in honour of the paralympics: some disability links

in honour of the paralympics, i thought i’d share with you some of my disability related links in stumbleupon. here they are:

the people at profy have an article about social networking for the hearing impaired.

tagdeaf is one community that is open to everyone, from deaf to hearing, though it focuses on the deaf and hearing impaired. it offers few special features, concentrating instead on the social aspects of networking and making new friends, with a few extras like photo sharing. other social sites for the deaf, deaf and hearing impaired communities include deafhello, deafpassions (a deaf dating service) and VEESEE (a community based in the uk), to name a few.

even mainstream sites have gotten in on the act. facebook, for example, has one of the largest growing deaf communities of any existing social network site.

ableist language alternatives

iris: a gaming network is a discussion board that seeks to subvert the status quo in gaming in attempt to find ways to rid the gaming industry of it’s strong racist/homophobic/sexist/ableist biases with a particular focus on feminist concerns. in my travels there, i noticed this discussion. it offers some alternatives to ableist or otherwise bigoted language, with some interesting discussion on regional variation following. i’ve appended the list of alternative slurs for your reference. for more on ableist language, check out this recent post from feminist philosophers. in both places, the discussion around language seems to get people quite excited.

buddhists: disability and karma

the recent chatter about whether a person born disabled is being punished for bad karma in their last life pisses me off. not for the reason you might suspect (that i’m angry infants are being, in effect, blamed for their disabilities), but because i don’t think of my disability as a bad thing. [for the record, i became disabled at 7 months old with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that has not gone away and has left me unable to work.] i’ll state it again, clearer: i’ve found that my disability has had more of a positive than a negative effect on my life.

fellow vancouverite (ok, surrey-ite) glenda has 5 tips on how to make blogs accessible to people with disabilities. here is an example:

bloggers are inundated with spam comments. captchas – completely automated public turing test to tell computers and humans apart – are frequently used to weed out spambot comments from human comments.

however, because captchas are typically images of distorted characters, this information is not accessible to screen readers, leaving people who are blind unable to post a comment. as darrell shandrow, a screen reader user, said visual captchas are “no blind people allowed” signs.

another blogger friend of mine, nickie, who lives a little further down on the west coast (washington, right, nickie?) asks a very interesting question: what does my pain need?  it is a beautiful reflection on living with chronic pain.

my pain needs soft clothing, warmth, soft blankets, strategically placed pillows. it needs scents, aromatherapy which lifts the mood and calms the spirit or relieves pain, it needs warm baths, gentle hands, sitting in silence when the burden is too much to bare.

and while we’re in the neighbourhood, superblogger chris pirillo introduces us to earl, a geek from canada. he live streams. and he has cerebral palsy.

how’s your news is an amazing project – talk about alternative news. reporters swarm small and big places and report it … nothing special, huh? well, all these reporters have serious disabilities. see the world from their perspective!

i guess famous people with disabilities is something the guys’n’gals from how’s your news could cover. in the meantime, the people from disabled world have done it.

and to top it all off with a bang, a great post by another one of my blogging friends, disability, transgender activist, writer and publisher jay sennet: there are no rules.  this is so cool! jay posts an image and then describes it for any seeing-impaired people who might be reading his blog. and of course it also helps understand the image better.

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