Welcome to Disability Blog Carnival # 8! It is an honor to be hosting. The theme for the Carnival was "contact," which I know was a bit cryptic, but which y'all really ran with, to my great admiration. For those of you wondering why the Medical Humanities Blog is hosting a disability blog carnival, this may go a ways to explaining it.
With no further ado, Disability Blog Carnival # 8. Enjoy.
Dave Hingsburger writes about the difficulty of communicating the state of blueness. It seems difficult to access, to contact.
Andrea explains the importance for parents of getting over the notion of a cure when faced with a disabled child. Indeed, as I've suggested in discussing the social model of disability, the fix-it mentality has resulted in entirely too much medicalized contact while acting as barrier to social exchange.
Julie Hochsegang thinks the unthinkable aloud for our benefit: what if Gallaudet closed? What kinds of interface between Deaf Culture and hearing culture might follow?
Wheelchair Dancer shares how, in the process of becoming a wheelchair dancer, she felt at home in her chair, the "metal body I knew better than my own flesh."
The subject of ballasexistenz's post is how preconceived assumptions about what communication "must" appear as act as barriers to contact for the disabled.
Similarly, Joel explores the more subtle kinds of communication barriers he experiences, which may impede needed health care. Contact and access are obviously closely related.
Kristina Chew at Autismland answers a question about her son's contacts: yes, he does have friends.
Matthew Gillikan speaks of his contact with developmentally disabled people and with some important ideas in disability studies (normality, difference, etc.).
*Ist posts on the nature of disablism -- is it not, in part, a set of phenomena in which contact with disabled people is packaged, categorized, and preconceptualized?
Tokah favorably reviews a science fiction book involving an autistic protagnist. Contact with fiction, especially science fiction, can be illuminating and even revelatory. Tokah describes how she literally "fell into" the book.
Joseph over at Natural Variation cites a variety of sources for his conclusion that homosexuality and autism are regarded quite similarly in terms of their "disabling" features. The commentators discuss whether there is sufficient contact between the two to justify the analogy.
Leticia Velazquez posts several pictures of a Nativity scene that incorporates two individuals with Down Syndrome. Contact between disabled and nondisabled people was mediated very differently in the Late Middle Ages.
At "a garden of nna mmoy," Andrea muses on the shame we attach to difference, and the barriers to social contact that such shame may cause.
Leonard Alexander at "How to Wheelchair" wryly observes how a mentally disabled man quite literally lost contact with his assisted-living facility.
Thirza shares various thoughts on disability and human rights. She concludes that "finding out about other people with disabilities is teaching me more about myself than I expected." Often times, contact with others brings us in contact with ourselves.
ABFH contends that the notion that autistic bloggers claim that parents should not speak for their children is a straw man. Perhaps questioning one's own assumptions may enhance personal and social contact?
Heather offers a pledge: "I am going to make a commitment to myself today. I will stop making excuses for my daughters voice. I will stop apologizing to those who find her loudness offensive. I will not confront nor will I acknowledge anyones dissatisfaction regarding her means of communication." Means of contact, like bodies themselves, can be different without being inferior or lacking.
Mary expresses frustration at the inadequacy of many supposedly accessible bathrooms. Anyone who has ever desperately needed a bathroom can surely understand the importance of coming into contact with one!
Wheelchair Dancer talks of the difficulty of finding nodes of contact and understanding with her family.
Josh Winheld writes of one man's decision to hire a prostitute so as to experience an extremely meaningful form of contact for many people: intimacy.
The comfort of community is Mark's subject. He concludes: "when I was hanging out with my friends last night, I thought about how nice it would have been to have a circle of friends like this when I was struggling on a more daily basis with the insecurities of being a gimp in a world that is entirely too normal."
Amy reviews a research seminar on disability history and the Shoah and notes that the presenter called for incorporation of disabled voices into Holocaust museums and exhibitions (i.e., greater contact with the historical narratives).
ABFH cites Buddhist doctrine and Dr. Seuss for the contact we all have with suffering.
her his experience of trying to enlarge her his father's conceptual contact with disability culture.
David recounts a great example of non-medicalized contact in a medical setting.
Kay reminisces about 'going out,' and the kinds of contact she would experience with her college peers: "Did I 'go out' like normal people do? Yes. And, I guess, no."
Seahorse provides her own perspective on losing contact and orbiting.
Last but not least, DAWG Oregon posts their e-mail "contact" with a school board representative regarding a particularly unabashed endorsement of disablism.
That's it for Disability Blog Carnival # 8. Thanks to all the contributors for thinking so deeply about the theme, and thanks especially to Penny Richards at Disability Studies Blog. It is quite literally an honor to host and participate in this dialogue.