Christy Tending | Longreads | February 2, 2023 | 14 minutes (3,768 words) There are things that able me. A chair. One person speaking to me at a time. Shoes that are not cute, but spare me nerve pain. A hot bath with epsom salts: so hot it would scald most, but my skin is like […]
Is Anyone Ever Well?
Two new books see disability as a source of solidarity.
Space to Breathe
“I can suction while gathering my spirits, while holding out for my son’s right to exist, to be present, to take up space, to interrupt ‘usual’ life.”
Was This Professor Fired for Having Tourette Syndrome?
“We want to ensure harassment-free climates in schools and workplaces, and we want to protect the rights of people with disabilities. What happens when these imperatives collide?”
The Top 5 Longreads of the Week
This week, our editors recommend stories by Michael Wilson, Joseph Bien-Kahn, Jason Anthony, AC Shelton, and Tom Breihan.
In an ableist world, health care systems and tech innovators are more invested in high-tech solutions and shiny objects that don’t consider disabled folks’ actual needs during the design process. Many in the disability and caregiving communities rely on their own creative hacks instead, leaning on a culture of collaboration and shared knowledge to make […]
DeafBlind Communities May Be Creating a New Language of Touch
Andrew Leland’s fascinating piece in The New Yorker explores Protactile, a system of tactile communication that has evolved into a national movement for autonomy among DeafBlind people across the U.S. Still, several linguists have come to believe that, among some of its frequent users, Protactile is developing into its own language, with words and grammatical […]
‘Where the Bats Hung Out’: How a Basement Hideaway at UC Berkeley Nurtured a Generation of Blind Innovators
For decades, an underground hideaway at UC Berkeley’s Moffitt Library — better known as “The Cave” — gave rise to a generation of blind leaders, including Joshua Miele, a MacArthur genius grant winner who now builds adaptive technologies at Amazon. The Cave was where iron sharpened iron, academically — tricks for surviving Berkeley were as […]
Disbelieving What You Cannot See: A Reading List on Ableism and ‘Invisible’ Disability
Start your unlearning here.
Keep This to Yourself
“I am carried, cared for, not yet touched by our culture’s casting of my body as other, as divergent. It is less like memory and more like myth.”