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About Disability Thinking

Welcome to Disability Thinking. What's it all about?

Blog

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Disability Thinking runs on a loose schedule. Most Sundays, I post a Weekly Wrap-Up of the previous week’s blog posts. On Mondays I post a Weekly Reading List, an annotated collection of selected articles I read in the previous week. Tuesdays through Thursdays I post one or two things every day, unless I take a “day off”, in which case, I usually post something about that. Every Thursday I do a Throwback Thursday post ... an item from one or two years ago that day. Every other Friday, I post a Disability Blogger Link-Up, where anyone who wants to can post a favorite piece of writing about disability for others to read. It’s a way for other disability bloggers to boost readership and for readers to sample the diversity and scope of disability blogging.

 

Podcast

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Disability.TV is an audio podcast about disability on television. A new episode is posted each month. Sometimes I have guests, sometimes I’m solo. Each episode focuses on a TV episode, a disabled character, or some other specific topic having to do with how disability is depicted on TV, and what it might mean for disabled people in real life. Let me know if there is a particular topic or TV show you would like me to talk about, or if you would like to be a guest on the podcast. Podcast episodes are posted on the Podcast blog, where you can leave comments. You can also subscribe for free and get all episodes automatically, through iTunes, Stitcher, or Podbean.

 

Links

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A collection of my favorite disability blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and websites, reflecting my personal perspectives and thinking about disability.

Links are organized by Blogs, Video Sites, Audio Sites and Podcasts, Full-Service Disability Websites, and websites from Disability Organizations.

About Me

Black and white photo of frozen Lake Champlain in winter,

My name is Andrew D. Pulrang. I was born in 1967, in Plattsburgh, New York, a small city in Northeastern New York, on Lake Champlain, and an hour’s drive south of Montreal, Quebec.

I lived in Plattsburgh until 1980, when my parents moved us to Tumwater, Washington. I attended Tumwater High School, where I graduated in 1985.

Later that summer I had a health crisis, which led to my starting to use a ventilator to breathe at night, which I have done ever since. A few days after having a tracheostomy tube installed so I could use the ventilator, I started Freshman Year classes at Dartmouth College. I graduated in 1989 with a major in History. Literally not knowing what to do next, I enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in Rhetoric and Communication Studies at the University of Virginia. After always avoiding involvement in disability issues, I ended up doing my Master’s Thesis comparing depictions of disability in television and movies.

During the summer between my two years at UVA, I did an internship at the North Country Center for Independence, a Center for Independent Living in Plattsburgh, which had started about a year before. Finding a disability organization that wasn’t begging for medical research funds with sad pictures of disabled kids was a revelation to me. I stuck with the Center, and the Center eventually stuck with me, as I became the Executive Director in 1998. I continued in that position until I stepped down in 2012. I still do some work with the good people at the North Country Center for Independence, doing some consultant grant-writing. But, I needed a real rest, and I also wanted to explore disability issues in a different way.

Disability Thinking is the result.

 

Disabilities

Four disability symbols, wheelchair, blind person, sign language, hearing impairment

I have Arthrogryposis.

This condition can have different causes and an assortment of affects. For me, Arthrogryposis manifests itself in:

Muscle weakness and stiff, less flexible joints.

Short stature. I am 4’1” tall.

Significant spine curvatures, both front to back and side to side.

Reduced lung capacity caused by the spine curvatures.

My type of Arthrogryposis is genetic, which is one of the rarer kinds.

You can read more details about my disability here.