Monday, September 21, 2009

Disability is in the eye of the beholder

Ira Socol wrote a thought provoking post on his blog about disability. I replied, "Interesting. I am disabled when I walk in RL on this globe, but not when I walk, skip, run, dance in SL. I am disabled when I speak offline, but not in written text on a phone or computer. My handwriting in this plane of existence is difficult to produce and read, but my composition is much better. So I am disabled with the world with which I intersect. Such an interesting thought! Thank you!!"

If disability is transactional, then other things could be too. CCK0809 reinforces the idea that learning is social. George Siemens has said that there is learning in connecting. This is transactional learning. How interesting that learning to be disabled has to do with how we connect with others. It is through these connections that others find us unable. We (the disabled) are classified by how we connect. We learn by how we connect.
Many have heard me remark that I enjoy surfing streams of learning. What I mean by that is I enjoy being able to connect with others, to transact with them, to learn in a crowd. I actively seek out live streams, archives, peer-reviewed journal articles, those who wiser than I. I absorb, question, comment, cajole - I connect the dots and hence through these transactions with others I learn.
Technology is just a tool that helps me do so more efficiently. If I tried to do 1/10 of what I accomplish without the use of a computer, it would be laughable! I am disabled with the world with which I intersect. But I am able with online environments and contacts with whom I transact.
Photo courtesy of mikep covered under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/22987087@N00/32078113

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