Disability Blog Carnival #34: Breaking Out

Yellow crocus blooming through patchy snow, with the titles, Breaking Out and Disability Blog Carnival # 34

Hooray, spring is around the corner, and the crocus are breaking out through the last dregs of snow. (Well, at least it is in my neck o’ the woods.) I chose “breaking out” as a theme for this DBC because there are so many ways that people with disabilities can “break out” of social expectations and other limitations in our lives. I hoped that the theme would be more liberating than limiting, and am delighted in not only the range of posts, but also all the bloggers whose work I’d not seen before! (Unlike some of the other Disability Blog Carnival graphics, this one does not illustrate a disability, as not all disabilities are visible.)

Watching her own crocuses, abfh notes that “A change is in the air” as news reporters begin to break out of the idea that “neurodiversity” isn’t a small fringe group, but rather the development of a larger social concept. Ettina is back, breaking out of rules that were not good for her, and finding unconventional ways of dealing with feelings. Cherylberyl is taking advantage of a Independent Study period to also break out of some bad habits and create mature strengths; it’s a very insightful post. I’m trying to deal with some feelings of my own on how to break out of obnoxious social situations of being given Piss-poor platitudes when faced with the pain of grieving (or, not grieving). On the other hand, Amanda is trying to find a way to break out of the monotony of having her thought processes repeatedly blocked by a different sort of pain — there was a thought in there about the weird fairy-tale versions of disability that others have, but then …

Speaking of fairy tales, Simi Linton at Disability Culture Watch discusses how advertisers are trying to break out of stereotypes by featuring disabled people, but in fact are perpetuating some misconceptions (the term “supercrip” comes to my mind). For something really different, Sweet Perdition describes how an old horror movie, “Spider Baby”, manages to break out of the usual nonsense to explore some concepts (but not enough!) around the social ideas of disability.

More social ideas about disability are being discussed at the Discovering Deaf Worlds blog, Dave Justice & Christy Smith report that in China, Yang Cui is breaking out of the four (and only four) traditional careers allowed for Deaf college students. The dynamic duo also describe a visit to the Deaf community in Wuhan. Fookem and Bug did not break their bottle, as they bring out an example of really old-fashioned woo with Dr Cooper’s Ethereal Oil for Deafness. The Future Doc Wilson relates the tale of how parents are trying to break INTO the board meetings at St Mary’s School for the Deaf because they are currently not allowed in, and there is plenty of contention — and secrecy — about a number of the board’s decisions.

On the other hand, did you know that the Illinois General Assembly may break out of the usual curriculum to add disability awareness teaching in public schools? Katie at Urbanagora has a whole list of things we never learned in school. (Think we can get something more than a token nod to Helen Keller, with the lousy blindfolded disability simulation?)

Omigosh, give the women wheels and they get all uppity-like! And more power to them, I say. Emma the Wheelchair Princess just had to break out of her Good Little Patient role by remarking to other volunteers that doctors don’t always know everything, especially about incurable conditions like CP. Naturally, we are shocked. /sarcasm. Frida writes up a bitching good list of 9 things, “Beep Beep Beep This Important Message for the Abled Community Beep Beep Beep.” Fruitfemme breaks out of society’s limitations by Choosing my body, pithily noting that “Bodies on the margins have always had to fight for integrity.”

Sarahspy breaks out from her usual “pop culture nonsense” to do an MS Walk. Funky Mango breaks out the crystal to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of a chronic diagnosis — and that’s a good thing. Bint Alshamsa writes from My Private Casbah, where she is breaking out from the usual oncological dichotomy: the news of being in an unexpected sort of limbo from being On the Frontier of a New Kind of Cancer Survivorship.

Just when I wasn’t sure just how to wrap up such a diverse assemblage of posts (and disability is nothing if not full of diversity), the fabulous Fledchen managed to come up with no less than seven aspects of what “breaking out” means. I can’t wait to see what she does with them!

  • Breaking Out means embracing stereotypes by reinterpreting them.
  • Breaking Out means showing that people can fit into more than one category, and in more than one way.
  • Breaking Out means that people can grow and change over time–and that they have a right to do so.
  • Breaking Out means challenging assumptions.
  • Breaking Out means acknowledging sexual and gender identity, and variations thereof.
  • Breaking Out means discussing the unspoken.
  • Breaking Out means freeing ourselves from barriers created by our own thoughts and the thoughts of others.

The next Disability Blog Carnival #35 will be at Reimer Reason, where Jodi says the theme is The Hardest Part. The Carnival’s on April 10th, so that means getting posts in by the 7th, either by posting a comment on the blog, or through the Blog Carnival site.