Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-30

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-23

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-23

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The Social Internet as Social Assistive Device

The social web offers a means of engagement that trascends the technology and transforms lives.

Strangely or not, I tend not to see myself as disabled. Maybe that’s why I tend to focus on sharing more about what I’m doing than who I am or what I think about disability specific things – whatever those are.

It’s possibly also why when I refer to people with a disability I use the term people ‘living’ with disability. After all, tha’s what I’m doing. It’s also the focus I put on the possibilities technology can and does offer to enrich that ‘living’.

Besides which, I’m just a practical sort of guy.

I’m not the best at conveying what I feel either about what runs deep and not most elequant expressing what I really believe.

Sure I’ve had my lucid moments on issues I’m passionate about, which you’ll find within the years of posting here, and on my other blog – like Social IsolationCo-presence and Barriers. Generally though words get in my way. Thankfully others don’t have the same problem.

Just recently I came across a post by Lauredhel titled “On ambient intimacy and assistive devices” that had me saying “yes, yes, yes; that’s what I wanted to say to so many people so many times”.

In part she writes about being social …

The internet is the virtual watercooler (or coffeehouse, or playgroup, or pub) for people like me, isolated due to disability. And I’m fed up with able-bodied folk slamming electronic community as a meaningless half-life. I’m sick of internet use being constructed as a signifier of a person as a pathetic loser worthy of mockery. And I’m over ignorant pundits reviling the rise in electronic community as The End of the World as We Know It, a one-way highway to the inevitable disengaged, apolitical fragmentation of society.

And in an analogy to be physical assistive devices… ”

People who use wheelchairs, for example, use wheelchairs. They get around in them. Wheelchairs are useful, value-neutral objects. People are not “bound” to them; they’re not “condemned” to life in a wheelchair. The use of a wheelchair doesn’t mark a person as either a sinister or pitiable caricature. And above all, people are not synonymous with their wheelchairs. They’re people who use a mobility device, a tool. (emphasis mine)

The internet may be many things, but it is also my social assistive device. And that’s not tragic, or threatening, or worthy of scorn. It just is.”

Do yourself a favour and read the whole thing on her blog “Hoyden About Town

Thanks Lauredhel. This so underlines why I have felt strongly for nearly 30 years about technology as a tool in general, why I think the connection and openness that a social web enables is important and points to why I keep persisting with the idea that is Lifekludger.


Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-16

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National Disability Strategy report – Shut out and Shut up

The report from the National Disability Strategy Community consultations and submissions held in late 2008 is now out.  

SHUT OUT: The Experience of People with Disabilities and their Families in Australia goes some way to divulging what people living with disability experience as their ‘life’ of existence in the wider Australian community.

I’m going to outline and quote some bits that stick out as I read through the report. This is good stuff as it’s real stuff from real people. It’ll be interesting to see what comes from it – though I expect the usual response – tokenism. 


The report in HTML on FaHCSIA site:  

Alternative Format
Until the concept of disability disappears and is replaced by a society that is structured to support everyone’s life relatedness and contribution—until that day my life and opportunities and the lives of every other person who carries the label ‘disabled’ depends on the goodwill of people in the human service system.Goodwill is no substitute for freedom.

  • Australians with disabilities are now largely free to live in the community. 
  • Once shut in, many people with disabilities now find themselves shut out.
  • People with disabilities may be present in our community, but too few are actually part of it. 
  • Many live desperate and lonely lives of exclusion and isolation. 
  • The institutions that once housed them may be closed, but the inequity remains. 
  • Where once they were physically segregated, many Australians with disabilities now find themselves socially, culturally and politically isolated. 
  • They are ignored, invisible and silent. 
  • They struggle to be noticed, they struggle to be seen, they struggle to have their voices heard.

…a clear picture emerged from the consultations and submissions. 
  • People with disabilities may be present in the community but most do not enjoy full participation in it. 
  • Discrimination and exclusion are frustrating features of daily life. 
  • People in wheelchairs cannot access the public facilities taken for granted by others in the community, such as playgrounds, swimming pools, cinemas, restaurants, hotels and cafes. 
  • Children with disabilities find themselves excluded from local kindergartens and schools. 
  • Qualified and competent candidates for jobs are rejected because of their disability. 
  • People with mobility aids have difficulty regularly accessing public transport. 
  • People with various disabilities are unable to access the aids, equipment and technology essential to their daily functioning, and are unable to access the support required to get them out of bed in the morning.
The general public believes much has changed in the past 30 years. And it is true that important gains have been made. But the prosperity of recent times has not been shared equally. People with disabilities feel forgotten. The tales told in the submissions are heart-wrenching and distressing. Page after page tells of suffering and despair. There is also enormous frustration and anger at a lack of progress after so long.

Many people described their lives as a constant struggle—for support, for resources, for basic necessities, for recognition. Over and over participants made the comment that it should not require such extraordinary effort to live an ordinary life.


Virtually every Australian with a disability encounters human rights violations at some point in their lives and very many experience it every day of their lives.

In this day and age, imagine if a person was told that they could only go to ten cinemas in Australia and to one of three sessions a week because of their gender, cultural background or religious beliefs.”

The invisibility of people with disabilities and the dearth of independent advocacy and leadership opportunities also means too few people with disabilities have meaningful opportunities to contribute to the process of political and policy change.

More than half of the submissions received during the consultation process (56 per cent) said that services and programs act as a barrier to rather than a facilitator of their participation.

Executive Summary Conclusion:

The closure of institutions and the promise of community inclusion was one of the great social policy changes of the 20th century. But the social and economic segregation that has followed is harder to dismantle. Closing doors is one thing. Making fundamental changes to our policies and programs, and changing the way we think, is another. But as the participants in this consultation told us, they can no longer accept anything less.

People with disabilities want to bring about a transformation of their lives. They want their human rights recognised and realised. They want the things that everyone else in the community takes for granted. They want somewhere to live, a job, better health care, a good education, a chance to enjoy the company of friends and family, to go to the footy and to go to the movies. They want the chance to participate meaningfully in the life of the community. And they are hopeful. They desire change and they want others in the community to share their vision. They recognise that governments cannot work in isolation and they want others to see the benefits of building more inclusive communities.

For years people with disabilities have been excluded, forgotten and ignored. Now they demand to have their voices heard. As one respondent noted, admitting failure is the first step in fixing things. This report details the way things are broken. Now begins the long process of repair.



em v p

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-09

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Using Posterous as a feeder

I'm trying to setup Posterous as a central place that will handle posting of stuff to my various sites. This is kind of a test.

The idea is to have one place to manage it all and have a central place to post to and have that feed into whichever service I wish. This is all done via email too which simplifies things, and google mail and posterous seem to handle preserving the layout well too.

It's easy with a single blog and single account on different services, but I have multiple blogs and on some services, more than one account – eg: flickr I have multiple accts.

I'm setting both my blogs up and using the feature that routes different posts to different services based on url and a # tag passed in the email address (see below).

So, this is being emailed to which should post a copy to my personal blog at

You control where we post.
Just email the right address and we'll do the right thing.

Post Everywhere? as usual
Any other blog?
Posterous only?
Combine them!

You can also address an email to #{text} and it will post to any site where the url contains that text. will go to and, but NOT


em v p

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-02

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