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Blogging About Disabilities

“If equal protection is a collective commitment and not just a courtroom catch-phrase, its first beneficiaries must be voters–such as minorities and those with disabilities–who have been systematically excluded from shaping the world in which they live.”
From an OP/ED in the Los Angeles Times (Dec. 26)

As I continue examining how people blog, I stumbled upon a large number of bloggers who focus on disabilities. While these subjects were once rarely discussed in “proper society”, the subject of the disabled, mentally and physically challenged, mentally ill, and other disabilities are now out in the open. There are tons of people talking about what it is to be disabled, living with disabilities, facing disabilities, and living with people who are disabled.

Did you know that more than 56 million Americans are disabled? According conservative estimates, approximately 6% of India’s population is disabled. The disabled make up a good minority of many countries around the world, and only in the past couple decades have they had a voice and access.

A new talk show focusing on disabilities is seriously impacting much of the new “face” of disabilities. DisAbility News & Views Radio is heard every Tuesday and Sunday and hosted by Monica Moshenko on WXRL in New York as well as on the web. She says she couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a radio program solely focusing on the needs of people with disabilities locally or nationally. “There was a huge void in talk radio for people with disabilities and their families. I am just filling it.”

First broadcast in June 2004, DisAbility News and Views Radio can be heard using ABACAST on the web. Moshenko’s goal is to provide a forum for people with disabilities to share, educate and inspire the public. Interviews with celebrities, charity organizations, medical professionals and experts, laywers and more, providing extensive information on all aspects of disability and health, especially for children. With growing sponsorship efforts, future plans include syndicating the show with a national radio network and broadcasting live five days a week.

A lot of legal issues concerning the disabled and equal rights can be found on the web. Some provide general information while others are ongoing blogs reporting on the current events and news for and about the disabled. The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Blog, Disability Law Blog, Blog on Disability Law, and Isolani UK – Web Accessibilty and News on the Internet provide extensive information on the legal issues while, other blogs and sites offer information directly to the disabled like Adaptive Environment News, Americans with Disabilities Act, and e-bility.

A lot of people are using blogs to open the doors to their very private world, helping others to know what is going on inside of them and around them as they live with their disability, and in some cases, the blog is their only voice when their ability to speak is limited or gone.

In a very candid introduction to his site, Kea Blog, Mr. Watson, a New Zealand resident living with ataxia after multiple brain surgeries to remove tumors, explains:

A lot of people are curious about my disability yet aren’t sure how to ask. I know most people who meet me won’t read this blog but to the few that do I will answer questions they may wish to know.

1. I am not drunk, I very rarely drink, I slur my words and stagger fairly consistently.
2. I walk around using a walkingstick (I walk short distances unaided).
3. Yes everything works properly, if you know what I mean.
4. No, I won’t lend you money, I’m way too poor.
5. I am not blind, but I’m ok anyway.
6. Of course you can offer to help me with something, if I can help you I will too.

This kind of open candor is what makes reading the blogs by disabled people fascinating and encouraging.

There is a wide variety of bloggers blogging about their own disabilities to help the world understand about their disability, their ability to function in the world, the struggles of day-to-day life, and a lot of the sadness, frustration, and humor they find being an active mind caught in a inactive body. Some interesting blogs include:

I’ve only brushed the surface. You can find many more blogs by and about the disabled at Globe of Blogs – Disabled Blogs.

8 Comments

  1. Posted January 31, 2006 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    In my view disability as a social issue and not as a medical one, as is the case in my country where disability is a stigma.

  2. Posted May 3, 2006 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    re: “This kind of open candor is what makes reading the blogs by disabled people fascinating and encouraging.”

    Exactly. And it’s the candor and frankness that makes these kind of blogs compelling, as well as informative and helpful.

  3. Posted June 18, 2007 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    The internet has changed the way people view the disabled and I can speak on the subject since I am a woman of many disabilities including blindness from a hereditary eye disease, extraordinarily small optic nerves, and two autoimmune diseases that contribute to my blindness as well as problems with my immune system. If this were not enough, I have problems with nerve damage in my right arm.

    However, today, I am a freelance writer and novelist. I do beta testing and product reviews. It is not much but it does keep me busy when I am well enough from the autoimmune diseases to write. Writing is my passion. Few people get to do something for a living that they enjoy and receive payment for it. Granted, the pay is not anywhere near enough to sustain my daughter and me but we manage.

    Paisley Place

    http://www.paisleyplace.com/

  4. Posted August 22, 2007 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I too have started a blog, part to talk about what it is like for me with my disabilities and to start showing my art to try to earn some money. One of the most frustrating things about living with disabilities is that we don’t get to go work a normal job & earn money, don’t get days off, vacations or such from our disabilities, its 24/7/365 year after year after year.

    I fight hard for my rights and work hard to build somekind of a life again and get frustrated because it often feels like my hard work and honesty means very little to society as a whole.

  5. Posted September 1, 2007 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Excellent, Lorelle, and once more you’ve touched on a subject close to my heart. My husband became a paraplegic four years ago. He went from walking everywhere he went, even to the corner grocery store (and I still take my CAR there!), to being in a wheelchair. It’s been a tough hall and I set up a WP blog for him to write should the mood strike. At first it was a blog to keep his family members updated while he struggled with rehabilitation the first year. He hasn’t written in it much, but I hope he will eventually. I think he may find he has a lot to say. Thanks for this post.

  6. Disabled People
    Posted October 3, 2007 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that the virtual world of the Internet provides a level playing field where having a disability is not necessarily a handicap!

  7. treadmarkz
    Posted April 19, 2008 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for opening my eyes to the radio show that you mentioned in your blog. I will look forward to listening in on it. And I agree that it is important to provide real life experience of the disabled for people to see what it is really like. Let us all keep doing just that.

  8. Posted November 6, 2009 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    This is something that I want to share with others disabled americans. I have been disabled since August 2000. Living on Social Security Disability has really been an eye opener. I am now working on the Ticket To Work Program from Social Security. Have found employment with a company that prides itself in hiring the disabled, so if you are anyone else that is disabled please read the following and go to their website and apply:

    Despite the economic forecasts that still show job losses set to climb even higher, there are a few companies that are still experiencing growth. The J. Lodge Corporation, a quality call services company, has sustained profitability since 1999 and accredits its success solely to its unique employee model that consists of disabled business Americans. While other companies are outsourcing their jobs to foreign competitors, J.Lodge is striving to provide part-time careers for individuals who are interested in our company and who qualify for our positions. If anyone is interested please visit: http://www.jlodge.com/careers

    At the home page scroll down to the bottom to apply. This job is real and I enjoy each day now, because I can work again. Have a blessed day….


8 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blogging about disabilities

  2. […] I wrote an article called “Blogging About Disabilities”, highlighting bloggers with disabilities blogging about their disabilities, sharing with the world what it is like to see, hear, feel, and exist in their bodies where “normal” for them is different than “normal” for most. As I continue examining how people blog, I stumbled upon a large number of bloggers who focus on disabilities. While these subjects were once rarely discussed in “proper society”, the subject of the disabled, mentally and physically challenged, mentally ill, and other disabilities are now out in the open. There are tons of people talking about what it is to be disabled, living with disabilities, facing disabilities, and living with people who are disabled. […]

  3. […] Researching the top keywords on related topics also gives me many ideas for related article possibilities. For instance, searching for the top searched keywords associated with how people blog has led me to consider articles about bloggers blogging about disabilities, travel, photography, television, city/metro bloggers, celebrity blogs, and many other ways people use blogs to get their message across. The ideas are now spilling out all over the place, giving me so many topics to write about, it’s getting harder to choose which one to do next. […]

  4. […] Blogging About Disabilities […]

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  8. […] article, Blogging About Disabilities, and other follow-up articles on how those with physical disabilities work and communicate on the […]

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