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: public sphere
Mark Willis will present “FDR and the Hidden Work of Disability” at MiT8 (Media in Transition 8) at M.I.T. on May 4, 2013. Continue reading
“Narrative” – who owns it, who controls it, who disrupts it – was the holy grail of almost every argument at Media in Transition 7. After Marina Levina’s talk on Citizen Bioscience in the Age of New Media, I plunged passionately into a debate that seemed to be a reduction of individual vs. institutional narratives. I was alarmed by the notion that “citizen bioscientists” could conduct genetic research without the human protections oversight of the informed consent and institutional review board (IRB) process. To my surprise, I was defending Institutional Science, at least as far as it embraces the protection of human subjects in research. Even as I took on this role, I remembered something I wrote in the role of a disability rights activist in “Not This Pig.” Continue reading
Most of the media coverage I heard on the ADA 20th anniversary represented the civil rights law as a landmark in American public life. There were dissenting views, of course. Someone hiding behind the name “fortressdayton” wasted little time in adding this comment to my op-ed piece on the Dayton Daily News Matter of Opinion blog. Disability discrimination is often hard to put your finger on, so I give “fortressdayton” credit for being unfiltered, if mean-spirited. Continue reading
President Obama and others speak at an event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. [Source: whitehose.gov]. This video is in the public domain. Read the transcript. Continue reading
When I heard the word “readable” in the following quote from the Personal Democracy Forum, I immediately read into it “accessible” for blind readers. Via Eric Kuhn: TwitNotes from #PDF09: Andrew Rasiej: Public should be redefined as being searchable and … Continue reading