Once again, Annalee Flower Horne has a fantastic post up at The Bias. This time, it’s a Geek’s Guide to Disability which says lots of smart things that you should all definitely read. Here’s how it starts:
Disability issues have become a hot topic amongst science fiction and fantasy fans.
Last November, Lynne Thomas, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Michael Damian Thomas published the SF/F Con Accessibility Pledge, and more than 300 folks signed on to attend only those conventions that publish specific statements about disability access, along with contact information for a trained accessibility coordinator, and commit to making accommodations for members as they work to improve access.
The pledge was inspired by a series of accessibility fails at high-profile conventions, including several recent World Fantasy Cons. But in spite of numerous requests, this year’s World Fantasy Con refused to publish policies about accessibility prior to a major hike in ticket prices–a decision that drew understandable ire from people who were waiting to buy tickets until accessibility and harassment policies were available (World Fantasy tickets are not refundable, and several recent WFCs have had harassment and accessibility polices that could most charitably be called ‘inadequate’).
In the wake of that incident, SF Signal published a guest post by Amy Sterling Casil as part of their series “Special Needs In Strange Worlds.” Mixed in with a host of ignorant and offensive comments about people with various disabilities, she claimed that “we are all disabled,” that disabled people have special abilities that people without disabilities don’t, and that she, personally, is disabled because she can read other people’s thoughts and emotions.