Academic Ableism

A graduation ceremony. Photographed from a distance, Amy, photographed from behind, has walked up steps and across a stage. In the background on auditorium style seating, a group of academics in robes. Amy's blonde hair is visible, she wears a black academic gown with green hood.

In an article titled, Extremist and Disability Chic, academics Kauffman & Badar state: “we do not want disability to be seen as merely another form of good or acceptable diversity”. They argue that disability is inherently ‘bad’, a curse rather than a gift, something to be prevented, cured, segregated and institutionalised. According to Kauffman &… Continue reading Academic Ableism

How does disability define me?

Amy is being filmed. She stands at a pedestrian crossing, her cane in her left hand reaching out onto the tactile paving. In front of her a road, to her right, the pedestrian button box, crouching beside her a camera woman in a green tshirt points the camera up at Amy. Amy wears a pink tshirt, sunglasses, and has tropical pattered trousers.

For nearly 27 years I used to say that I wasn’t “defined by my disability”. The reality was that I had internalised pervasive, toxic and negative representations of disability. By refusing to be defined by my disability, I denied myself an identity, a community and the support I needed. My disability used to be something… Continue reading How does disability define me?

Blind Button Masher

Image shows Playstation menu screen. Blue background with white text. The enable zoom option is selected, with instructions displaying how to enable and disable the zoom by holding the square and ps4 button.

People are often really surprised when I mention that one of my hobbies is gaming, especially when I'm holding a white cane in one hand. So how does a visually impaired person play video games? Ready Player One? First it's important to understand that I have useful residual vision. On a good day, I can… Continue reading Blind Button Masher

Visually Impaired Video Gamer

A white cane with a roller ball tip is folded and resting on a wooden floor. Next to it are two games console controllers. A white PS4 controller and a black xbox controller. Attached to the elastic handle of the cane is a metal key ring in the shame of a games console controller.

This blog started life as a typical accessibility review. But as I was writing what was supposed to be the introduction, I realised that I have a significant relationship with video games. It turns out these virtual worlds and the characters in them have been pretty important throughout my life, especially as a disabled gamer.… Continue reading Visually Impaired Video Gamer

Painting a Picture with Words

A screenshot of netflix open in a browser window. The menu bar is visible and audio description has been selected, indicated by bold text and a white tick. In the background, the title screen for the show Black Mirror, is visible.

The place I get stared at the most when I’m using my white cane is the cinema. A few months ago I was queuing up with Other Half to buy some popcorn and an older lady did a dramatic double take. According to OH, she then proceeded to turn around and repeatedly look me up… Continue reading Painting a Picture with Words