Weekly Reading List

Two shelves of multicolored books

Good disability writing to read this week …

October and Me: Disability and Embracing Who You Are
Karen Hitzelberger, Claiming Crip - October 6, 2016

I never used to like biographical essays by disabled people exploring how it feels to live disabled in the world. That’s probably because I’ve got all kinds of internal blockages and phobias about having and sharing emotions. It also has something to do with the fact that there’s a lot of really bad, syrupy, sentimental, and cliche writing about disability out there. But, reading great disability bloggers like Karen over the last few years has helped me understand and appreciate how nearly all disabled people struggle to build and maintain self-esteem. It’s also helped me do that with myself in a more conscious, deliberate way. So that’s why I’m sharing this piece.

Baby Voice, Disability, and Campus Life
Steve Kuusisto, Planet Of The Blind - October 10, 2016

It’s surprising how rarely disabled bloggers specifically cite “baby voice” among the day to day annoyances of moving around the world as a visibly disabled person. Maybe it’s less common than it was a decade or two ago. I think maybe it is. It still happens though, and while I’m not sure it always cuts that deeply, it does leave a mark. Plus, it’s more than a little ridiculous. My first reaction when someone uses “baby voice” with me is be astonished and amused that people still do it and are apparently totally unaware of it.

Sharp Drop Seen In Disability Unemployment Rate
Shaun Heasley, Disability Scoop - October 7, 2016

The thing to keep in mind with these monthly disability employment reports is, as the article suggests, that it’s still too early to understand what these statistics and their monthly changes mean. For one thing, these stats don’t account for disabled people who aren’t looking for work. For another, the Dept. of Labor has only been collecting statistics for a few years, and they are probably still working on how to get more accurate data. Still, these monthly reports are absolutely worth tracking and discussing for anyone who has any interest in disability in the United States. I’m glad Disability Scoop does a story about this pretty much every month.

Speechless Gets Real About Families Affected by Disability
Daniel D’Addario, Time Magazine - October 6, 2016

10 Things I’d Like to See Maya DiMeo Take On
Parenting Isn’t Pretty - October 7, 2016

“Speechless” is probably the most important TV show currently depicting disability. I like it so far. My main worry is that it will run out of stories, goodwill, and curiosity too soon, because it is so focused on disability. That’s why I like the idea of brainstorming story ideas … here for “the mother,” Maya DiMeo. What I’d like to do is come up with some ideas or predictions for future stories about JJ, the actual disabled character. I want to see HIM develop too, not be some kind of cheeky but unchanging hub around which everyone else grows and learns. I think the effort to make him “positive” might tempt the writers into making him perfect … or perfectly imperfect … and forgetting to let him grow and change. Like I said, so far so good, but since I like the show and think it’s important, I worry about these things!