#ShitAbledPeopleSay: Why We Need This Hashtag

blue or teal background with #ShitAbledPeopleSay in black and white text alternating between the words

What does it mean to be disabled and exist in a society that purposely excludes you? What are some comments or micro-aggressions disabled people encounter in their daily lives? #ShitAbledPeopleSay (pardon my French) is a hashtag that answers these questions with honesty, bluntness, care, empathy, and humor. It was a tweetstorm of epic proportions.

We need this hashtag because it exposes our truths; it gives us space to communicate and empathize with each other. We need it because it’s time folks know how pervasive ableism affects our sense of self-worth, self-love, mental health, and position in society.

You can check out the Storify below, which contains a sample of the important and much-needed discussions happening around this hashtag. I encourage everyone to read, reflect, and share. If you have something to contribute, please do – the conversation is still going strong.

Edited to add: If the slideshow below is not accessible, try visiting the Storify’s permanent link.

Pokemon Go: Developers Drop the Pokeball on Accessibility

Three shelves filled with plush Pikachu at a store

I was excited for a new, free Pokémon game – until I realized it wasn’t accessible.

I don’t begrudge anyone their fun with Pokémon Go. It’s a good way to get folks out and around in their community if they have the ability to do so. Seeing strangers bond over a shared interest is fantastic. Some have said it helps with their mental and emotional well-being. But developers are ignoring a significant portion of gamers – disabled people. Inaccessible games are nothing new (listen to me talk about it), but we can’t accept the status quo when it increasingly and continually marginalizes us.

So, what makes Pokémon Go not accessible for me and other disabled users?Read more…

The Geeky Gimp Riots: Video Game Accessibility

screenshot of Geek Girl Riot website with headline number seventeen, the geeky gimp riots, video game accessibility with a screenshot below of access options in Uncharted 4

You knew I couldn’t stop podcasting, right?

I’m proud to share that I am now part of Geek Girl Riot, where awesome gals record short clips on everything nerdy. My segment, The Geeky Gimp Riots, focuses on disability in geekdom (surprise!).

The first one is on video game accessibility.

Transcript is available on their website. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and suggest future topics you’d like covered!

Until next time, keep rioting 😉

Richard Marx and Fair-weather Friends

Red, tiny robot made out of paper, a black tear from his right eye, holding a paper heart that's been torn in half

By guest blogger Noemi Martinez, a poet-curandera and writer with Mexican and Caribbean roots living in South Texas. Her poem and photo collection South Texas Experience: Love Letters can be purchased on Hermana Resist Press’ website. You can also read her previous guest blog on selfie sticks.

When was the first time a friend broke up with you?

Lyrics for Endless Summer Nights-Richard Marx:

https://medium.com/@hermanaresist/lyrics-for-endless-summer-nights-eb3b995f004e#.t6a9do7zo

For me, it was the last day of school in the fifth grade. Before the end of the day, my best friend told me when we came back in the fall for the beginning of our 6th grade year, she wouldn’t be my best friend anymore. She brought a cookbook from home that day to give me, and I spent the summer learning how to make peanut-butter blondies and petit fours.

She knew I loved to bake, but I guess didn’t understand how heart broken I’d be coming into the sixth grade – an awkward tall girl who sneezed too much and was too much for their ex-best friend. … Read more…

Interview with La Femme Collective

words in plain text, sans-serif, La Femme Collective

Thank you, Nora, for reaching out to me about La Femme Collective, a website that “supports and celebrates the career development of women.” Check out my interview with them, where I talk about getting my job at Easterseals Thrive, who inspires me every day, and offer career advice.

I’ve always been interested in disability advocacy, being a disabled person and all. I wasn’t aware a Digital Content Producer, which is basically my dream job, was a thing that existed. It’s something I can do from home, too – that’s a huge plus. Right now, I’m working as the Digital Content Producer for Easterseals Thrive, an online community and support network for young women with disabilities.

Read the rest at the La Femme Collective website.

 

Star Trek and Disability Live Panel: Part Two

cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation standing in front of a blue background

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 www.disabilitythinking.com.

 

 

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 (www.twothirdsoftheplanet.com) site via satellite. She writes about travel, disability and chickens at http://www.meriahnichols.com 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!

Accessibility


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

 

Don’t Label Me Undateable – featured on Easter Seals

someone coloring a pink heart on a piece of paper using pastels. box of other colors in the distance

Recently, I published an article on Easter Seals Thrive about my experience dating as a disabled woman.

“People told me I would never find love, and no romantic partner would accept everything that comes along with my disability. I refused to believe them, and it worked – just ask my boyfriend.”

To read the rest, visit this Thrive website.

Thrive is a microsite and social network community for young women with disabilities. 

The Narcistick in You: Why We Should Embrace Selfie Sticks

Technology assists disabled people every day, whether it’s for activities of daily living, or for our passions and hobbies. Thanks so much to my friend Noemi and her daughter for sharing their experiences with us in this guest blog post.

Noemi's daughter using a camera, her walker in front of her. She is wearing a tie-die shirt.
Noemi’s daughter snapping some pics.

Noemi Martinez is a poet-curandera and writer with Mexican and Caribbean roots living in South Texas. Her poem+photo collection “South Texas Experience: Love Letters” can be purchased on Hermana Resist Press’ website.

As technology advances, so does society’s dependence on technology; and with it, a phenomenon of shaming. It’s not a new response, from society, to changes in the way we traditionally ascribed to do things. The horseless carriage of the late 1890s was an invention used by the elite and super wealthy. When the Model T came along in 1908, it was the most affordable automobile being produced. Before that, automobiles were extremely expensive and a luxury beyond our wildest dreams. There was the expected backlash, of course, of new and unknown technologies, as happens when one industry is replaced with another; the push from the railway industry and those that made a living from horse-drawn carriages.

The same can be said for the use of electricity, telephones, and media; the debate of newspapers as a dying form of media, or the debate on how print is dead.

But with new breakthroughs and advancements come societal benefits.

In the Age of Tech

Read more…

Update: Where and What I’m Writing

Yes, I’m still here! I now have a full-time job with Easter Seals as the Digital Content Producer for their Thrive microsite, which promotes self-empowerment for young women with disabilities. It keeps me busy, but it’s incredibly rewarding and basically my dream job. Besides that, I’m also working on the final classes for my Master’s degree in Multicultural and Transnational Literatures. So! Much! Going! On! But I’m very active on Twitter (@geekygimp), so make sure to follow me there for my latest insights on board games, video games, news stories, random tv shows, comics, and various other obsessions.

Easter Seals Thrive ad

Want to see what I’ve been writing lately? Check out these links:

What have you been writing? Got any exciting news? Let me know in the comments below!