An Entirely Biased Who's Who of the Disability Blogosphere, January 2011
|@_louhicky who draws Crip Strips recently asked me about the movers and shakers within the disability movement on-line. The part of the disability movement I know most about is in the blogosphere, and when I began to think of important bloggers to tell Lou about, I thought it might make something of a celebratory post. As it turned out, I've had a few poorly weeks and during such times it is other bloggers who help me feel connected to things.|
However, I am no particular authority on this, not all important disability blogger will have appeared on my radar and I'm bound to have forgotten some of those that have. I've also struggled to categorise these in any meaningful way. So it occurs to me, maybe other folk can blog their own lists of important disability bloggers. Hmm... I have vague amorphous thoughts about compiling a gigantic map of the disability blogosphere, but as I say, poorly weeks. Please at least comment with links to important bloggers I've forgotten. Right...
Penny at Disability Studies, Temple U., was one of the first bloggers on disability I encountered, a real community blogger who writes fascinating posts about disabled people in history and initiated the monthly Disability Blog Carnivals (the most recent having been at Butterfly Dreams).
I think the best academic disability bloggers are the great Ira Socol who wrote The Drool Room and blogs at SpeEdChange, frugal feminist Irational Point at Modus Dopens and Deven Black at Education on the Plate. Someone I regard as academic because she write seriously about autism research and psychology is Lindsay at Autist's Corner. Ballastexistenz and Bev at Square 8 are perhaps the most prominent bloggers writing about neurodiversity.
The most glamourous disability bloggers I know are Wheelchair Dancer (who is a professional dancer, funnily enough) and writer and TV presenter Mik Scarlet at Scarlet Sees Red. Two very important writers on disability are articulator-of-pain Elizabeth McClung at Screw Bronze and Dave Hingsburger at Rolling Around Life. Poet Cripchick has been a pivotal in the disability blogging community, but has been quiet since November. Hope she is okay.
Entrepreneur and bride-to-be Mary at This is my Blog writes honestly and engagingly about a huge range of personal-political issues. Wheelie Catholic writes about politics, post lots of links and videos as well as moving pieces about everyday greatness and injustice. Lawyer and sometime revolutionary Mark Siegel at the 19th Floor writes about disability in culture and US politics, as does Imfunnytoo at Midlife and Treachery and Stephen Kuusisto at Planet of the Blind. William Peace at Bad Cripple is another American writing especially about medical ethics, as well as recently charting his own ill health with considerable courage and candour.
Two of the UK's most prominent and prolific disability bloggers are nautical knitter Emma at Writer in a Wheelchair and death-walking diva BendyGirl at Benefit Scrounging Scum, who were the ring-leaders of the recent One Month Before Heartbreak. BendyGirl also started the Broken of Britain blog, collecting stories of disabled people affected by UK benefit reform. They both in turn write for Where's the Benefit? about UK disabilty benefits, as does writer and sweetheart of the twitterati Lisa at Lisy Babe's Blog and Incurable Hippie who blogs at Incurable Hippie's Musings and Rants as well as The F-Word on occasion. Other important British writers on disability include kinky Claire Lewis at Disabled People Fight Back, Sara at Same Difference and brevity being the soul of wit, Katie at Everyone Else Has a Blog.
I don't actually think of these as Mommy Bloggers, but these ladies are all joyful and articulate parents of disabled children; Starlife at Life Decanted , Stephanie at Embracing Chaos and Maddy at Whitterer on Autism. Casdok at Mother of Shrek has a 22 year old autistic lad.
The now defunct FWD/ Forward: Feminists with Disabilities blog will remain an important resource long after the cobwebs are formed. Former contributors include another academic Anna at Trouble is a State of Mind, US military veteran Ouyang Dan at Random Babble, Annaham at Ham Blog and Lauredhel at the big Austrailian feminist blog Hoyden about Town. There are lots of different feminist voices at Womanist Musings but Renee who runs the blog frequently writes about disability and how it intersects with race, gender and size. Bint Ashama at My Private Casbah is another important writer on disabiliy and race.
This second section doesn't mean to imply inferiority, but these are different kinds of blogs which contain different kinds of content and may be more specialist that those above. This is a difficult excercise so please forgive my struggle to categorise.
Never That Easy and Diane at A Stellarlife are great writers about living with chronic illness.
Other academic bloggers who are worth reading about disability who I haven't mentioned above include Lilwatchergirl at Through Myself and Back Again, Naomi at Uncovering the Roof, Lili at Silly Legal, Miss Shuguah at Fumbling About in the Dark and Kethry at Urbania to Stoneheads who has recently returned to education.
Gary at AWTS, James at A Pretty Simple Blog and Makayla Lewis are the people to read about web accessibility.
Best disabled photographer I know of is my own amazing Stephen who blogs at Single Lens Reflections. Other disabled creative types include Rachel at Rachel Creative, Cusp at L'Ombre de mon Ombre, Katya Robin, Gaina at The Mouth on Wheels and embroiderer Elmsley Rose. See also the Disability Arts Online collection of blogs.
There is, of course, plenty disability community activity outside blogging, on Twitter, Tumblr and on forums and social networks throughout the web. But I think these folks I've listed here are a good place to start.