[games_access] disability or limitation?

D. Michelle Hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Tue Nov 3 18:41:51 EST 2009

Ooh...those are two hard words to see (first paragraph of message
below) even though I do understand the context from the point of view
of people trying to reclaim the terms. Those terms have so much
hatred in them that I can't even type them. Because of my country's
history (US), these terms are so loaded that you'll find a lot of us
here have trouble feeling like we should even spell them out.

As for color...This past year, the Black College Football Xperience
[spelled as is] came out for the Xbox 360 to a gaming audience that
did not understand that "black college" meant "historically black
colleges and universities" [HBCU]'s, which have a rich and vibrant
culture to those of us in the US that know about them. But outside
the Washington DC area and the Southeast, not many people realize
that the title is not "The Black" "College Football" but "The" "Black
College." Search on IGN or even Amazon.com for a view of the
controversy over that game, primarily stemming from those that do not
understand that it's a university system. The closest comparison I
can think of is the Ivy Leagues. But if someone came out with "the
ivy league college" game it would be more recognizable by more. When
I first heard of it, I knew what the game represented because I grew
up in a state with several HBCU's . But, again, context IS
everything! The gaming forums took a very unfortunate road, IMHO...we
may have a black president but the scars of racism have far from healed.

Race descriptors are hard, no doubt. And African-American is not a
term that makes any sense in the UK, for example, unless you are
talking about a person with descendants from Africa who is or was
American (and then there's the "does 'american' mean US or anyone
from North, Central, or South America question). And, yes, color
isn't very accurate when we get down to the color wheel, although my
skin is so pale that it's practically clear and I'm not sure there's
a color for that (perhaps it defies color descriptors). ;)

Anyway, off topic but I felt it was important to mention how loaded
these terms can get to put them into context for those outside the US.


On Nov 3, 2009, at 3:20 PM, Barrie Ellis wrote:

> I know in the UK some disabled-rights activists use cripple much as

> some black people use the word nigger, in a way that reclaims it

> from people who would use it as term of abuse. See the BBC's Ouch

> pages to see a bit of that.


> Personally, I don't think "black" or "white" used to describe a

> person's appearance is accurate. I've never met anyone with a skin

> tone that wouldn't sit somewhere between very dark brown and very

> pale pink on a colour chart. But... I do want to respect a person's

> individual wishes and also try to recognise the cultural meaning

> behind a name.


> Re. Handicapped - again I speak from a UK perspective, but here

> some believe the origins of the word link to "cap in hand" begging,

> which many disabled people were forced to do in the 19th century

> and before. There seems to be evidence against this, but I've met

> many who hold this belief. It's also quite an old term over here,

> that has a lot of negative baggage wrongly or rightly.


> I like and respect Steve's view. I like also the view that a person

> is disabled by their environment where it prevents them from doing

> what they want to do. If they had the right access then they would

> no longer be disabled. This is idealistic - but isn't that what

> we're all about here?


> Barrie






> From: Javier Mairena

> Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 8:36 PM

> To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List

> Subject: Re: [games_access] disability or limitation?


> The tow traditional words in spanish are "discapacitado" that means

> literally: "non capacited". And "minusválido" that means literally

> "less valid".


> Maybe these words sound worse in spanish that "disabled" people in

> english.


> There is a full article in spanish about the "functional diversity"

> but is all in spansish here: http://www.forovidaindependiente.org/

> files/documentos/pdf/diversidad_funcional.pdf


> I can translate some words:


> none of the terms currently used is positive, or neutral. The

> functional diversity has nothing to do with the illness,

> disability, paralysis, retardation, etc.. All this terminology is

> derived from the traditional view of the medical model of

> functional diversity, which presents a different person as a person

> biologically imperfect to be rehabilitated and "fix"; to restore

> some theoretical patterns of "normal"; than ever have existed.


> Women and men with functional diversity are related companies,

> being inherently imperfect, have established a model of perfection

> to which any particular member of them has access, and defining how

> to be physical, sensory or psychological and rules of social

> functioning. This model is related to ideas of perfection and

> normality established by a large sector that has power and the

> concept of purely quantitative majorities.


> The term "functional diversity"; conforms to a reality in which a

> person works differently or different from most of society.



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