May 11, 2011

"Telling Our Stories", Center for Accessible Tech, and Alice Sheppard

I've been taking Axis dance classes again and gearing up to start rehearsing for the Yerba Buena Gardens performance again this year. Then, today, I received this in my inbox from friends at The Center for Accessible Technology in Berkeley. 
I follow Wheelchair Dancer. Alice's blog, and she always has something fascinating and accurate to say about the body, the body's tools, and how we place ourselves in language.



Don’t miss Alice Sheppard, author, disability studies scholar, and dancer with the world famous AXIS Dance Company. Discover from her a world view that will change how you think about disability, dance, and movement.

In this Webinar you will:
·        Discover how a wheelchair is an excellent tool for artistic expression.
·        Find out how Artie on Glee should be pushing his wheelchair.
·        Understand that what we know as assistive technology is like a paintbrush to a painter, or a chisel to a sculptor.
·        Recognize wheelchairs for what they are and not as substitutes for what they are not.

May 19, 2011
10:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time



You can read one of Alice Sheppard's commentaries on wheelchairs and movement, “Rockin' and Rollin' on Fox's Glee,” at Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol 31, No 1 (2011) http://www.dsq-sds.org/article/view/1354

“Telling Our Stories” is a monthly webinar featuring interviews with influential and interesting disabled people. The interviews are the real, barely sanitized, non-tragic, non-triumphant, and always proud insiders' perspective on the disability experience. 


Here's Alice quoting Kay Olson

Likewise, at night, when my PEG tube is hooked up to a slow drip of liquid nutrition, there's a physical comfort to knowing my body is getting protein while I sleep. I could get the tube pulled if I wished, now. It's not absolutely required for my sustenance at this time. But it's a comforting back-up, that, along with a low cholestoral count and no concern about my gaining too much weight means that I'm curiously free of all concerns about my diet that most other women struggle with daily.
It's an old post from 2006, but it was one of the first I ever read around disabled pleasure.  I love how the very things that people choose to run from in advance health care directives are the things that give Kay pleasure.  Her words ask me to consider how we talk about impairment without adding assessment and hence valuation.  Her words ask me to look to my life and take in the things that I find pleasurable.  And from pleasure, I move to community and to what I see as an essential element of belonging to each other: our responsibility to treat each other as we would like to be treated -- even if we don't know each other.

So, tune in to the link above on May 19 to hear more from Alice.