Sunday, June 27, 2010

Disability Blog Carnival #67: Proud Voices.

V. O. I. C. E.

I received a gift in the mail from a reader several months back. 5 wooden letters, cut from wood, painted white, trimmed with gold. Together they spell the word, voice. I have them on the window sill by my desk. I look up often and consider them. The word reminds me that the authentic ‘voice’ of a person is to be honoured. The authentic voice that comes from a place of truth and vulnerability. The authentic voice that speaks out from the experience of being, living, hurting, wondering. It’s not heard often.

When I took on the task to put together the Disability Blog Carnival, I asked to be allowed the theme of ‘pride’. After all I’d be doing it during the month that ‘Pride’ was celebrated. I’d be doing it on the day that the rest of the world (not Toronto because Pride was delayed in a cab from the airport by the G8 and will not arrive for a week) celebrates LGBT Pride. (Forgive me for not using the whole alphabet of initials, they change so often I’m scared of making a mistake.) So I wanted writers to choose something that they had written and of which they were proud. A blog that they thought represented well some aspect of life with a disability or of disability culture or disability experience.

What I got?

Authentic voice.

People are proud of writing that comes from a place that’s often deep and secret. People are proud when they manage to put into words anger, fears, terror, tears, love, longing, regret, fury … I found myself going on a real journey here. My intros are brief, the blog is long. We have a huge number of contributors. I’ve only used the names that appear on the blog. These appear in no order, I did not attempt to group them, I did not attempt to make them flow. I think the haphazard way they bring up various topics works.

I also need to warn those who sent in multiple blogs, or simply blogs but no specific post. I only did one of those you sent and I just randomly picked it, I did not read them all and then choose one, I did not include any that were simply blogs without a specific post. Sorry on both counts, but I had to make a decision and that's the one I made.

All I ask of you is to limber up you commenting muscles. Make sure that these bloggers know you visited and that you appreciate their time and energy. Sometimes it gets lonely as a blogger. Your voice and your presence make it all worthwhile.



"So, what's it like?" We get this question a lot as people with disabilities. lifeofthedifferentlyabled of the In My Eyes Blog writes a post describing what it ‘feels like’ to have Cerebral Palsy. She is doing so because a mother wants to better understand what her child is experiencing. The post gives a tremendous glimpse into another’s experience.

Astrid of Astrid’s Journal takes on tragedy, suffering and victimhood as it applies to the language with with other’s use to define us. She points out that one may have a disability and one may suffer but there is much care to be taken in making this a causal connection.

“Why does it take so long to go through anger to get to acceptance?” We’ve all as people with disabilities wanted to hurry the process along. Assiya in her blog For a Fairer Today takes on this issue brilliantly.

“Ain’t I a woman?” brilliantmindbrokenbody writes a brilliant update on the famous Sojourner Truth speech. This is one of those speeches that you wish you could hear thundering from a podium with cheering crowds being inspired by it’s words.

Ever read a book and then thought hard about your life? That’s what happened to Kate and she documents the plot and then the radical message that developed from it. From Nietzsche to living by choice … there is realization here for all of us.

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg proves that it makes sense for those who would define us to talk to us first. She takes on the mammoth task of rewriting the DSM IV criteria for autism – and does a hell of a job with it.

"Give me a minute." Ever wish you had just a few seconds to think of the right thing to say? Rickismom said that she had to let her blog percolate a bit before writing but, let me tell you she served up some might fine and mighty strong coffee. Her view on 'Sainthood' in our society is interesting and disturbing. Too, she gives a great example of speaking up when speaking up is needed.

“Oh, they are always so happy?” You’ve heard the myth and it annoys you, right? Well Tamara sees it for what it is and takes it on. That people with disabilities have full emotional lives is startling news to those who prefer to think of us as happily, drooling, gooing babies. Tamara, set’em straight!

The Secret to reading Frida’s post is to have anger management strategies at ready avail. She takes on the ‘philosophy’ behind ‘The Secret’ and finds more of the same blaming the victim bull. A well reasoned showing that you can’t teach and old dogma new tricks.

When you go to Eunice Gordon’s blog, if you aren’t multi-lingual you may want to click away, but don’t. Go further down and read the translation. You’ll be glad you did. Get a hanky first, though, you may need it. Euncie, I love this kind of story.

Fat People In Scooters! Oh. No. It’s time for Moose to tell us about a discussion of the right of fat people to be disabled and to require scooters. There are all sorts of assumptions about weight and about disability and sometimes when the wires cross there’s sparks. But sparks, like this post, provide light.

“People with disabilities don't need people to speak FOR them - they need people to listen TO them when they speak!” Stephanie writes in her blog about the Family Guy and Sarah Palin controversy. Thought you’d heard every point of view. Think again.

“What is truth?” Well take the journey with Tara as she travels from doubt to truth. She speaks honestly about her fears of adequacy and the pain that the words that others use to describe her child causes. From Doubt to Truth … a journey of a lifetime.

I love looking at other’s photo albums. It’s a great way to get a glimpse into another’s life. AKW provides pictures, including a kid in a pumpkin suit, how cool is that, along with the story of her child with Down’s Syndrome’s first year. That parents have much to say, to contribute to the discussion of disability is never clearer.

At Scribblings From a Melted Crayon, EIRAMYLLEK 73 writes a powerful post on a day where she was feeling angry and frustrated. Sometimes anger is the source for a powerful rant. I can only say go!

Yoda? Someone managed to get Yoda into a disability post? All right!! Janna Hoskin writes about the ‘you’ve got to try harder’ and the ‘if you want to do it you will’ attitude that permeates self help books and science fiction. She not only brings in Yoda but Hans Solo too. How cool is that?

And if we're going to be visited by Yoda, why not Harry Potter and his invisibility cloak? Spaz Girl deals with invisibility, an experience well known by those with disabilities, in an engaging way.

The first poem to appear on the Carnival and it’s wonderful. The Yet Untitled Poem by Tokah. It speaks many truths about who we are as disabled people and how doctors portray us. It speaks wonderfully about the lives we live. The lives we love.

Take a calm pill before you read what neverthateasy’s sister in law had to say. I got that far in the blog, saw red for about five minutes and had to do some deep breathing. Boy, oh boy, the words that people say and the effect they have.

Disability is contagious!!! Why didn’t someone tell me? That’s Ashley’s Mom’s question and it lead to this wonderful blog. Yeah, back up butter cup, if I breathe on you maybe you’ll catch what you fear – fat and disabled, but I hope you catch – humour and determination. It’s all in the way you approach it.

That Maven of Disability History, Penny Richards introduced us to the short, terrible life of George Everitt Green. I won’t give away the story, but brace yourself. This story indicates that the devaluing of the life of someone with a disability has been with us for too long. Too, too long.

It's no secret to readers of this blog and for those who know me personally that .Dick Sobsey is one of my heroes. He has been one of the loudest voices raising the issue of the crimes and abuses against people with disabilities. He has send us a blog that he wrote that appears on a site that wonders 'what sort of people' are wanted.

The Farmer, The Spoon and the Plow. Andrea tells a story that has more than one meaning. A delightful tale, a powerful point.

With all apologies, this is a late entry, not by Lene but by me. I missed this one and went looking for it. It's perfect for this collection because as she says she wants to write with emotional honesty another way of saying authentic voice.

Will there be disabilities in heaven? Who better to take on the question than Belinda, winner of a number of awards for her blog on faith. To answer the question more fully she discovers a voice on the Internet and brings it to her blog. Ever wonder about heaven, maybe wonder no more.

Shannon, my niece, did not submit a blog and because we’re family and she has to love me and forgive me my ways, I am surprising her by including a blog she wrote that made me proud to know her. She had been writing about how many people abandon those who become seriously ill, friends one day, strangers the next. In considering this phenomenon she wrote a post that really struck me.

So what did I choose. I spent and embarrassing amount of time looking. In the end I decided on a blog post I wrote not that long ago. It says much of what I really believe, I hope it speaks to you too.

Disability Carnival's are supposed to give you the opportunity to visit new blogs or re-visit old friends. I think there is something here for everyone and was really pleased at the response. Please take your time to go through them, you don't have to rush. You don't have to buy a ticket for this carnival admittance is free.

The next blog carnival will be hosted by .RMJ. I haven't been told the topic yet, but check there or contact Penny Richards. Thanks again all


rickismom said...

Dave, You did a lovely job of organizing this carnival, and you make we want to read it all (as you noted, with no rush..) Thank -you!

Tamara said...

This is awesome. I thought I was keeping up with the blogs posted in the comment section when you requested them, but I was way behind. Thank you -

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave and friends!

It will take me a while to read all to put the kettle on for a cup of T!

Best wishes....Linda (LinMac) in Dublin!

Lene Andersen said...

This is wonderful! Can't wait to read them all.

Just wondering, though and not sure how to phrase this without sounding...erm... well, whatever. Here goes. I submitted a post a couple of weeks ago - did I get lost in the throng?

Dave Hingsburger said...


I'm so sorry, I was worried about something like this happening, where did you submit it? or submit one here in the comments and I'll get it in, please forgive me.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hey, Lene, I went looking for your submission and found it, again, apologies.

Shan said...

What a pleasant surprise! I am happy and honoured to be included...I did not submit a post because it didn't occur to me that I had anything of value to add....thank you for thinking otherwise!


Moose said...

First, thank you for your hard work.

When I submitted my post I didn't expect you to take it because it was about another post.

What I didn't realize then [I'd simply forgotten] is that the post I was commenting about in my post was one written for a disability blog carnival. The topic has gone full circle.

[Unless someone writes a post about my post that referenced another post ... and my head just assploded. :-P]

Kate said...

Thanks for all your work Dave, looking forward to reading them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for running this Carnival, Dave.

I'm very flattered by your description of my post. Perhaps some day, I will get to read it like that. I like the idea.


Ruth said...

Thanks for doing the carnival - looking forward to reading all these posts!

Jack & Emma's Mom said...

I have only read a few so far but am enjoying it immensely. I did skip down to the one you chose and have to say you did well. That is one of my favorites!

FridaWrites said...

These are really great--and I like your theme, too, getting people to showcase one of their favorite pieces. I loved the poem--we should have more poems on the disability sites.

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg said...

Dave, thanks for doing such a great job of pulling together these blog posts. I've discovered blogs I didn't know existed and gained perspective I didn't have before.

How angering to learn that being made to feel invisible is common to the experience of all disabled people--and yet, how comforting to find this out, because I no longer feel so alone.

Andrea S. said...

Thanks, Dave--it took me until today to read through all the blog posts, but it was well worth the time invested!

Tokah said...

Thank you for hosting a great carnival.

The link to Scribbling From... was broken for me, I had to go to the main page to find their post. Thankfully it was a pretty new one. This link worked for me:

Amanda said...

I can't believe this. I submitted a post well within the deadline and you didn't put it in. What did I do wrong?

Dave Hingsburger said...

To All: any missed blogs will be picked up and published in a 'blog carnival - the sequel' next week. Please accept my apologies.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Unknown said...

Wow! I really like the message of this blog post. Like other readers, I'm grateful for having this blog online. I believe that having an authentic voice is delivering message of truth, justice and fairness. This goes out for my brother-in-law who has been separated with his job for obvious reasons, economic difficulties. He's in the brink of financial difficulties, too. The problem became bearable and easy to handle when top caliber professionals came in to the rescue by providing workers compensation return to work program for him. It's like giving him a chance to start all over again in terms of financial independence.

Thanks for the informative post, Dave! Keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

You forgot Andrew Jackson’s Big Block of Cheese with nary a macaroni in sight.

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