Janna and I are pleased to announce our latest book is now available for purchase from Amazon — American Sign Language Level 5: A Field Guide for Advanced Communication Techniques for People with Other Disabilities written by David Boles, M.F.A. and Janna Sweenie, M.A. — yes, it’s an eyeful of a title, but that sort of specificity is necessary for this sort sort of real life ASL field guide.
Helen Keller — a Deaf and Blind woman who became an author and an international SuperStar against the merits of her monumental disability — is one of the most magnificent examples of the human spirit in the history of America.
I have defended the spirit of Helen Keller on this blog, and while I am a tremendous fan of her incredible mind, I’m not terribly interested in her sex life as a lesbian or not, or as the secret, fateful, lover of her teacher, Anne Sullivan’s, husband, or her role as the concubine of a local cub reporter who wrote about her early life and made her a star.
What does concern, and interest me, is the lingering slandering of her as a young child in her effort to write, at 11-years-old, a story for publication called “The Frost King” — that was too closely associated with a previously published work entitled “The Frost Fairies” — that she was accused of plagiarism that haunted and stooped her for the rest of her life.
As the world condenses, and private purses close, and public wallets tighten — the first casualties in a rotting economy are the rights of the disabled — first ugly, then protected, the disabled are now back to being the first available for kicking to the curb teeth first. When five Blind students have to sue four California law schools in order to achieve equal protection for application for study, we know the end of the civilized world is nigh upon us.
We are often taught to give the disabled extra accommodation to help them better fit into the mainstream workplace. We are encouraged to be extra kind to the disabled because of their unfair and frail state of living. We are often surprised when we learn the disabled can be just as devious and evil as their able-bodied peers. David Paterson is the current, non-elected Governor of the State of New York — he came into power when Eliot Spitzer was ousted over a hooker scandal — and as a Black and Blind man, we put as much hope in David Paterson as we did Barack Obama to bring some safety and sanity back to governance.
One of the greatest warming trends technological advancements present to the world is helping the disabled lead a better and more productive life. Once the disabled have been served, then the average-bodied among us are able to reap the benefits of the advancements in favor of the human condition. First, we had Bluetooth breadcrumbs for the Blind; now we have a rhythmic touch screen with Braille bumps for the Blind.