For Thursday, January 24th, please read the following before coming to class. These readings are from popular media publications and are very quick and accessible reads. Please don’t be frightened by the number; they are all short!
- People with Disabilities Shouldn’t be Judged by the Technologies They Do or Don’t Use by Sylvia Yee
- We Are the Original Life Hackers by Liz Jackson
- Becoming Disabled by Rosemarie Garland-Thomson
- You may also be interested to watch:Judith Butler’s walk with Sunaura Taylor
For Tuesday, January 29th, we will not meet formally as a class. Instead, I ask that you use the time during our class to watch the documentary Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement (please take notes while you watch; you may need to login through VT libraries to stream the video).
We will discuss the film in class on Thursday, January 31st. Please also read Harriet McBryde Johnson’s last chapter from her memoir: Johnson_TooLate_LastChap_v4.pdf
For Tuesday, February 5th: We have the pleasure of having Martina Svyantek coming to discuss “Access Fails” with us. For this class please read the following blog posts from disabled community members:
- Bill Peace’s Letter #3 .
- Stephen Kuusisto’s Letter #4
- Imani Barbarin’s “Things I’ve Learned in this Black Female Body.”
For Thursday, February 7th, we’ll continue to discuss infrastructure. Please watch this tour of a new building in Toronto before coming to class:
Hearing, Deafness, and Technology
Tuesday, February 12: Please read the following short opinion articles:
- “Stop Sharing Those Feel-Good Cochlear Implant Stories”
- Sara Novic’s A Clearer Message on Cochlear Implants
Thursday, February 14th, there is an article uploaded to Canvas to read before this class:
For Tuesday, February 19th, please read:
- Raman Srinivasan’s “Technology Sits CrossleggedActions ” (on Canvas)
- Donna Walton’s “What’s a Leg Gotta Do With It?”
For Thursday, February 21st, please read:
- Catherine Campbell’s “Giving up A 3-D Prosthetic For A Different Vision of Perfect”
- Jen Lee Reeves’s “Prosthetics Do Not Change Everything”
- Rosemarie Garland Thomson’s “Hands” (on Canvas)
We will have presentations this week from two groups.
Tuesday, February 26: Team Normie presents Accidents of Nature by Harriett McBryde Johnson and Exile and Pride by Eli Clare
Thursday, February 28: Leap Day presents Imbeciles by Adam Cohen and Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum.
This week we’ll be processing some of what we learned from the prior week’s book presentations and thinking about disability identity in the now.
Tuesday, March 5th: We have guest instructor Joshua Earle, who will be filling in for me as I will be away on a work trip. He’ll be leading you on institutionalization and eugenics. Readings:
- David Perry’s “We’re Failing Our Test Run for CRISPR”
- Poetry SelectionsMolly McCully Brown (on Canvas)
Thursday, March 7th: We will be talking about ABA therapy, stimming, and normal v pathological. (CW: some of these are hard reads, esp re: abuse, coercion) Pick 2 of the follow to read:
- David Perry’s “The Art of Stimming”
- Julia Bascom’s “Quiet Hands”
- #AutisticWhileBlack The Sacrifice of Andre and Cheryl McCollins
- Amy Sequenzia’s “Normalcy is an Ableist Concept”
- “ABA” by Sparrow Rose
- “Why I Left ABA” by Anxious Advocate
[Spring Break during the week of March 11]
The Americans with Disabilities Act
Welcome back from Spring Break. We have two guest speakers this week to tell us about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Through this unit, you will become more knowledgeable about laws surrounding workplace accommodations, requirements on public spaces, and infrastructure.
Tuesday, March 19th: Pam Vickers, the 504/ADA Coordinator for Virginia Tech, will tells us about the ADA, its five Titles (sections), and then give more in depth information about Title II. The readings are about the limits and the promise of the ADA (and what it requires of disabled people) from the perspective of disability activists:
- ADA Title II Primer — please just flip through, this will coincide with the presentation
- Bill Peace’s Letter (to a Young Cripple) #4: Independence Day
- Ingrid Tischer’s The #Crip Stays in the Picture
- Alison Kafer’s Letting Justice Flow
- Vilissa Thompson’s ADA Generation
Thursday, March 21st: Mike Kutnak, who measures spaces on campus to ensure compliance, will be coming to share with us details about his work and about how to measure for the ADA. The readings for this day are for your own interest; I’d love for you to flip through to see what guidelines and checklists for ADA specifications look like, but you do not have to read word-for-word:
- ADA Checklist for Existing Facilities . — will be useful to those of you doing ADA surveys for your adventure plans.
- ADA Guidelines for Small Businesses — will be useful for those of you doing ADA surveys of local bars and dining places
March 26th: Group book presentation on Fading Scars by Corbett O’Toole and Accessible America by Bess Williamson
March 28th: Guest visit by Christa Miller to talk about Braille. Materials:
- Blindness–The Myth and the Image by Kenneth Jernigan (1970)
- short video by Tommy EdisonHow A Blind Person Uses a Computer
Proposed Enhancements, Identities, Communities
April 2: Genetic Technologies
- Alice Wong’s MEDx talk
- HMJ’s “Unspeakable Conversations”
- Katie Booth’s “What I learned…”
- //Additional non-required readings for your interest: James C. Wilson’s “(Re)Writing the Genetic Body Text”
April 4: Exoskeletons
- Zoltan Istvan’s “In the Transhumanist Age, We Should Be Repairing Sidewalks, Not Disabilities”
- Replies to this article – students should pick one of these to read:
- Rose Eveleth’s “The Hidden Burden of Exoskeletons for the Disabled”
- Kim Sauder’s “When Celebrating Accessible Technology Reinforces Ableism”
- Emily Ladau’s “Fix Discriminatory Attitudes, Not Sidewalks”
Tuesday, April 16th: Extraordinary Bodies Group Book Presentation on Extraordinary Bodies by Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.
Thursday, April 18th: I am hoping for us to pick up what we’ve talked about from the two preceding class presentations to discuss human enhancement. Reading:
- Jillian Weise’s “Common Cyborg”
- Sheila Black’s “Trying to Embrace a ‘Cure'”
- and “Passing My Disabilities On to My Children”
April 23rd: Book Presentation by Care Work Team on Care Work by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and the documentary Unrest
April 25th: We will discuss interdependency and infrastructures of care. This is our last day before presentations take the last four of our meeting times.
All subsequent meetings are focused on student projects, presentations, materials. We have some ADA survey projects, traditional research papers, OpEds, course units, topic projects, short stories, design boards, lifehack presentations, poetry, and some other unusual things this semester.