Recommended Reading for March 23, 2010

Yes I Am:

And that’s the heart of it. I don’t want anyone to think I’m lazy. I’m already working part time because I simply cannot cope with full time work any more, and I can’t stand the questions I get about it. I’m not open about my health conditions, and I have no acceptable answer when I’m asked what I do when I’m not at work. I’m not studying. I’m not bringing up children. What’s my excuse?

I have been doing so much soul-searching lately, and trying to come to terms with all the changes that have been going on. Trying to come to terms with the word disabled. I still can’t say it out loud, you know, that I have disabilities. A workmate once laughed when I mentioned something about disability discrimination, because I’m not in a wheelchair or anything. Of course I’m not disabled.

I don’t think you understand the concept here: [Comments recommended]

When I call you to complain that the road repairs on State Road 50 have made the State Road 50 and S Park intersection unsafe for wheelchair users, pedestrians and bicyclists, and has already resulted in injuries, the proper response is not, “I guess you’ll just have to drive for awhile.”

In the news:
UK: Wheelchair-bound woman told to take train to reach opposite platform [Headline fail.]

Julie Cleary, 53, was hoping to use a new £2.8 million lift at Staplehurst train station in Kent so she could get out of the station after a day trip to London but was told she could not use it because of “health and safety”.

Miss Cleary was told instead to catch a train to Ashford International Station, 15 miles away, and back so she would end up on the right platform which was just 20 yards away.

Australia: Parliament House not ready for Kelly [Thanks Deborah!]

KELLY Vincent is set to win an Upper House seat, but at this stage she physically cannot get there.

While the final results could still be weeks away, the Dignity 4 Disability candidate is the likely winner.

At 21, she will become the youngest female elected to Parliament.

She is also believed to be the first person in a wheelchair, but Parliament House is not yet disability-friendly enough for her to make her way to the chamber.

US: Paralyzed Graffiti Artist Draws With His Eyes

A group of artists and hackers have crafted a gadget that lets a paralyzed graffiti artist continue making art using only his eyes. And it costs about as much as an iPod shuffle.

Zach Lieberman of the Graffiti Research Lab started working on the EyeWriter with one man in mind: Los Angeles-based graffiti artist Tony Quan. In 2003, Quan was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, leaving virtually every muscle in his body paralyzed except for his eyes. Lieberman and developers from Free Art and Technology, OpenFrameworks and the Ebeling Group were inspired to create low-cost, open-source hardware and software for eye-tracking to help Quan draw again.