May 29, 2011
J’errais sans but sur le Net l’autre soir et je suis tombée vraiment par hasard sur un commentaire que j’avais laissé sur un blogue d’une personne de mon milieu professionnel mais que je ne connais qu’en ligne. Et encore, « connaître » dans ce cas est un bien grand mot car, quoique j’aie vaguement collaboré avec cette personne, du moins il me semble, je ne me rappelle pas avoir vraiment échangé avec elle. Et pouf, dans mes déambulations, je trouve ce commentaire banal, du genre « joyeux anniversaire », d’il y a plus de deux ans maintenant.
Of course, loin de moi l’idée de suggérer que des vœux d’anniversaire ne sont pas importants ou ressentis. Ceux et celles qui me connaissent savent que je dis ce que je pense et tout de moi, que ce soit en ligne ou en personne est authentique (certains diront peut-être même un peu trop et je les emmerde). Mais ça m’a quand-même étonnée de me retrouver dans ce commentaire.
Continue reading all of me
May 21, 2011
Four years ago to the day, I wrote a blog post about Yao Defen. As I explained in the intro to that post, I first heard about her through a television show on TLC relating the story of the tallest woman in the world. I was very touched by this story. Actually I was troubled and angry that a human being could be neglected and used and abused and exploited all at once in the way she was.
To this day, I still have no idea what became of Yao Defen. I do not know if she survived, not only her projected 2007 surgery but just in general considering the life she had. And, judging from the number of people who land on my blog everyday searching for news of her fate, I am not alone. Many would like to know what happened to her. Many are hoping she made it and has actually had the chance for a better life.
And I find it utterly astounding that people end up on my blog to try to find out the fate of this poor woman because no real information seems to be available elsewhere. Sure, you can google her and find plenty of references to her, there is even a Facebook page for her though obviously, she did not set it up. And TLC (and its worldwide Discovery Channel affiliates) still airs the same gawd damn show on a regular basis without telling people what became of her. Frankly TLC, I know I should not expect too much of you but gee, could you be more crass? And of course, the Chinese government keeps silent.
So if anyone has any idea, any information about Miss Yao’s situation, please let us know. Either post a comment here or on the original post.
Miss Yao, wherever you are, a lot of people are thinking about you and hoping you made it.
May 16, 2011
I recently sat in on a meeting between a local non-profit organization for people with disabilities and a Montreal Web development firm. The non-profit, who shall remain nameless, had asked me to attend the meeting because they felt overwhelmed and worried about negotiating this kind of contract while having next to no knowledge about Web development.
Too often in the past I have been told by organizations in my milieu that they did not get what they paid for, i.e. at minimum, an accessible Web site and at most, this includes the necessary tools to be autonomous and to be able to produce accessible content. And considering the budget constraints a lot of these orgs have and the fact that not having an accessible Web site is not really an option, it is indeed a problem. So I am regularly called upon to support disability community organizations on Web accessibility matters, to advise them about accessibility and Web standards or to accompany them through the development cycle (and just in case you are wondering, I am usually not paid for these consultations but that is another story ;)
This meeting was fairly predictable. The non-profit wanted a nice looking Web site that was accessible to their members, who have a variety of accessibility needs. One of the representatives of the non-profit had done a bit of homework and was able to say they wanted a “W3C compliant Web site” and although she had no idea what that really meant, she was certain it meant accessible to people with disabilities. And, like many people who are in her situation, she was expecting the people at the Web development firm to know what that means and that is a reasonable expectation since the firm submitted to a disability organization notably with the affirmation that they were “W3C compliant”.
Continue reading “no one ever asks us for accessibility”
May 7, 2011
« C’est un jeudi, au commencement de février, un beau jeudi soir glacé, où le grand vent souffle. Il est trois heures et demie, quatre heures… Sur les haies, auprès des bourgs, les lessives sont étendues depuis midi et sèchent à la bourrasque. Dans chaque maison, le feu de la salle à manger fait luire tout un reposoir de joujoux vernis. Fatigué de jouer, l’enfant s’est assis auprès de sa mère et il lui fait raconter la journée de son mariage…
Pour celui qui ne veut pas être heureux, il n’a qu’à monter dans son grenier et il entendra, jusqu’au soir, siffler et gémir les naufrages; il n’a qu’à s’en aller dehors, sur la route, et le vent lui rabattra son foulard sur la bouche comme un chaud baiser soudain qui le fera pleurer. Mais pour celui qui aime le bonheur, il y a, au bord d’un chemin boueux, la maison des Sablonnières, où mon ami Meaulnes est rentré avec Yvonne de Galais, qui est sa femme depuis midi. »
– Le Grand Meaulnes, chapitre VII (Alain Fournier)
Continue reading pour celui qui aime le bonheur
May 1, 2011
This post is my contribution to Blogging Against Disablism Day 2011 (BADD 2011).
I am probably going to get hell for writing about this but anyway, here it goes…
A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop on the sexual rights of people with disabilities. This workshop was part of the Disability and Citizenship Week (Semaine Citoyenneté et Handicap) at l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), a major university in the province of Quebec. It was the first time in a long time that I had heard of an event that broached this subject in my part of the world. I had two conflicting thoughts when I heard about it:
- Hmmm, how come we still need to talk about this in 2011? and;
- Well, this should be a change from the usual stuff I hear about (like accessibility, HTML5, blablabla).
Continue reading a few thoughts about sex and disability