When Melissa Elmira Yingst and Socorro Garcia checked in for their flight at Detroit, they were told they'd get a seating assignment together. But at the departure gate, the request was denied—and they claim the gate agent would not communicate with them except by talking at them. Thing is, they're both deaf.
The gate agent rolled her eyes at us. Melissa asked for her to write. After a few moments, she finally wrote on a piece of paper and said, the flight is full and can’t book us together. I wanted to continue to communicate and decided to try and write on that same paper but instead of giving us the paper we asked for, she crumbled it in front of us and threw it in the trash.”
Yingst says she pleaded with the agent — who allegedly refused to give her name but whom they identify as “Felicia” — to write down her end of the conversation, arguing that she was “denying us our communication access” by not doing so.
Here's where they story diverges: one of the women says "Felicia" pushed her when she tried to retrieve the note. But "Felicia" claims she was assaulted. In any case, "Felicia" summoned airport security and the women were removed from the flight.
Delta is backing its gate agent, stating that the women were barred from the flight because Garcia went behind the gate desk and "pushed" the gate agent when trying to retrieving the crumpled up paper. The women deny this and say Delta falsely told the media it had reimbursed them. Read the rest
“I was born without my right hand and play guitar with a duct tape pick I made,” says IMGURian abshow. “I play drums too!” Read the rest
Naked Prosthetics creates custom-fitted hand and finger prostheses that allow an impressive range of fine motor skills to be done by the wearer, like holding and striking a match or unscrewing a tiny cap.
Matt Finney lost parts of two fingers and his thumb from gangrene stemming from a blood clot. It's cool to hear him talk about how this changed his life. Here's some of the many other demonstrations on their channel:
• Naked Prosthetics Matt Finney (YouTube / Naked Prosthetics) Read the rest
At the Disability Rights Legal Center fundraiser gala this past weekend in Los Angeles, Apple was presented with DRLC's Business and Technology Award for their accessibility work, and 'Infinite Flow - A Wheelchair Dance Company' was featured as a cause auction recipient for an Apple Watch Series 3, which was designed with a number of accessibility-expanding features. Of particular note are its wheelchair-specific features, VoiceOver for the blind, and the Taptic Engine (haptic feedback for navigation and notification).
What's the connection between Apple Watch and wheelchair dance?
Activity on the Apple Watch is optimized for wheelchair users. taking into account different pushing techniques for varying speeds and terrain, Apple Watch tracks daily activity, encourages healthy routines through wheelchair-specific workouts, and prompts users to move with Time to Roll notifications.
(...) With sensors configured to address different surface types, inclines, and transition moments, such as moving from a wheelchair to a seat at a desk, the Apple Watch Series 3 is designed with accessibility in mind and ideal for the variety of dancers in Hamamoto's inclusive classes and performances.
Infinite Flow was founded in 2015 by Marisa Hamamoto, a professional ballroom dancer who became temporarily paralyzed, then later regained the full use of her body.
Her group is America's first professional wheelchair ballroom dance company, and works to encourage others to dance inclusively, with and without physical limitations.
At the DRLC event on the Fox Studios lot, Hamamoto and guest artist Piotr Iwanicki did a live cha cha cha performance. Read the rest
Standing in the Mütter Museum of medical oddities, contemplating a neat row of jars, each containing a malformed fetus with spina bifida, Riva Lehrer realized just how easily she, too, could have ended up a specimen in a bottle, an object of curiosity, pathos, and, yes, revulsion. "Their spinal column failed to fuse all the way around their spinal cord, leaving holes (called lesions) in their spine," she writes, in a New York Times essay so scarifyingly honest it feels like self-anatomization. "Some extrude a bulging sac containing a section of the cord. These balloons make the fetuses appear as if they’re about to explode. This condition is called spina bifida. I stand in front of these tiny humans and try not to pass out. I have never seen what I looked like on the day I was born."
Born with Spina bifida, the survivor of scores of surgeries, Lehrer is "less than five feet tall." She writes, "I have a curved spine. I wear huge, clunky orthopedic boots." Yet as she notes in her Times essay, she no longer winces at her own reflection. Through her stunning, photorealistic portraits of people with disabilities—people like Mat Fraser, a.k.a. Sealo the Seal Boy from American Horror Story; Nomy Lamm, born with one leg smaller than the other; Lynn Manning, a blind actor and 1990 World Champion in Blind Judo shown brandishing his white cane like a katana—she has come to see "disabled bodies as unexpected and charming and exciting. Read the rest
A disability rights group is suing Uber over charges that the ride-hailing service violates New York City human rights laws by failing to ensure that enough of its vehicles are accessible to physically disabled riders. Read the rest
Nearly 250 million people in the world have impaired vision. Oxsight is developing augmented reality glasses that could supplement or even replace canes and seeing eye dogs for many. Read the rest
In Like Clockwork: Steampunk Pasts, Presents, and Futures
, Rachel A. Bowser and Brian Croxall present a lively, engaging collection of essays about the past, present, future (and alternate versions thereof) of steampunk culture, literature and meaning, ranging from disability and queerness to ethos and digital humanities. We're proud to present this long excerpt from the book's introduction.
IMGURian Ryan S. Miller posted this wonderful series of images: “Here is Jeremy's Costumer this year...The Ghostbusters Ecto-1!”
“Every year we've tried to step up the scale of the costume builds we do for Jeremy,” Ryan says. “This year we put it to a vote and our friends choose the Ghostbusters Ecto-1!”
Check it out in action, below.
Read the rest
Meet Saqib, a Microsoft dev in London who lost the use of his eyes at age 7. Here's a neat little profile of his artificial intelligence development work from Microsoft Cognitive Services: Read the rest
Air travel is degrading, stressful, and humiliating enough as it is, so imagine doing it when you can’t get up and walk off the plane.
A man with physical disabilities was forced to crawled off a plane at Reagan National Airport in Arlington VA, when United Airlines failed to provide him with help disembarking.
Read the rest
A new profile in The Guardian gets to know young women with ability challenges who are earning money and raising charitable funds
via online streaming service Twitch.
Mad Max: Fury Road has attracted praise for its deft handling of some of the themes that Hollywood normally gets very, very wrong. The way that women take charge, for example, the Gamergate crowd had the rare perspicacity to realize that Furiosa was a new, significant stride in the evolution of female action protagonists. Read the rest
In America, chicken has better health care than you.
From their inclusion in 16th-century paintings to their roles in famous families (including, probably, Darwin's), people with Down Syndrome are part of history.
At the Down Wit Dat blog, there's a 8-part (with more on the way) feature that provides some much-needed inclusion to people who are usually just a footnote to somebody else's history. Naturally, the series delves into ideas like eugenics and the institutionalization of differently abled Americans. But, even there, the story is centered on people with Down Syndrome and, as such, it offers a perspective and information that you likely haven't heard before. Great stuff.
Here's an excerpt about the short life of Charles Waring Darwin, the youngest child of the Charles Darwin you know. Based off historical records and the surviving photograph that you can see here, historians suspect that he had Down Syndrome.
Henrietta, one of his daughters, had this to say about Charles Waring in her book "Emma Darwin, A century of family letters...":
"The poor little baby was born without its full share of intelligence. Both my father and mother were infinitely tender towards him..."
Charles Darwin himself had this to say about his youngest child:
“He was small for his age and backward in walking and talking.... He was of a remarkable sweet, placid and joyful disposition, but had not high spirits.... He often made strange grimaces and shivered, when excited.... He would lie for a long time placidly on my lap looking with a steady and pleased expression at my face... Read the rest
While on assignment in the Philippines, reporter Miles O’Brien had an accident and lost his left arm. In the weeks that followed, he learned that every movement, no matter how small, requires rethinking.