Disability Blogs

“Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.” San Franciscan blogger Cripwheels relentlessly reinforces that Neil Marcus insight. Identifying herself as a physically integrated dancer and disability culture activist, Cripwheels is both amused and angered by the conventional conception of people with disabilities as “missing something.”

Her blog also adds perspective and colour to ordinary things like balance and extraordinary things like falling out of a wheelchair. Highlights include some cringe-inducing daily encounters with “well-meaning” people who take interest in her on account of her disability. Inexplicably, the comment section is thin. And in case you’re wondering what “happened” to her. The answer: none of your business. Read more here.

This site is a hub of disability. Mischievous and funny (in a laugh-with-not-at kind of way), it’s accessible for anyone nervous about joining the disability conversation for fear of insensitivity. It’s from the British Broadcasting Corporation and is packed with an award-winning podcast, opinion pieces and riotous message boards. The read-at-your-own-risk Disability Bitch regularly rags on Heather Mills and other famous disabled people, while Andre Jordan creates the humorous Motley Zoo cartoon about disabled animals.

OUCH! is a cornucopia of entertainment but also has serious undertones with a comprehensive disability news feed and fact section. Read more here.

Fat. Gay. Frightened. That’s how Torontonian blogger Dave Hingsburger described his life before he became disabled. And after the fact, he felt like he’d been “bitch-slapped twice,” especially by Christians who condescendingly said he couldn’t walk because his faith was weak.

Hingsburger’s pain is palpable but so is his optimism, although at times it can verge on sentimentality. His posts are as regular as clockwork. Going since 2006, his is one of a number of disability blogs that simply tells excellent stories – living up to the tagline, esse quam videri (to be, rather than to seem to be). He’s won several Canadian Blog Awards and you can find him here.

With a name like that, you’d expect activism. And it’s here. This blog riles and rails against “normality” as the Holy Grail for disabled people and rejects the dominant notion that those who achieve assimilation are role models.

A variety of contributors pick up daily news stories and pump out feminist commentary on the lives, laws and language pertaining to disability. Intellectually intense and passionate, Feminists With Disabilities is out to educate, create change and develop community.

Over 80 blogs are featured on their blogroll and a reading list is available for those wanting to go deeper into disability issues. Some of the stuff is outrageously discriminatory, like filmmaker Sean Marckos, who has muscular dystrophy, having to enter the Palais des festivals in Cannes through the rear entrance because he wasn’t photogenic enough for the red carpet. Thankfully we find out he made a movie about it. Check out more here.

Issue 18

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 18, Summer 2010, The Body Issue.

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Issue 18, Summer 2010

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