Disability activism is based around the Social model of disability in which disability is analysed as a function of society being arranged so that certain mental or physical characteristics or impairments mean that an individual with them is less able to participate fully in society, ie is disabled. This is as opposed to other models in which those characteristics are viewed as inherently flawed or disabling, to be hidden, cured or pitied.
While the virtual nature of some geek communities means they can be less disabling than mainstream society for some people, geek communities are not therefore free of enacting the ableism of society at large or their own specific variants thereof. Disability is a topic that often comes up alongside the issue of women in geek communities. Geek communities often have few people with disabilities, and there are many ableist incidents just as there are sexist incidents. When people fall into two minority groups within the geek community -- eg. both disability and gender -- we start to also see issues of intersectionality, where the experience of being a disabled woman is different from that of being a member of just one group.
Further reading Edit
- The Disability Blog Carnivals
- FWD (feminists with disabilities) for a way forward
- Anna (Trouble) at Dreamwidth
- RB at Dreamwidth and Not Done Living also runs ATMac - assistive technology for Mac users.
- Hoyden About Town's disability politics posts