I have a minor disability related to spatial relationships, the way I perceive objects in my immediate atmosphere. I’m not comfortable driving with a stationary barrier on my left side, particularly if the road curves. As a result, I use the right-hand lane in tunnels and on divided highways. Flashing red lights at night give me the sensation of drifting backward. Furthermore, I rarely remember which switch in our bathroom turns on the fan, although our bedroom suite was remodeled twenty years ago. Needless to say, I have a terrible sense of direction--when walking or when driving--that continues to amaze my husband. My disability is not a weakness, simply part of who I am.
Thus, the Denvention3 Quick Reference Guide’s description of the “Heroes with Disabilities” panel disturbed me. The text appeared to equate disability with weakness. Fortunately, Ed Meskys and Lee Martindale were two of the panelists. Ed, an avid science fiction fan, has been blind since 1971. Author and bard Lee Martindale uses a wheelchair and resents the term, “wheelchair bound.” After all, her wheelchair has given her freedom.
Lee opened the panel discussion, stating that she found the panel description insulting. Most of those present in the room, including myself, agreed. Then Ed voiced his disapproval of “politically correct” terms for blindness. He wasn’t visually impaired, he was blind. A discussion of fictional heroes with disabilities followed. But Ed and Lee were the heroes of most interest to me.
Causes Laurel Hill Supports
Winter Nights Shelter and Shelter, Inc.