Re-Imagining AccessibilityRe-imagining accessibility through the transformations of culture -- particularly the transformative promise of accessible technology for people with disabilities -- is the work of the Fair Use Lab. What does Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster have to do with accessibility? Read more: Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
Remix: Danger MouseWill DJ Danger Mouse become the Che Guevara of digital sampling? Consider the case for fair use made by The Grey Album.
Blind PhotographersIn the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in New York, the social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it. Paul Strand probably didn’t give her much credit for making culture, either. Read more: Curiosity & The Blind Photographer [MiT5 2007] See more on blind photographers.
Disability As PraxisI am a parent, homeowner, knowledge worker, and person with disabilities. Oppression is not my true word, but praxis is. In Paulo Freire’s transformative work, I find an affirmation deeper than ideology or political activism -- an affirmation of the dynamic role of disability in culture. I believe the daily praxis of making adaptations and negotiating accommodations represents a significant form of cultural production. Read Disability As Praxis.
ADA 20th AnniversaryOn its 20th anniversary, pundits will debate what the Americans with Disabilities Act has accomplished. I still believe what I said in a TV interview after the ADA signing ceremony in 1990. “The ADA will not end disability discrimination overnight. But in a nation governed by the rule of law, getting it in writing is the place to start.” So what is the ADA's legacy? A Generation of Problem-Solvers.
Tag Archives: media studies
Marshall McLuhan plays himself in a cameo scene from the 1977 Woody Allen film “Annie Hall.” In the scene, Allen (center) argues with an academically officious film professor who cites McLuhan while waiting in line to get into a movie. McLuhan steps in from the wings to tell the pedant, “You know nothing of my work!” Continue reading
I’ve been musing about 40 years of experience with two careers that necessarily intertwine and overlap. The first is my career as a media professional. The second is my career as a person with a disability. You could think of one as the day job and the other as my second gig, but the experiences cannot be separated into such neatly distinct categories. If anything unifies my work in both areas, it is the concept of public sphere. Here is how Wikipedia currently defines it. Continue reading
I’d like to see an extension of the Poynter Timeline documenting the parallel development of computer-based information accessibility. Here are several of my milestones: 1976: The first time I heard about CCTV reading systems for visually impaired people. It wasn’t … Continue reading
Steal This Footage – Howard Rheingold – Shifts in Technology and Power: Rheingold recounts how the development of communication technology has removed the power top transmit messages from a tiny elite, and had been a force for democratization. Following Benkler’s … Continue reading