davidgillon: Illo of Oracle in her manual chair in long white dress with short red hair and glasses (wheelchair)
2017-07-19 08:36 pm
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Accessible Schlock

I was reading the rulebook for 'Planet Mercenary', the RPG for Howard Tayler's 'Schlock Mercenary' universe this afternoon and I was absolutely delighted to see the game master's section has a section on making your games accessible, covering everything from wheelchair access to players with social anxiety. It's even written within the game's metanarrative* that it's a game for actual inhabitants of the Schlock Mercenary universe. There's a couple of slight mis-steps where it's arguably patronizing, and a faux pas in the segue to handling problem players in the next segment, but this is generally really well thought out - for instance, using a differently sized rather than differently coloured die if one of a set needs to be distinct and a player has a visual impairment that would stop them seeing that, and watching player body language for signs players are being triggered or otherwise driven out of the game. And of course the major step forward is that it's there at all.

* Also within the metanarrative, a short story told in the form of editorial comments - wow!

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-07-17 08:46 pm


In shower, peel off opioid patch - 'I must remember to put the new one on when I get out'. (I can't remember if I should have changed it today or yesterday).

5 hours later, sitting in the garden - "Ow!  Ow! Shit!! Fuck! Ow!"

I'm not surprised the painkilling effect ran out, opioids have a half-life in the body, I am surprised it happened so quickly. I had maybe five minutes notice my back was getting uncomfortable, and then suddenly I couldn't bear to be upright.

The solution was obvious of course, put the damned patch on, but it takes several hours to build up to functional levels, so I'm sitting here with my back brace on, which at least keeping things tolerable.

Other than that it was a very pleasant day in the sun with a book and a glass of wine, intermitently broken by consulting with my neighbour across the fence on his hard drive failure - he actually knows more about them than I do as he was network manager for a chain store untll a couple of months ago, And now I'm sitting here on the couch with the door open watching the para-athletics. 



davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-07-15 11:04 pm

Usefully worn out...

Left house for lunch at 2:30, home at 7pm.

Lunch first (see previous post) then I drove over to Wickes to price up some replacement roofing felt for my shed (the existing stuff half ripped off in one of the spring storms), plus loft boarding, passing an accident which had just happened on the way (one car had t-boned another - no injuries, but sitting in the middle of the main road). Passed by a police traffic car with sirens blazing as I parked at Wickes - 'I know where you're going!' Their felt was 50% more than at Homebase for the identical brand, similarly for the loft board (I'd checked there earlier in the week), so back up to Homebase, queueing to pass the accident again, now with police in attendance. Get the felt, drive back past the accident again. Drop off the felt, head up to Asda, getting to the accident just as the recovery vehicle arrives, waved past by the police for the third time in an hour. Do my shopping, head back, and at least this time the accident's been cleared and I'm not waved past by the police, who must have thought I was taking the piss.

Dump the shopping and immediately head out for my daily waddle, because once I sat down I wasn't moving again.

Got a hundred metres, turned around and came home again. Changed into ankle braces (AFOs), headed out once more. I was fairly certain too much time on my feet was provoking the intermittent drop foot issues I've been having, but today was all chair, and  the foot drop was the worst I've seen. My left foot was catching literally every step, my right about half that. Definitely time to talk to my GP about actually getting this looked at and AFOs officially prescribed and properly fitted (as opposed to bought from Amazon), but also important to know it seems to be fatigue-linked, not activity-linked, which makes it much harder to avoid. Passed one of the regular dog-walkers while on the second attempt: "You're definitely walking faster!" he says. Didn't have the heart to explain why.

So tiring, but useful.

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-07-15 11:00 pm

Helpful People, Grrrr...

Had the classic huffy "I was only trying to help!" in town earlier.

The entrance to the George Vaults has the door a step up, with another step inside, so the only way to do it is to get out of the chair, push the door open, cant the chair back and bump it up a step at a time, which I'm quite capable of doing.

First off someone sitting outside smoking offered to help, which set up the rest of it as fending her off (holding the door open from outside makes the doorway too narrow) made me forget to fold up the anti-tips and blocked me from my normal angle. Which led to the chair jamming half way in as I couldn't cant it far enough back and I'd hit the door frame.

As I'm figuring out what's gone wrong two people from inside decide to intervene. The woman pulled the door out of the way, which actually was helpful, the guy decides he needs to be manly and pick the chair up by the footplate. Which would, of course, have thrown the weight of the chair onto me and my dodgy shoulders, rather than leaving the weight on the step. So I said "Don't!" and started to explain why he shouldn't do it that way. (Amongst other issues it'll often leave you holding a footplate and not a lot more.) Which provoked the huffy "I was only trying to help!" Clearly more interested in being seen to help than actually helping!

And of course when I went to leave, which is easier than coming in, someone came rushing to hold the door (and get in the way).

"My boy's like you," he says. I wonder if he rolls his eyes as much as I did.

On the brighter side I was serenaded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as I wheeled back to the car as they did their soundcheck for the Castle Garden concert this evening - Scherezade, I think.

davidgillon: Illo of Oracle in her manual chair in long white dress with short red hair and glasses (wheelchair)
2017-07-13 06:24 pm

Linkspam: On Epistemic Invalidation

Naomi Lawson Jacobs (a long time friend) on how society invalidates the voices of disabled people:

Listen to Our Experience: On Epistemic Invalidation

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-07-11 01:07 am
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davidgillon: Illo of Oracle in her manual chair in long white dress with short red hair and glasses (wheelchair)
2017-07-11 12:54 am
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Back in the sun

A couple of belated shots of my chair with the new back. Yes, just that bit between the uprights retails at £507. Mind you the seat cushion is £400 on its own. Expensive things, wheelchairs

The back of my wheelchair

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-07-10 09:32 am

Oh My American Gods....

 Spoiler warnings, plus content warnings for: violence, eye-related violence, and attempted suicide.

Here be Spoilers... )
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-07-04 02:38 pm

My 'i' key sn't workng

So I may not be posting much until I figure it out.

It won't respond to touch-typing,but if I hit it at just the right angle three or four times it will respond. This is both irritating and likely to knacker my wrists in short order. Hopefully it just needs cleaning.

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-28 12:19 am

Update, Crips Destroy SF Personal Essays Pitch Deadline is Tomorrow

Nicolette Barischoff just announced on Twitter that the deadline for pitching Personal Essays to Disabled People Destroy SF (see previous post) is tomorrow.

So if you were thinking of pitching, now's the time.

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-27 10:49 pm

Linkspam: Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Personal Essays...

"Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Personal Essays Editor Nicolette Barischoff Wants Your Essay Pitches!

As you know, the Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine is taking over the Destroy series from Lightspeed Magazine. The current plan is to run the Kickstarter for Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction in July 2017. The issue will be written and edited entirely by disabled people.

Personal Essays Editor Nicolette Barischoff is currently looking for short personal essays (ideally between 500-800 words) to run during the Kickstarter and eventually be included in the special issue. These pieces will explore the writer’s connection to disability and genre fiction in a deeply personal way, as a writer, an editor, an activist, or a consumer. We’re defining these terms (connection, genre) as broadly as possible to give you as much space as you need to tell your story.

Uncanny is offering a flat $15 on acceptance for these short essays. If you’re interested, please email Nicolette Barischoff and Editor-in-Chief/Nonfiction Editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry at uncanny@uncannymagazine.com with your idea for an essay as soon as possible. If you have any questions, you may tweet them to @NBarischoff and @snarkbat. The deadline for completed essays is July 17th. We are particularly looking for disabled writers of color."

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-15 10:19 pm
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Well, that worked well...

Yesterday I was fairly desperate to change the hours I'm awake, which had drifted to 2PM - til 6AM (this happens semi-regularly, my body doesn't seem to work on a 24 hour cycle, never mind the regular spontaneous crashes from overdoing stuff). So I'd stayed awake for 36 hours and at 2AM I was in bed, reading (Mishell Baker's 'Borderline') in the hope of drifting off to sleep, when the intersection of the book, me, and my writing sparked a thought in character voice: "I don't so much have brain-weasels as brain-wolverines."

I thought about it, sighed, got up and went downstairs to jot it down before I could forget it.1250 words later I'm not certain whether to call it a vignette, or a short story, but there's a twist in my protagonist's back story that potentially explains a lot.

And shifting my waking hours? I woke up at 3:30PM, {le sigh}

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-09 03:26 pm

The Usual Suspect

Presiding officer at polling station: "You're the one who raised the issue last year with the double doors being too narrow for wheelchairs if only one is open, aren't you? I did raise it, but now someone's stuck a sign on the other one saying 'do not open this door'".

OTOH they did fix* the issue with one of the inner double doors before I'd finished voting. It was propped open with a large armchair, which meant I had to slalom around it and come at the doorway from an awkward angle, which would have blocked a power chair or mobility scooter if it could get past the outer door. And the presiding officer walked out with me to be sure I could get out this time - last year I could get in but not out as the differing approach angles ran me into the door frame one way but not the other, this year I have a slightly narrower chair.

*By propping both doors open with large armchairs {Le Sigh}.

It sort of illustrates the problems with polling station access. The building is a school, and my guess is the left-hand outer door is broken, so rather than fix it, they just keep it bolted shut because kids and able-bodied teachers can get through the right-hand one without issue. But a polling station has to be accessible to a lot more people, some of whom will be using mobility aids that are too wide for the single door. I can report the problem to the Electoral Registration Officer until the cows come home, but he can't actually make the school fix the issue.

I suspect the school is generally fairly clueless on access issues. There are two kerb cuts onto the paving in front of the doors, one is half-blocked by a large planter at the top....

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-09 02:18 pm

The DUP?! WTF May!?!

I slept through election night (well, actually I played Crusader Kings 2 until God Awful O'Clock, at which point exhaustion overcame stress) and only just woke up. Having nerved myself to look at the election results, my reaction was pretty much along John McEnroe "Jesus Christ! You Cannot Be Serious! You Can Not Be Serious!!!" lines

Now I can understand the desperation to stay in power on May's part, but the DUP? Seriously?

To give non-UK readers some context: the DUP are anti-gay-rights, anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, the closest thing the UK has to US hardline, religious Republicans (and remember, the UK as a whole is well to the left of the US, so really, really out there). They attack Corbyn for links with the IRA, but were themselves linked to the worst of the Protestant Paramilitaries. And now they're in power, and can threaten to take their ball home any time Theresa May does something they don't like. 

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-06 12:48 pm

Labour's Disability Manifesto - Analysis

So I spent last night working my way, point by point, through Labour's Disability specific Manifesto. Overall the vital stuff is there, it gets wobbly on the merely very important, and there are a few unforgiveable omissions.

And How the Hell do you write a manifesto specifically for disabled people and not have accessible formats available!?!

The analysis.
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-05 05:18 pm
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Linkspam: David Perry on Restaurants and ADA

Restaurants Haven’t Lived Up to the Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Maitre d' "Would your boy like a colouring book"

Wife of President of Little People of America: "He's my husband".

Maitre d': "Would your husband like a colouring book"

*Jaw Drops* *Headdesk*
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-05 02:22 pm

Linkspam: AWN: Disability Doesn't Come With Extra Time and Energy

Autism Women's Network: Disability Doesn't Come With Extra Time and Energy

What's missing from the discussion is that disabled people work harder because of the fear of losing their job, and the difficulty of finding one, in the face of workplace disablism. So when people misinterpret it as some positive, that's three separate layers of disablism being compounded into one positive.

davidgillon: Text: I really don't think you should put your hand inside the manticore, you don't know where it's been. (Don't put your hand inside the manticore)
2017-06-05 01:48 pm
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Even Breitbart staffers Horrified by Colleagues Bigotry

Breitbart employees infuriated by colleagues' 'appalling' comments after London terror attack

TLDR: terrorism only happens in the UK because Muslims. Apparently 30 years of IRA attacks didn't count as terrorism. And UDA, UVF and the whole alphabet soup of Catholic on Protestant, Protestant on Catholic hate, but it was the IRA that thrived on US support. And of course it's less than a year since Jo Cox MP was assassinated by a white racist, but of course that doesn't count.

The second comment reported would actually count as a hate crime if made in the UK.

The UK right-wing troll Katie Hopkins lost her job at a London radio station for similar comments (she called for 'a final solution) after the Manchester attack and has been reported to the police for them.

Meanwhile, there's a much better class of response reported here:  J.K. Rowling is making important points after the London terror attacks

ETA: This one's too good to miss: Man Pictured Fleeing London Terror with Pint Still in Hand. As people are pointing out, given the price of beer in London...
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-05 01:10 pm
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davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
2017-06-04 05:12 pm
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Trump Strikes Again

Donald Trump berates London mayor over response to terror attacks

Trump deliberately misquotes Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London (his son did the same thing after the Westminster attack):

Tory ministers leap to Sadiq Khan's defence:

You pretty much have to think Sadiq Khan being a Muslim isn't a coincidence in the Trumps' pattern of misquoting.

Penny Mordaunt's the Minister for Disabled People - I don't think I've ever had a good think to say about her before!

* The full statement is longer, but Mordaunt tweeted a pic, not text, and I haven't found the full text, OTOH this shows the deliberate misquote, Sadiq Khan was addressing the police presence.