaging in comments, and that’s perfectly ok.
We also realize that the Bitch Magazine website is, alas, not accessible to all readers, and we apologize for that. We are excited about the opportunity to discuss disability and feminism with the Bitch audience, but we don’t want to leave anyone behind. If you cannot access the Bitch website and cannot/would prefer not to subscribe via RSS, please let us know, and we can email our Bitch posts to you.
Hi! We at FWD/Forward just wanted to take a second to express our appreciation and gratitude to the already robust community of readers and commenters on this site. We’d had a feeling that there was a group of feminists with disabilities in the blogosphere, but we weren’t sure how many, or if a dedicated space to engage with issues of intersectionality would appeal to people.
You guys have, frankly, overwhelmed us with your enthusiastic response. We’re seeing amazingly insightful discussions going on in comments threads and already have regular commenters. We’ve received countless offers to guest post, to contribute, to help with back end tech issues, to participate in this site and this space. (And would love to hear from you about these things if we haven’t already!) To see this outpouring of enthusiasm so early in the life of the site has amazed and astounded us.
We’re not vain enough to think this is solely due to our content (although we are definitely proud of our content thus far!). This demonstrates what we suspected – there is a vibrant community of feminists with disabilities on the internet who needed a space for their specific issues and discussions. We are thrilled and honored to be able to connect with you and are excited to continue being challenged and inspired by your words and experiences.
In simpler words: almost every time I (abbyjean) sit down to review the comment queue, I find myself crying, because I feel so much less alone in being a feminist with a disability, in struggling with these interlocking systems of oppression. Because there are so many other amazing people who feel the way I do and are fighting the same fight. It actually makes me feel like we have a chance of winning these fights.
So to all of you — thank you. And keep it up! 🙂
Readers may have noted today that the appearance of the site shifted around a bit (often between loading pages, in some cases). That’s because we’re working on making the text size more accessible, as part of our overall commitment to accessibility at FWD/Forward. To that end, we’ve implemented two changes which matter to readers:
- There is now a “Text Size” option in the sidebar which you can use to select a text size you feel comfortable with. Your setting will save so that the site should always load at the size you like when you visit. You can resize as often as you like, and you can also resize by hitting “Ctrl+” or “Ctrl-” at any time.
- The default font size at FWD/Forward is now bigger.
We appreciate the input of several readers who brought the font size issue to our attention (and pointed out some weird issues which happened with various elements on the site when the site was scaled up). Never hesitate to bring up accessibility issues in Administrivia posts like this one or by email to admin or administrator @ disabledfeminists dot com!