They worked, sort of, though it was just as easy to type what I wanted to say and hand the phone to people to read themselves. It wasn't very fun or liberating, either, because typing on that itty bitty on-screen keyboard takes too long. I gave up on the cool technology pretty quickly in favor of nodding and grunting, and by the time that started being really annoying, I could speak again.
Friday, September 13, 2013
In May 2012, I had surgery. It went well and I'm fine now. It was significant enough, though, that I spent 3 or 4 days mostly unable to speak. I knew this would happen going in, so I was almost looking forward to making real, practical use of some speech output apps I'd long had on my iPhone.
I was reading an Atlantic.com blog post by Ta-Nehisi Coates and this sentence stopped me ...
"The myth of racism as a failure of manners is convenient because it conceals what lies at the heart of any system of exploitation--power."
It caught my attention because I liked the phrase, "failure of manners", and I think the point works as well for disability and ableism as it does for race and racism. Maybe better.
It seems like the dominant view of ableism is that it's mainly about people saying clumsy, inadvertently insulting things … a "failure of manners". However, the relatively small number of people who have thought more than superficially about disability prejudice and discrimination tend to think instead that they are tips of the iceberg. Underneath lies much more profound … profoundly wrong … assumptions and injustices.
Ableism surely is a failure of manners, but it is also much more. What more it is, is why we talk about it.
P.S.: The Coates article is worth reading for its own sake. His stuff usually is.