One of the country’s popular online hangouts has turned over part of its work to documenting life on the disabled margins.
Although the Public Address site is best known for the prolific musings of founder Russell Brown, it has always been the work of several contributors writing on a variety of broad themes—life in the south, bisexuality in the city, political humour, and so forth.
Until now, though, disability hasn’t had a dedicated presence on the site. Although it does crop up a lot on account of Brown’s own circumstance—both his sons are autistic.
That’s changed now with the introduction of Access. It’s a slightly clunky title, that, but still. And the first few installments of it read very well. The initiative should be of interest to many caregivers.
I enjoyed, for example, Jonathan Mosen’s on blindness, starting with the fact that he prefers that word to the more soothing verbal ointments you hear nowadays:
I was born blind. Yes, blind. I’m not visually impaired, and I’m certainly not visually challenged. I’m comfortable in my own skin. My blindness hasn’t stopped me from doing anything of significance that I’ve wanted to do, other than perhaps drive a car, and even that won’t be impossible forever.
Good for him.
And good for Hilary Stace, whose own contribution brings in childhood ailments, the Jewish diaspora, intellectual disabilities, ECT, the ludicrous Mazengarb inquiry of the 1950s and, kindly, one of my books—and makes it all perfectly coherent.
David Cohen is a Wellington author and journalist who writes frequently about disability-related issues.