capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
In his recent book Disability Rhetoric (Critical Perspectives on Disability), Jay Timothy Dolmage makes the following distinction between disablism and ableism:

Disablism, broadly conceived, negatively constructs both the values and the material circumstances around people with disabilities. Ableism, on the other hand, positively values and makes able-bodiedness compulsory.*


Disablism, in other words, is what leads to sympathetic treatment in the media of parents who murder their own disabled children, because of course, they were too heavy a burden to care for. And ableism is what leads to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) – which forces autistic children mimic neorotypical people (often through electric shock and withholding food) – to be considered “therapy” rather than torture. Like the filling and bread of a sandwich, the two ideas are not exactly the same, but neither can they exist in isolation.

From here on, I’ll be focusing that second aspect of ableism as Dolmage defines it: the idea that [full ability] is, in our societies, “compulsory.” At first glance, it may seem absurd – the hyperbole of a bleeding-heart radical. After all, for many, “a sound mind in a sound body” is impossible, and can’t be enforced. But what can be (and has been) enforced is full access to the rights, privileges, and protections of human society. Come up with an arbitrary standard of abilities that “everybody” has, and you have a means to measure the quality of any person’s humanity. Once you have that, you can claim a rational, (supposedly) justifiable, reason to write laws against them.

Bigotry is the bedrock of nearly all social injustice. And ableism is the toxic sludge poisoning the ground in which human societies are rooted, allowing a wide range of oppression to flourish. And, as long as ableism remains unacknowledged and unchallenged, it also weakens our fight against it.

There are two main misconceptions about bigotry that get in the way of people recognizing both the reality of ableism and the harm it causes.

The first is that bigotry is nothing more than a prejudiced, mistaken idea about someone, based on their perceived identity (“All white people love mayonnaise”). But in actuality, bigotry is the systematic combination of belief and policy used in order to enforce the status quo for the privileged classes and deny others their rights. No white person has ever been denied a job because of their preferred condiments. On the other hand, the belief that women are both more irrational, and less able to control their impulses than men, led to policies allowing banks to deny women the right to open their own checking account without their fathers’ or husbands’ permission (source).

The second misconception is that, in order to be “bigoted,” an idea must be false (“All black people are less intelligent than whites”). This forces marginalized people to spend their time debunking lies, focusing all our energies on trying to prove we’re smarter, stronger, and more capable than our oppressors say we are (“Do twice as much, twice as well, for none of the credit”), instead of focusing our attention on changing the actual laws and policies that are used against us.

And it’s this second misconception that makes ableism – the idea that a measure of a person’s ability is a valid reason to deny the value of a person’s humanity – that makes it such an insidious force against our fight for universal justice. Because disability exists in every community. Some women are frail. Some blacks are intellectually disabled. And so these are the people shunned by their own communities (and it’s often our elders who bear the worst of this). Ableism allows our oppressors to “Divide and conquer.” And because every person who’s alive is at risk of becoming disabled, it plants the seed of doubt in the back of the mind: “What if ‘they’ are right – what if I am too weak, or not smart enough?” undermining the strength of our convictions.

But if we can, collectively, recognize ableism for the false and arbitrary standard that it is, then bigotry will no longer have the power to distract and divide us:

Whether or not I measure up to your standards is irrelevant. I do not need to be as strong, or as smart, as you claim I must be I am still a human being. And my life matters. My humanity is valid. And I – we – deserve justice.

The "*-Ism" Tree

[Image description: A black and white tabloid sized poster in the style of an educational diagram, showing a tree and its root system, combined with text.

At the bedrock level: "BIGOTRY: Beliefs and policies which work to exclude people from full membership in human society."

In the root system: "ABLEISM: Judging the value of a person's humanity on the basis of ability."

The trunk has two forks; the left-hand fork is labeled "RACISM:" and leads to an example racist belief in its cluster of leaves: "Blacks are Less Intelligent than Whites, but they are More Athletic"

The right-hand fork is labeled "SEXISM:" and leads to two clusters of leaves. The main cluster reads: "Women are Weaker, & Less Rational than Men;" the secondary cluster reads: "Gays are effeminate. Lesbians are emasculating."

The top cluster of leaves centered between these two branches, with a freely curving arrow pointing down to each half, reads: "Claims about Ability used to Pass Judgment on People's Humanity (This is ABLEISM)"

Description ends.]



*(Kindle Locations 504-506). Syracuse University Press. Kindle Edition (copyright 2014)
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
It's a Big image, so I'm going to give you the image description up top (which is long enough, but easy to scroll past), and put the image itself below the cut:

Image description: A black and white tabloid sized poster in the style of an educational diagram, showing a tree and its root system, combined with text to explain the relationship between Bigotry, Ableism, Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia.

At the bedrock level: "BIGOTRY: Beliefs and policies which work to exclude people from full membership in human society."

Above, in the root system: "ABLEISM: Judging the value of a person's humanity on the basis of ability."

Above ground, the tree's trunk has two main forks; the left-hand fork is labeled "RACISM:" and leads to an example racist belief in its cluster of leaves: "Blacks are Less Intelligent than Whites, but they are More Athletic"

The tree's right-hand fork is labeled "SEXISM:" and leads to two clusters of leaves. The main cluster reads: "Women are Weaker, & Less Rational than Men;" the secondary cluster, branching off from the first, reads: "Gays are effeminate. Lesbians are emasculating."

At the very top of the tree, in a cluster of leaves centered between these two branches, with a freely curving arrow pointing down to each half, is the explanation: "Claims about Ability used to Pass Judgment on People's Humanity (This is ABLEISM)"

Description ends.

See the Thing (Edited: now signed with my name & creative commons license logo) )

It's all black and white, now. ...I'm debating whether to add color here and there (like outlining the tree's leaves, and maybe coloring the words). It would be easier to color the entire thing if I had the option of saving a scanned image as a .gif or .png file instead of only .jpg or .pdf.

Ya know?
capriuni: Text: "Everyone! Grab a spoon. We need to Move the Ocean!" (Ocean)
Content warning for discussion of filicide and murder of the Disabled )

In America, too, March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month ("Awareness" Months/Weeks/Days, as a rule, generally frame whatever they focus on as a bad and scary threat: "Psst! Were you aware of the monster under your bed?").
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
ableism infographic

[Image description: a block of text, divided into four sections. The base of this box is bright yellow, with black text that reads: “Ableism: The belief that the value of a human life is best judged by a Measure of Ability.”

Above that, reading left to right, are three blocks titled “Racism:”, “Sexism:”, and “Homophobia:”.

The “Racism:” block is brick red, and reads (in white text): “Blacks are natural thugs because they’re not as smart as Whites, and they can’t control their emotions.” A yellow arrow points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and yellow text reads: “That’s ABLEISM.”

The “Sexism:” block is dark teal, and reads (in white text): “Women are better off married to men, because they are weaker, and are less rational.” A yellow arrow points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and yellow text reads: “and that’s ABLEISM, too.”

The “Homophobia:” box is lavender, and embedded in the upper right corner of the sexism block; it reads (in white text): “Gay men are corrupting our culture by being effeminate and undermining healthy Masculine Values.” An arrow with a teal point and yellow shaft points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and text (in teal and yellow) reads: “That’s SEXISM, which is ABLEISM.”

Description ends.]

As I said in my previous post, I want to make it a hand-drawn picture of trees (or a single tree with many branches), with the definition of Ableism under the ground, "feeding" the roots of all the other -isms that grow out of it.

I'm also thinking of making it a multi-panel, comics-like thing, so I can "zoom in" on details of the tree, specifically the "fruit" of the tree, where I could include some of the consequence of bigoted thinking and policies (racial profiling, abortion restriction laws, etc.).

But for all the changes I want to make, it's still going to be word-based art, and I've realized I need to come up with the words first, so I can know what shapes to draw around them.

So:

Rambling, experimenting with getting the words right (may not use all of these, or use them in this order): )

I'm also thinking of (but have not firmly decided in favor of, yet) making some "branches" closest to the base of the tree specifically for Ableism, and how disabled people are barred from full participation in human society...

Anyway, bedtime, now. I'll probably palaver more tomorrow.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
ableism infographic

[Image description: a block of text, divided into four sections. The base of this box is bright yellow, with black text that reads: “Ableism: The belief that the value of a human life is best judged by a Measure of Ability.”

Above that, reading left to right, are three blocks titled “Racism:”, “Sexism:”, and “Homophobia:”.

The “Racism:” block is brick red, and reads (in white text): “Blacks are natural thugs because they’re not as smart as Whites, and they can’t control their emotions.” A yellow arrow points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and yellow text reads: “That’s ABLEISM.”

The “Sexism:” block is dark teal, and reads (in white text): “Women are better off married to men, because they are weaker, and are less rational.” A yellow arrow points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and yellow text reads: “and that’s ABLEISM, too.”

The “Homophobia:” box is lavender, and embedded in the upper right corner of the sexism block; it reads (in white text): “Gay men are corrupting our culture by being effeminate and undermining healthy Masculine Values.” An arrow with a teal point and yellow shaft points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and text (in teal and yellow) reads: “That’s SEXISM, which is ABLEISM.”

Description ends.]

Created in response to this article, by Mel Baggs: There is Ableism Somewhere at the Heart of Your Oppression, no Matter What that Oppression Might Be (published May 1, 2016)



Now that I have working scanner/printer again, I want to illustrate it with something more organic and hand drawn; I'm thinking each of the -isms as trees, with their roots in in "Ableism" (maybe with homophobia growing as an epiphyte on a branch of sexism?).

And I really want to rewrite that definition of ableism, to echo, paraphrase, and draw on this definition from Jay Timothy Dolmage:

Ableism, on the other hand, positively values and makes compulsory able-bodiedness.

Disability Rhetoric, Syracuse University Press, first paperback edition 2016, page 22.

And I'm trying to decide where the balance lies between my ideas and my ability.
capriuni: a vaguely dog-like beast, bristling, saying: grah! (GRAH)
The Progressive, SJW, side of Tumblr just loves to mock Trump for mocking “that Disabled Reporter.” We love to shake our fingers at the Drump, and wring our hands, and point out what a terrible bully he is, for “making fun of those less fortunate than he is.”

But we’re just as bad.

That “poor disabled reporter” has a name: Serge F. Kovaleski.

Use it.

That “poor disabled reporter” has credentials.

Check them out.

The way he’s been talked about, people would be forgiven for thinking he’d been released from the Group Home to go hear the Famous Man give a speech.

He so is not.

That “poor disabled reporter” had a point to make.

Remember it.

This, to me, proves that Donald J. Trump is anything but “crazy.” This incident happened on 24 November, last year -- back when there were still eleven candidates running for the G.O.P. nomination, back when this still could have been a race between Clinton and Kasich (or Sanders and Fiorina). But instead:

The Drump put on a very theatrical performance, telegraphing to a national audience (and, ultimately, a global audience) just how much of an Other Mr. Kovaleski is.

And we (yes, even those of us in the Disabled community) swallowed it whole.

Serge Kovaleski stopped being the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for The New York Times, who called the Republican candidate out on a blatant, Islamophobic, lie, and became the “poor disabled guy that the bully made fun of -- what a mean, mean, bully!”

We swallowed Drump’s act like an Irish Setter that pulled the extra large garlic pizza off the counter. And it’s killing us.

This is Ableism. And this is why it matters to Everyone, even the Normates.

I have had it up to my eye teeth with the Disabled being stripped of our names, our voices, our dignity, value, and our lives.

I’m burning through my F_C_S so fast, two of the five letters are ashes already. The last of them will likely be gone by the end of week. I expect it will take at least five years to replenish my supply.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
News article from the BBC (26 July, 2016 ~05:00, UCT) -- TRIGGER WARNINGS abound.

From what little I’ve seen (the largest mass killing in Japan since World War II, and I’ve seen a total of three print news stories about it), this is getting spun as yet another “lone killer with mental illness” story. ...

Yeah.

I am highly skeptical of any claim that all acts of hate must be “crazy” just because they are extreme. In fact, I think that assumption is exploited by bigots, who deliberately perform the expected symptoms of mental illness leading up to their (very rational, carefully planned) attacks, so that they can literally get away with murder.

But:

Even if that were true in this case: The shape of an individual’s mental illness is strongly influenced by the dominant schema of the culture they’re living in.

Four hundred years ago, the fears people were obsessed with were witches, demons, and “fairies.”

Today, it’s germs, extraterrestrials, immigrants, women, people of color, and the disabled.

No way, no how, should anyone foist the responsibility for these horrors onto isolated loners, whose ‘crazy’ beliefs just pop, fully formed, into their minds.

It’s time to stop asking: “How can we fix those people?”
We need to ask: “What’s wrong with us? How can we change for the better?”
capriuni: text: "5 things" (5 things)
1) My latest Tumblr entry: https://aegipanomnicorn.tumblr.com/post/140443131998/a-history-of-the-word-handicap-extendedkeith

I'll probably be doing a lot of reblogging-with-commentary here, rather than weighting it more toward original content,* because my ulterior motive is to connect with the existing Networked Disability Community, so when my book is finally finished, I'll have a wider audience (I hope) to announce it to.

2) Speaking of which --

a) It's more done than not done, but the time spent on each facet seems to work on a reversed logarithmic scale: the later, smaller steps take increasingly more time than the earlier big steps.

b) I made the decision (not yet firm) to get rid of my first chapter -- the vaguely chronological autobiographical one -- and reshuffle its poems into other chapters; I'm moving Ghost story: 1966, for example, to the chapter "Expert Opinions."

c) Meanwhile, I keep getting hit with more unfortunate inspiration. The February 24 episode of NOVA ("Rise of the Robots") was all about the latest DARPA challenge to invent a robot that could be used in search and rescue. And, regarding the question: "If walking on two legs and opening doors ends up being what causes all these robots' downfalls, why keep trying to make them look like humans?" a DARPA official answered (something to the effect of): "Well, these robots will being going into buildings built by and for humans, so the robot will have to do human things like climb stairs and turn doorknobs." ... No mention (or thought) of humans who can't climb stairs or turn doorknobs, and so get left behind to die in the stairwells, waiting for rescuers to come get them.

That will be another poem in the "Expert Opinion" chapter.

The printed transcript won't be online for another two weeks or so (probably -- info on the official Nova says the transcript is "typically" available online three weeks after an episode airs). When it is available, I'll make another, more detailed post about it, with a link that folks who can't watch the PBS episode can go to instead.


3) I think my next YouTube video (that I upload) will be of this poem, however.

4) 5 Brilliant Scientific Accidents -- A YouTube video from NPR

5) I may be slow in noticing important details, but I saw "my" first robin of the season, today, while eating lunch.

{ETA -- lost footnote: *That's what this place is for.}
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
So now, I'm ready to tackle "The Ugly Duckling."

[Edited -- put more words in my rant, and then put it behind a cut, in case you just want to skip to the fluffiness]

That means it's time to embark on an image search, so I know how the heck to describe my main character. Three photos in, and I'm overwhelmed with the urge to kill you all with an Overdose of Cute.

The usual rant behind this cut )

(You may want to wear some cuteness-filtering glasses. Don't say I didn't warn you):

1) http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/ca/d9/f7/cad9f7899ff8cd3a050786113775df7a.jpg

2) http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/9d/b3/22/9db322a1a2b53461fdb289431b474912.jpg

3) http://www.fotothing.com/photos/af9/af9f10d875c63a142338bbed14053823.jpg

4) http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/08/03/article-1203971-05EEE05F000005DC-611_964x684.jpg

5) https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/91/264807734_489ced7d99_z.jpg (Okay, so adolescents are awkward. But that's true regardless of species).
capriuni: "Random" in mixed fonts, with "Stuff" in French Script on a red label obscurring a common obscenity. (random)
1) From Dave Hingsburger's blog, "Rolling around in my head," dated 28-10-2015, regarding a participants in his workshop on bullying:

Quote:
[S]ociety has lied to them about who they were. They had intellectual disabilities, true, but that didn't mean what they'd been told - that they couldn't learn, they couldn't grow, they couldn't figure things out.

Unquote.

...Just as having a mobility disability doesn't mean you're stuck in one place. You just need the right tools. Realizing that analogy helped me put a few cracks in the meme that there's any real disability hierarchy.

Full blog entry is here: http://davehingsburger.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-answer.html

2-a) Praising what I enjoyed before criticizing what I didn't about the Doctor Who episode "The Woman Who Lived":

i) The setting
ii) The Doctor as sidekick
iii) Capaldi's grin when "Me" realized she cared about people, after all.
iv) The "Me" gag.*

2-b) Criticizing what I didn't:

i) The loss of Ashildr, the storyteller -- especially since it was without explanation, or mention.
ii) That it was the second story in the season (after the Fisher King) in which the Big Bad was out to kill humans for no apparent reason. That's just not what Doctor Who is about. At least the Mire were harvesting humans for consumption.
iii) That they'd created Leandro (really?) and didn't play on the Beauty and the Beast angle.

*3) I used that gag once, when I was about ten (maybe eight?). We were about to get on an airplane for a family trip, and one of the stewardesses crouched down to my eye level, and said, in a tone usually reserved for puppies who aren't yet weaned:

"And what's your name?
(With my best growl voice): "I'm Me!"
"'Mi' -- what a pretty name!"

... At which point my mother coughed, and said we really needed to hurry and board, before I said something rude about the woman's intelligence. ...And that was the first lesson I had on how some people are immune to sarcasm.

4) The most recent "Robot Hugs" Strip: http://www.robot-hugs.com/bridal-party/

Considering how close we are to Halloween, I was kind of expecting the central character to be in costume, in the final panel.

5) Putting this behind a cut, because I'm mostly Not!Evil... Posting it at all because I'm a Bit!Evil:

Lyrics for an earworm -- click at your own risk )

6) An update on adding split pea protein powder to my diet (On healthcare-provider's recommendation): It's still totally grabbing on to the acidic flavor compounds in whatever beverage I blend it into. This makes coffee taste tasteless, but it makes strong, acidic, juices (such as unsweetened pomegranate juice) less puckery without sugar. But, for me, it turns out most palatable with pureed veggies as a thickener for soups and sauces.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
This is a follow-up to this post about the privilege-awareness exercise called "Walking the privilege line," where a group of workshop participants step forward or back depending on how they identify with statements about their lives.

The first version is heavily U.S. focused, and gives only token acknowledgement of disability as a target of bigotry; it has 35 questions.

Imagine a number line from -35 to +35, and starting at 0. I'll answer every question as honestly as I can, at face value, without any "Well, actually..." or "Yeah, but..." hedging (which, I think, will highlight faulty assumptions on the part of statement writer(s?); I'll mark those answers with a caret (^), and follow up with clarification, but the numbers will be unaltered.

The 'original' list, from the BuzzFeed video )

Final tally: 9/35. Well ... I got into the double-digits for a moment, there...

Now, here's my version. Because the main point of the exercise is to get people to think about what they take for granted, I tried to avoid using the word "Disability," and instead, focused on specific, common, consequences of being diagnosed with a disability -- which can differ quite a lot, based on what the disability is, and which most people without a disability never even see. I also tried to write statements that give people from marginalized groups an opportunity to step forward (including those privileges for PoC that Christina Torres suggested in this article). Statements based on my personal experiences with the Disability Community are emphasized. There are 39 questions in this one:

My version: )

Final tally: 10/39 -- actually a tiny smidge ahead of where I ended up before.

What I'm wondering about now is how rephrasing statements to shift the balance between the steps forward and back would change the outcome (Taking a step back when you do worry about a dinner invitation, for example, rather than taking a step forward when you don't).
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
On the Fourth of July, BuzzFeedYellow posted this video: "What is Privilege?". It shows a video of ten people participating in a privilege awareness exercise, where everyone starts out in a single line, and then each steps forward or back one step at a time, based on how each person identified with 35 conditions of privilege.

As expected, the white straight males ended up near the front. And that sheer predictability is one of the biggest flaws in this exercise, as pointed out by Christina Torres in this article: Why the Privilege Line is a frustratingly unfinished exercise

Quote:
PoC often end up as props to help White people see how privileged they are.

Which… I get. I get often needs to be done. WP need to see, somehow, the privilege they live in, and if this does it, then that might be a start.

[snip]

When I do this exercise from now on, I want to start doing the line again, but with a different version of the questions. Something that centers on and calls out the unique ways PoC have their own forms of power, questions that uplift communities and also pushes PoC to question their own experiences with each other.


Over on [personal profile] jesse_the_k's journal, there's a discussion about how this exercise barely even acknowledges Disability as a culturally oppressed class -- of the 35 statements on privilege, there's only one that even acknowledges that physical or mental disability exists (#4), so if you have such a disability, you get "docked" one privilege point -- the same is true for both of the other versions Christina Torres linked to in her article. This, in itself, is a sign of how little awareness of ableist privilege there is in our society. Because if that box does get a check in your life, then a whole cascade of privileges slip out out of your reach, and there is zero acknowledgement of that.

So I'm including the "original" 35 questions behind a cut, below. And then, I'm going to try and come up with my own list, that a) has more specific acknowledgement of able-bodied/sound-mind privilege, b) includes some empowerment statements such as Torres suggested, and c) is roughly the same length of the original list. That means some questions will end up being dropped, which I acknowledge is problematic.

The original 35 *Privilege Walk* questions )

My Version )

So -- how'd I do?
capriuni: A a cartoon furry monster whistling a single note; text; One-Note Nellie (1-note Nellie.)
In order to give myself yet another Internet Time-sink, I've registered at Harvard's website for the Implicit Association Test, which, every time to log in, you're given a randomly chosen bias test (One test I took showed I had a moderate automatic preference for squares over rectangles, for example. But since all the rectangles were oriented vertically, I wonder if it's really a "Short" over "tall" bias).

Anyway, yesterday, after I tired of scrolling through Academia.edu's page of "Disability Studies" documents, I decide to hop over to the IAT site.

What do I get? ::::Drum roll::::

(Well, considering the access filter for this entry, you probably know, already):

The Abled - Disabled IAT

(full disclosure time, I've taken this test before, as an unregistered "Guest")

My description of this particular test, behind a cut, 'cause it turned out kind of long )

And here's the result that came back at me:

Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for Disabled Persons compared to Abled Persons.

Thank you for your participation. Just below is a breakdown of the scores generated by others [further info: 38,544 Web participants, between June '03 and May '06]. Most respondents find it easier to associate Disabled Persons with Bad and Abled Persons with Good compared to the reverse.

Strong preference for Abled Persons: 33%
Moderate preference for Abled Persons: 27%
Slight preference for Abled Persons: 16%
No Preference: 15%
Slight preference for Disabled Persons: 5%
Moderate preference for Disabled Persons: 3%
Strong preference for Disabled Persons: 1%

*raises fist of solidarity*

(Phasing Abbreviated, 'cause I'm lazy at typing)
---

Actually, because this test only showed abstract images, I think this measured my aversion to being excluded, rather than an aversion to people in the Abled Class. If I go into a public space, and I don't see a wheelchair access sign on the bathroom door, I know I'm going to be squirming uncomfortably rather soon. If, on the other hand, I see a sign that indicates service dogs are welcome, I'm more confident that I'll be welcome, too, 'cause the proprietors have shown a modicum of awareness of different needs.

As for the strength of my aversion, that may have been because I'd just finished reading (as in, within the hour, before I started browsing the disability studies uploads) Joke's on You: An Examination of Humor as a cultural Divider/Queer Uniter about the sexist, homophobic, racist, and ableist oppression (in that order) exerted by the "Good Sport Culture" of the 1950's through 1970's mass culture "humor" of television and night clubs. And my "Grah!" beast had been awakened.

What gets me a bit annoyed though, is the following explanation for the use of those abstract images (emphasis added by me):

The test represents the disabled category with symbols that are familiar from their uses as public signs. We contrast these signs with other, neutral, public symbols. Because physical disability has no borders, we have used symbols that should be recognizable internationally, permitting the test to be used world wide.


Okay, I understand that representing "Abled vs. Disabled" with images of actual people can be tricky, because, unlike categories such as "Gender" (common Euro-American names) or "Race," (tightly cropped faces) you can't show an actual person's disability status without showing them in the context of their environment -- and that probably throws too many variables into the mix to get a reliable test result. But an icon of the crosswalk dude going at a full sprint is no more "neutral" than showing a (terribly outdated) pair of crutches, and he's certainly not commonly viewed in public space-- I'll give a pass for the regular crosswalk dude and the school crossing kids, 'cause, yeah -- they're everywhere. ...I wonder if the test-makers know that their own implicit bias is showing.
capriuni: A a cartoon furry monster whistling a single note; text; One-Note Nellie (1-note Nellie.)
So, I;m currently writing (or trying to write) a poem on how certain words (like the 'R*-word' and the 'sp-word') get picked up and used in the culture as triggers for violence.

... And so far, on average, it's taking me three days to write each eight-line stanza.

One part of that is because I'm trying to write about the process without actually mentioning specific weaponized words (I want to save that for the prose commentary). And that takes a lot of cognitive work.

Mostly, though, it's because I'm trying to write satirically in the style of a survivalist handbook on "how to make your own weapon," while justifying why those dirty freaks deserve what they get.

...And that just makes me feel disgusted/disgusting.

*shudder*

On the other hand, the fact that this poem is so hard to write is a signal of just how important it is to write. ... And the more I procrastinate, the longer I'll be living inside it.

*ick!*
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
I wrote this song back in 2013, and posted a YouTube video of it (with me singing) on May 13th. Back at the end of August, another YouTuber who posts song videos asked if he could cover it. I said yes -- after all, I'd written it so it could be heard. Well, tonight, he posted his remix; here it is:



He's changed the melody of the "B" part of the tune, to make it more of an original, and changed one word in the lyrics. But he got the gist right. And he has a more convincing "US" voice, so he's a more convincing narrator for this song than I'll ever be. ... and his subscriber list is orders of magnitude bigger than mine, so...
capriuni: Matt Smith (11th Doctor) Thumbs Up (Absolutely!)
In a way that I haven't been since 1996 (My disappointment in the "TV Movie" *cough*failed pilot*cough* has muted nearly all twitterpation since then -- but not this time)... There may be deep, philosophical, self-identity, reasons for this ... or maybe not.

Behind a cut, because I don't remember how out of date my *Doctor Who* filter is )

(I need a new Doctor Who icon...)
capriuni: Text: "an honorable retreat ... not with bag and baggage, yet scrip and scrippage. (Scrippage)
(From my Camp NaNoWriMo project):

THE QUESTION:

I navigate the steepness of the path
As gravel slides beneath my rolling wheels,
To join the stranger standing on the bank,
And share, in silence, the beauty of this place.
The curve of Highlands across the river's breadth,
The murmur of the water against stone,
The golden blush of light that fills the sky,
All this helps me forget the ticking clock.
Read more... )
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
I just finished this one, and it amuses me. I thought it might amuse you, as well.

AN ANSWER TO A FAQ:

It's weird, but I suppose it might be kind,
When strangers ask me this, out of the blue--
Acknowledgment I have an inner mind,
(When all they see is what I cannot do).
I know the answer that they hope to hear
(Their desperate longing leaks between the seams)
Although the truth is something else, I fear:
“Not really, no. I never walk in dreams.”
I leave it there, instead of going on:
“Except, of course, when nightmares trouble me.”
Within my mind, twixt midnight and the dawn,
“Walking” means “coerced conformity.”
In really happy dreams, I belly-crawl--
True to myself, my body, brain, and all.
capriuni: a vaguely dog-like beast, bristling, saying: grah! (GRAH)
I know I've talked about this, here, before. But my recent decision to include the word "Spastic" in the title of this poem has brought the issue of how we talk about about cerebral palsy from my hippocampus to the front-left of my neocortex.

---

The following quote is the first sentence in the third paragraph on this page: Understanding Cerebral Palsy: Basic Information from WebMD.com-- a site which digests basic medical information for the lay public, and is thus often the first place many Americans go to learn about different medical conditions and symptoms.

In my Web searches regarding CP through the years, I've found this sentence quoted verbatim over and over (I swear: sometimes I think 90% of the Web is written by 12-year old boys, who think copying paragraphs out of their class textbooks = writing an essay). So that parents, on first hearing the diagnosis "Cerebral Palsy," anxious to educate themselves, and worried about their child's future will see this over and over:

(Quote)
Between 35% and 50% of all children with CP will have an accompanying seizure disorder and some level of mental retardation.

(End Quote)

But how does this enrage me? Let me count the ways (so MANY ways-- cut for length): )

And now, to my allusion to the Hippocratic Oath: Words are powerful. What they denote and connote shape our intellectual understanding and our gut reactions simultaneously. The passage I'm complaining about has only 21 words. These words were reviewed (and, I assume, approved) by a medical doctor [Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on March 10, 2014]. But those words are sloppy, and are skewed toward a frightening interpretation of their subject. Many children will have to live with (And try to find coping mechanisms for dealing with) adults whose preconceptions are shaped by these very words. That is harmful. That is bad medical ethics.

...
At the very end of WebMD's two-page summary of cerebral palsy, two sources are cited for the information in the article, but there are no footnotes telling the reader which bits of information come from which source.

The first is openly available on the Web: United Cerebral Palsy Association.

The second is a professional handbook written for doctors: Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics: A handbook for primary care (link to the listing in Google Books; there's no ebook version available, and Google hasn't "found any reviews in the usual places.")
capriuni: Text: "an honorable retreat ... not with bag and baggage, yet scrip and scrippage. (Scrippage)
A CRIPPLED CHILD WATCHES THE T.V.
(or: “Why I am a fan of 'Doctor Who'”)

I learned to tell a story at age two
(Propped up between my parents on the couch
With season one of “Star Trek” on the screen) …
At least, I learned the pacing of suspense.
Unable, as I was, to run away,
I'd listen for the changing music. Then
I'd plug my ears, and close my eyes up tight
And wait until the scary moment passed.
I never feared the slime, or scales, or claws;
It was the lasers' flash and angry shouts
That always happened – every episode –
As soon as any “creature” came on-screen.
Did I understand, as young as that,
That I was, too, a monster in their eyes?
My diff'rence, too, was something that they feared?

[ETA: That's the third edit of that final line within the last 20 minutes]

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capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Ann

May 2017

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