BADD 2008 - The Goldfish's Round-up
Although over two weeks have passed since this year's Blogging Against Disablism Day, Vaughan asked me to write a post rounding up some of my favourite posts and I have only just managed to do it. Apologies for not doing this sooner. The quality of this years' posts was truly outstanding. If you didn't read any, please do have a look. And not just at my round-up; at the top of the BADD archive there is a list of other bloggers who posted links to their own favourite posts of the day.
This is not so much a summary of my favourite posts (although all these posts are fab!), so much as my attempt to provide a representative cross-section of the Blogs Against Disablism, 2008.
No Quarter Asked Nor Given writes about the over-simplistic way that accessibility is understood in the IT industry, as something that caters exclusive for external users with visual impairments, whereas in I'm BAD. and ANGRY, The Angry Gimp examines the gap between and what the law says and how potential employers react to disabled candidates.
In Why I hate Routemasters, Katie despairs at the London Mayoral Election results and Boris Johnson's pledge to bring back the dreaded Routemaster, whilst looking at the forthcoming US Elections, Autistic Bitch fom Hell gives some Advice for Pandering Politicians. Meanwhile, in Disablism Killed My Muse! Sally reflects on the personal toll of political battles.
The 'R' word came under examination, with Kate Harding explaining Why I don't use the word "retarded" and Andrea offering some alternatives in BADD But Not Rude. Meanwhile, in Retard Theory, Narrator subvertst he concept, writing about the way that disabled students and their access needs are understood only through narrow diagnostic labels:
So it is time to say it, and say it every day. There is no normal. There is no normal way to read, or to write, or to listen, or to see, or to get from here to there. There are simply ways of doing things, and the ways which work best for each human individual will vary - based in human capability and human desire and human preference. And it is in individual choice that technique decision making must be based - not the diagnosis that I, or you, or we, are the victims of some pathology which infantilizes us.
In the United States, the mental health community remain affected by the aftermath of the Virginia Tech Shootings last year. In her Blogging Against Disablism post, Knitting Cleo writes about the history of mental health policy, whilst Hymes offers us a Psychophobia 101. In Off With Their Heads!" "Give us Barabbas!" and Other Musings About The Culture of Retribution, Against the Glass writes about our desire to simplify mental ill health and take up our pitchforks in responses to tragedies involving someone with a mental health condition.
In a post entitled Expectations, Terrible Palsy is frustrated that parents don't talk to their children about disability and in Mistaken Identity, David finds he bares a remarkable resemblance to every other wheelchair-user. Meanwhile Ekie examines some of her own learning experiences;
I have come to the conclusion that ablism, or racism, or any other 'ism', is not necessarily cured by freeing oneself of all pre-conceived notions, or by treating everyone exactly the same. Indeed, I am unsure if it is ever possible to free oneself of all inherent cultural baggage. What can be done is that people question themselves.
In her Blog Aggainst Disablism, Jayangel gives advice to those with "Healthy Privilege" whilst RachelCreative gives us the beautifully concise Disability is More Than Wheels and in a post first conceived on the Ouch! Messageboard, Mary has a Gorilla in her House.
And finally, there were appeals for our sympathy and compassion. In Sad, pathetic charity case, the Unreliable Witness implores us to take pity on those of us who may clmb mountains but a liable to struggle on public transport. Whilst, in Treating Ableists Under the Medical Model, Wheelie Catholic looks at the tragic condition of Ableism and how it might be treated;
"Effects of disease: Although not fatal, ableism limits and restricts the sufferer's lifestyle, relationships and quality of life. It also affects those who come into contact with the ableist in negative ways, particularly those with disabilities. Although ableism isn't inherited, exposure to it may harm an ableist's children by skewing their attitude toward people with disabilities and increasing their chances of acquiring the disease - therefore it is, unlike a disability, contagious to some degree."
There are loads more great posts, but I hope this provides a taster. And thanks once again to everyone who took part, read and commented on the day, and to the Ouch! team for letting me promote the project here.
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