Deafblindness in the New Yorker

I have been interviewed by several media outlets about Deafblindness and the Coronavirus in the last few weeks, and I am quoted a few times in this one from the New Yorker.

Who is “Worthy”? DeafBlind People Feel that Doctors Won’t Save them from the Coronavirus

I find myself wondering what the purpose and interest is in these articles. But I think it is like everything in our lives. People don’t realize Deafblind people exist. I can’t tell you how many times I tell people that I am Deafblind and that is why I need X accommodation and they are like… struck dead in their tracks in disbelief that people really exist in the world and have lives and jobs and kids, etc. while being Deafblind. So, hopefully these articles possibly make people stop and think about considering us in the decisions they make when they develop policies for this situation.

Also the most frightening aspect of this for all disabled people is this notion of eugenics oriented triage and the risk that we will not get access to the same health care as others. For Deafblind people, the problem of communicating in a health care setting where people may be unwilling to allow for interpreters, communication devices, touch-based communication and other methods leads to the fear that we will be cast aside and given no human consideration whatsoever. So hopefully these articles will allow for some creativity and imagination when it comes to our community and the realization (yes, I have to say this) that we are actually worthy of health care.

October Odds and Ends

October was an extremely busy month. I’m just finally catching my breath. We started with a teen retreat, then my twins met their biological father for the first time (he found us via DNA testing in May and we had corresponded since then. They have known many of their donor siblings for years, but meeting their “third dad” has been a bit of–a positive, but still–a whirlwind.) We had NFB convention presentations, other miscellaneous presentations, my family visits, Halloween events, I got a new Braille Display to get used to, My partner, Niklas Petersson, went to Qatar at the last minute for a week, I was sick with a respiratory infection for about three weeks, and now I want the most boring November ever.

But backtracking, I had a couple of published things I wanted to post here.

First, I did an interview with the disability activist and blogger Mariah Hudson Nichols. I am really enjoying her blog. Check out my interview and stick around for the rest of her blog.

Disabled Moms Interview Project: Lisa Ferris, Deafblind Mom

Second, I had a column published in the Rooted in Rights blog. I have worked with them before, but I learned a lesson here. I wrote this up several months ago and sent Emily Ladau a draft to see if she was interested in it at all. She said yes, and that she would like to print it in October for Disability Employment Month. …And then, I promptly forgot about it. I had meant to go through an editing process with her and shape it up a little, but lo-and-behold, one day it was published as is. I learned in my freelance career that maybe it is best to NOT turn in an article before being pretty sure that it is edited to my satisfaction. That is my mistake, and the typos are mine.

“Essential Functions” on Job Postings Creates Barriers for Employees and Employers Alike

Third, Nik had a story in Al Jazeera about his trip to Qatar where he demo-ed educational equipment at the Qitcom convention. The story is in Arabic, but I will try to put a link of it through google translate for you (which makes it sound odd, but better than nothing if like me, your Arabic isn’t up to snuff.) I hope to write about his trip (kind of from his point of view, since he is not a writer) soon. It was fascinating even from my perspective as a bystander.

Nik’s Al Jazeera Article (Arabic)

Nik’s Al Jazeera Article (Google Translate URL)

Here is to a nice and slow, uneventful next few weeks!