Star Trek and Disability Live Panel: Part Two

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Space, the final frontier…

You probably know by now I’m a huge Star Trek fan. It’s one of the few sci-fi shows to address disability directly; sometimes it gets it right, other times it doesn’t. But it gives us something to think about, and a vision of the future that still includes disability.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of disabled Trekkers out there (the disabled population is huge in general) who like philosophizing about their favorite show – including my friends and me. We got together last year on Google Hangouts, and it was so much fun that we’ve decided to give it another go this past Friday, February 26th.

Missed the chat? No big deal. You can watch the recording below – subtitles are available!

Jump to:


The Live Event Recap

On February 26th at 8pm EST, I hosted a live panel on Star Trek and disability! We focused on a few topics, followed by a Q&A with questions from our viewers.

You can watch the event on my YouTube channel and above on the video.

I was joined by my friends and fellow Trekkers: Alice Wong, Andrew Pulrang, and Day Al-Mohamed. Meriah wasn’t able to make the event, but I will post her thoughts on Trek here soon.

The Panel

An woman smiling, wearing glasses and a green knit Yoda hatAlice Wong runs the Disability Visibility Project, a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture. She’s also a fan of Spot the Cat.


A man smiling, wearing glasses, and a red shirtAndrew Pulrang is a disability blogger and a Star Trek fan. You can find him at



black and white photo of a woman smiling, wearing hoop earings and sunglasses atop her headDay Al-Mohamed is a part-time science fiction author, and a full-time science fiction fan. 🙂 Her first novel, “Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn” was published by DarkQuest books in 2014; her stories can be found in SFF magazines and anthologies. Her current project is a short historical film about the “Invalid Corps and the Battle of Fort Stevens” due out in 2016. She is an advocate and policy advisor and works on disability youth employment issues for the Federal government. Also, despite the fact she loves all kinds of tea, she loathes Earl Grey.

woman wearing blue cat eye glasses with blue streaked hair smilingErin Hawley runs The Geeky Gimp blog and YouTube channel. She is also the Digital Content Producer at Easter Seals Thrive, which promotes self-empowerment for young women with disabilities through online communities. Her favorite Trek series is TOS (and is obsessed with Spock), followed closely by DS9. She likes all kinds of tea, especially Earl Grey.

woman with short blondish hair, smilingMeriah Nichols is a deaf Humboldt Housewife who lives off the grid and coordinates the Two Thirds of the Planet ( site via satellite. She writes about travel, disability and chickens at when she’s not. She likes her tea Earl Grey, and hot.

The Topics

Some topics we covered during the event:

  • Captain Pike (“The Menagerie” and “The Cage” episodes)
  • Lieutenant Barclay
  • Our favorite Star Trek foods and drinks
  • PTSD and Deep Space 9
  • JJ Abrams Trek
  • What would make an ideal Star Trek episode relating to disability?

How to Watch

Here is the link to the video: Star Trek and Disability Panel, Part Two

Join in the Conversation

Even though the show is over, we’d love to continue the conversation about Trek and disability. If you want to chat with fellow Trekkies and Trekkers, tag your tweets with #Trekability!


Subtitles are available on the video. Please send me an e-mail using the contact form for any suggestions for future events.


7 thoughts on “Star Trek and Disability Live Panel: Part Two

  1. I will certainly be there.

    There was an episode of Deep Space 9 (my fav of the Treks) where Bashir and a woman from a low gravity planet had a budding romance. She was wheelchair bound because in Earth norm pressure and gravity she was extremely weak.

    The two of them came from different environments, and weren’t compatible, but she built or used the holodeck to recreate her planet’s setting and showed him what HER life was like in her own norms.

    It was an interesting concept, which is what Star Trek always did for me.

    • Awesome, looking forward to seeing you there.

      DS9 is my second favorite of Treks! TOS is the one I enjoy most, mostly because of Spock.

      The ep is “Melora,” which we talked a little about in the last panel. A few people brought it up recently, so we’ll definitely talk about it again!

  2. I don’t understand how Google Hangouts work. I went to their website, and it said I could make phone calls or send messages or invite my friends to chat with me. It said they are limited to ten people. I don’t understand how you can hold a hangout if they’re limited to ten people, and I don’t understand, from looking at the website, how exactly they work or how I would join it when you hold it.

    • At the time of the event, I’ll share a link on my Facebook and Twitter accounts (@geekygimp). I’ll also try to post the link here. All you have to do is click on the link, and you will be able to watch the live panel. The panel guests will be the only ones actually in the Hangout, everyone watching are just observers. I’ll try and make that clearer in the information. If you have any more questions, feel free to send me an email or reply here.

      I hope you can make it!

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