Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Monday, February 2, 2015

Technology and Social Inclusion Notes

And yet more "Alyssa reads a thing, and then sticks sier notes online" type stuff. This time, I read Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide
Full citation is: 
Warschauer, Mark. Technology and Social Inclusion: Rethinking the Digital Divide. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2003. 
And yes, there is a lot of MIT Press stuff on my shelves. I get to the physical store a few times a year and they have a sale/hurt books shelf that lets me get academic books for often $3 or $5. This is useful. Anywho, the notes.

Projects to increase access and use of computers and the internet run into problems when they focus too much on simply providing hardware and software, rather than on human and social systems that need to change if the technology's existence is going to change anything.
“The stereotype of disconnected minority groups could even serve to further social stratification by discouraging employers or content producers from eaching out to those groups” (7.)
“The digital divide framework provides a poor map for using technology to promote social development because it overemphasizes the importance of the physical presence of computers and connectity to the exclusion of other factors that allow people to use ICT for meaningful ends” (7.)
Note: ICT=information and communcation technology.
Book works as one more citation for extra utility of the internet for disabled people, woot!
Literacy and internet technology education are both more effective when using content relevant to the learners needs and social conditions. It's often best to have this content created by the learners!
Reading and understanding typically involves the use of a large amount of background knowledge. [Book uses example of basketball game. Call for submissions example mine.] When reading a call for submissions, a person uses their knowledge of the topic (as long as the topic is explained in words that cause retrieval of this knowledge- a disabled person might not know the academic terms to describe their experiences even though they are expert on the actual experiences.) They would also use any familiarity with the typical format of calls for submissions, the writers of the call, the site the call is posted on, and whatever event (forum, conference, book, etc) the call is for.
Literacy, then, is political and cultural. The academic writer on any given topic is expected to speak the language of academia, to value the same ways of knowing and evaluating things that academics in that topic do, to argue in similar ways and for similar things that the dominant academics in that topic do. [And now I build my stuff on it] This is going to exclude writers who have been and continue to be marginailzed by academics and experts from writing about their reality in general, and the reality of their exclusion in particular. Bad, bad, bad. It also means that understanding an internet call for submissions will require both academic and internet literacies, both of which are based in certain cultural ways of doing things (which sometimes contradict, just to make it harder.)
Many interent resources require a high level of (culturally defined) literacy, including tutorials explaining how to make use of computers and the internet.
Content that addresses disabled people's needs is often lacking, both in terms of format (can we access the site?) and subject matter (are our needs and interests addressed by the site?)
Apparently European portals for disabled people exist! Rehab type programs, assistive tech, education, work adaptation, training, and legal stuff are all there. (I think culture, activism, calls for submissions about disability should all be around so that the portals encourage disabled people to be in discussions about disability. Not sure if those are there.)
This reminds me of the Chinese site that I check on occasion, it's got essays including a review of Design Meets Disability. Warschauer cites European Commissions e-Inclusion stuff from 2001.
Neumann, P. and C. Uhlenküken. 2001. Assistive Technology and the barrier-free city: A case study from Germany. Urban Studies: 38 (2): 367-376. Apparently mentions a database run by Muenster, Germany that has a database and interactive street map for mobility accessibility, including for services like transit, recreation, and medical stuff.
Reminds me a bit of the Ableride site, if that's what it's called? Reviews a la Yelp, but for access information.
Machine translation, already present and common online, is not yet of sufficient quality to reduce the utility of having a common langauge, and it may be a while until this happens. (But it's still a whole lot better than nothing, or than having your different langauge willfully misinterpreted!)
Jim Cummins (1984) draws a distinction between Basic Communication Interpersonal Skills and Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency. Since what I'm talking about is basically the idea that the first should be enough to talk/write about issues affecting your own life and be listened to, I think I need to at least look at his thing. Citation is:
Cummins, J. 1984.
Bilingualism and special education: Issues in assessment and pedagogy. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Related to this, I want to note that being able to explain the issues one faces does not imply being able to understand an academic call for submissions or being able to write the explanation in the same words an academic would use.
The creative writing on computers in Chinese thing looks interesting to me. He, K and J. Wu. 2001. Innovative research to achive the objectives of eight-year-old Chinese children's ability to read and write: The experiementation of integrating information technology into language literacy education. Unpublished manuscript, Beijing Normal University, China. (WHY MUST IT BE UNPUBLISHED I WANT TO READ IT.)
In some situations, the Internet's most important role may be to allow people simply to find each other.” (188.) Yes. This. Finding out that we're not alone, organizing, etc. Especially for marginalized minorities whose minority status is probably not heritable. He gives the example of gay people here, I mention disability. Sure, some disabilities are heritable, but not all. Not sure if it's even most.
People who aren't getting as much support for their illnesses (and presumably disabilities?) face to face tend to spend more time in online support areas. This is not even a little bit surprising.
Drawing a distinction between the institution of academia and the organization that is any given university, like Warschauer does, I note that these changes in individual practices I am suggesting both require and help bring about significant changes in the whole institution of academia: academia has been an exclusive and elite institution and I am suggesting it become inclusive and turn the current hierarchy of who is expert on the issues any given group faces upside down- the people who face them know most and should be most listened to.
Woo, time to go through the references to see if any paper/chapter titles look particularly interesting. I'm gonna be picky, though, cause most of the stuff I'm seeing is from 2001 and earlier, which for an internet thing is a bit out of date.
Blom, J.-P., and J. J. Gumperz. 1972. Social meaning in linguistic structures: Code-switching in Norway. In Directions in Sociolinguistics, ed. J. J. Gumperz and D. Hymes, 407-434. New York: Holt, Weinhart, and Winston.
Friere, P. 1994. Pedagogy of the oppressed. 3rd ed, New York: Continuum.

Stanley, L. 2001. Beyond access. Occasional Paper 2. San Diego, Calif: UCSD Civic Collaborative.

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