Category Archives: Disability

Point taken

Today not only marks a year since I’ve posted on my blog, but much more significantly, today is the twenty-second anniversary of my accident. Happy another Bump Day!

Well, it’s been another rough year. Last Bump Day I revised my post from two years about my health condition as a result of my seating situation, but mere days following said revision, shit got even more real. Last August I unsuccessfully tried to pass a bunch of kidney stones, requiring a trip to the Emergency Room to resolve. I’ll keep all the gory details to myself, but by mid-September I had two more trips to the ER. The last one requiring an emergency surgery to remove stones from the end of the inside my penis – or urethra, if I must.

Further investigation revealed my kidney’s were full of stones (which explains a lot). I’d require a bunch of surgeries over what is soon to be a year to address them problem. Following one surgery in October, another one in November, and a big one in April of this year, with the last pieces of my recovery falling into place not forty-eight hours ago, if I may be so bold, I’m back!

I’m dealing with it

That’s right, it seems I have myself a neurogenic bladder as a result of my accident. I still have a lot to ask my urologist and understand about this diagnosis, but it’s not entirely all that surprising, especially considering I’ve been living with progressively worsening urinary symptoms for over twenty years. But things being what they are, and were over the last year especially, honestly, I’m not really any worse for wear. While I still have some more surgeries – one more for stones and another one for an unrelated cyst, by my hopes – point is, I’m dealing with it.

I’m that much more convinced my continued existence is a fucking testament to human adaptability, but again, there are limits. My stones painfully representing the latest instance of this point. No matter how in the nuts it feels this time, this is as close to my nuts as I care to get.

Point taken.

Uber must earn trust from all their customers

I was asked for my thoughts surrounding the implications of “sharing” services, like that of Uber, on people with disabilities at a workshop held at the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) today. And since I was unable to attend in person, I was kindly given the opportunity to have my written words represent my interests instead. What follows are those words…

In all honesty, my initial approach toward these thoughts consisted of little more than what I’ve heard/ read about Uber from various sources, namely from the news media. And I’ll admit, that was unfair. But also consider one “source,” a Blind colleague, who was denied service because she was accompanied by a service animal, and charged a cancellation fee on top of everything, was what I drew my impressions from most!

And this wasn’t an isolated incident, for her I mean. It’s happened to her before at least one time previous (turns out it has happened fourteen or fifteen other times). And what happened after – I have no idea what amends, if any, were offered – is of little consequence; it happened. What I’m driving at here is Uber has a public perception problem as a result. However, that’s a separate issue – one potentially solved with training.

But what concerns me more about Uber’s intention to provide its customers an accessible service is what this effort will result in when it comes to Uber’s reliability. Read “Uber must earn trust from all their customers” in its entirety

Stranded between empathy and penalty

The idea of penalty doesn’t belong to the law exclusively. It’s a penalty when a person can’t use technology they need.

Hello! My name is Johnny Taylor. I’m a disabled web worker. And it’s my job to keep web accessibility non-elite! But first, I should paint you a picture concerning me and the reason I’m speaking to you, here, at the fifth iteration of Accessibility Camp Toronto today.

Way back, in the summer of nineteen ninety-six, when I was all of twenty-one years old, I was involved in a very serious motor vehicle accident, which left me in a coma for two months (or there about). And that, getting straight to the point, is my personal motivation for practicing inclusive design. Read “Stranded between empathy and penalty” in its entirety

With all due respect

Yesterday I had an interaction I seem to have much too often to pass on not writing about any longer. You know, when a certain brand of folk who are convinced they know what I need and want more than I do. Almost like I cannot possess the capacity to help myself? The notion that I don’t, for whatever reason, have my best interests at heart is completely lost on these types.

But yesterday was a bit different than the many other times this sort of bullshit has happened, and I want to be careful. What happened strays heavily into the territory of faith and God. But I’d rather avoid conflating what happened with my thoughts toward either. Those who know me, know what I think on the matter. Those who don’t, just trust me, it’s not relevant to this conversation.

The interaction started when a curious party started asking a friend who I was talking with rather probing questions about me and my disability. Now said party isn’t a stranger to me, by any means. However, this person has never thought too far past themselves to engage me on matters pertaining to me. Especially considering the fact this person felt the need to go around me to get what they wanted — information. Even if it meant not treating me like a thinking, feeling human being. It’d seem little else mattered. Read “With all due respect” in its entirety

Point is assumption hurts

Today, Wednesday may 9th, marks the very first Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). I encourage you to take a few minutes to experience another perspective towards web accessibility first hand by going pointing-deviceless (whether you use a mouse, trackpad or rollerball, use the keyboard) or using a screen reader to navigate your computer, for even five minutes, at some point today. Every little bit helps.

But in combing through various articles and Twitter links this morning I stumbled across a post written by Derek Featherstone, titled Awareness, that immediately had me contemplating both my Grandparent’s struggles. To be fair, I’m not sure they saw their disabilities as anything they “struggled” with, as it was just something they had to deal with to successfully live a life. But for the purposes of this post and what GAAD actually represents it’s nearly impossible, for me at least, to fathom their lives as anything but a “struggle.”

When both my Grandparents were young — my Grandfather was 3 when he was struck by a motorcycle and contracted Red Measles while in the “Fever Hospital” and my Grandmother was 7 when she was afflicted with Meningitis — they were each left their “disability’s.” But in spite of such matters they lived out their childhoods and met each other at a social club organized by/ for the Hearing Impaired in Dundee Scotland as young adults. They were married in 1948, had two children by 1955, then immigrated to Canada in 1957. Read “Point is assumption hurts” in its entirety