Curiosity & the Blind Photographer: Introduction

I promised myself that I wouldn’t propose or accept any speaking gigs this spring. I want to plant a tree nursery on my son’s new farm, and I need to rejuvenate my own rose garden lest any more of the old-fashioned roses slip back into the neglect of history.

So much for resolve. I couldn’t resist the proposal deadline for the Multiple Perspectives conference at OSU, a congenial venue among friends where I can walk in and speak extemporaneously about “stuff” — a.k.a. the social phenomenology of disability. It gives me a way to workshop ideas in an oral tradition of my own making, and eventually talk turns into written essays. I thought I could honor my promise, do the spring planting, and work up some new ideas by recycling last April’s talk at MiT5. Then it was titled Re-Imagining Accessibility in Participatory Culture. Now the working title is “Curiosity & the Blind Photographer.”

I never sent a written version of the talk to the MiT5 organizers. They wanted it in a PDF format, which is anathema to blind computer users. Turning a talk into a PDF felt to me like crossing a picket line. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve since learned about a new generation of “tagged” PDF which is accessible to many screen readers. Once I acquire the means of material production, maybe I’ll turn the MiT5 talk into a tagged PDF. For now, I plan to publish it here over the next few days in a format accessible to me. It will serve as a baseline for drafting the talk’s next iteration. I welcome your comments and invite you to participate in the process. Then maybe you can help plant some trees.

MiT5 logoCuriosity & the Blind Photographer: Introduction | 1. Paul Strand | 2. David Seymour | 3. Henry Butler | Follow the blog thread

This talk was presented first at MiT5 in April 2007. Then it was titled Re-Imagining Accessibility in Participatory Culture. Now the working title is “Curiosity & the Blind Photographer.” It will be presented next at the Multiple Perspectives Conference at OSU on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. If you’re in Columbus then, please come to listen and join the discussion.

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