And a plug for a very interesting companion website:
I am very aware that doing the right thing sometimes takes more time and energy, but there is always a payoff. This came to me in the context of voice typing. It's an irritant. It makes mistakes. Thus, it is also slower than typing on the keyboard. However, I am very aware this morning that the inflammation in my wrists will return, unless I do my exercises and use voice typing when I have the privacy to do so.
My interest in electronic books is completely selfish.I'm very sensitive to the amount of weight I carry in my commuting bags. There is no way that I can carry reading material on top of all the other essential stuff (including a digital notebook because I am compulsive writer). I have also had conversations with students with disabilities about cutting down on the number of textbooks they have to carry around.Therefore I would like to offer the idea that we have underestimated the value of electronic books (both open source and otherwise) for students and others with mobility and strength and stamina issues. it is very difficult for me to get time to read books that are only available in print.
I spent a rainy Monday re-watching Avatar. I never forgot the basic, powerful premise. A paraplegic ex-Marine is recruited to "drive" an avatar body, because this particular avatar was developed to match his twin brother's DNA. I have never forgotten the scene when Jake first runs free with his new body, wiggling his toes in the dirt for the first time since he was injured. I think anyone who is stuck in a body that is non-cooperative, would have a visceral reaction to that particular scene.
Jake, over time, becomes a leader and a hero to the native population. Who is Jake, really? It's clear that his abilities, fostered by his new experiences, are way beyond what he would be capable of in a wheelchair.
Is this a writer's creation, or does it explore an element of human experience? What is the connection between my limitations and my true self? I choose to believe that my true self is not hampered by my differences, but rather is fostered by the need to work harder to achieve my goals. As I observe my reaction to this idea, I am very aware that I'm speaking as someone with a lifetime disability. Someone who has been disabled later in life might have a different reaction.
I attended a seminar that included an afternoon spent with a speaker who talked about the instructional possibilities for Second Life. We were then encouraged to go onto Second Life and create an account, and choose an avatar, and do some experimenting. I discovered that the thought of having a second self, made me really uncomfortable. I have worked really hard at achieving a level of self acceptance. Perhaps avatars work for folks who have not had to struggle to stay in their bodies, and accept that deck that they got dealt.
He talks about disability as identity, not as illness.
He talks about the idea that my difference is so much a part of me that if a cure was invented, I would not be me. I do not need to be cured
He talks about parental love, which I have been thinking alot about as I get ready to launch an extraordinary young woman into the stratosphere.
About 12-14 years ago, I was asked the reference question that I will never forget. The student was looking for material about disabled parents of normal children.
Why three wheels?
My name is Robin Brown. This is a picture of my "magic carpet." When I'm at work it's probably parked at the commuter rail station about a mile from my house. I get to ride three wheels because my right leg doesn't like to show up for work. I flunked riding two wheels.