The materials below are from Melanie’s 2014 presentation. Please visit Melanie’s website for her current work.
Disability activists take note: The hackathon is the new telethon.
Revulsion is not a traditionally favored rhetorical pastime. But if disability historians were to agree on anything, it would likely involve the word reviled modifying the word telethon. The disability telethon signals some of the most damaging of disability myths and figures. Enter the poster child, pitiable and helpless. Enter the celebrity spokesperson, saving the day. Enter cost-burden analyses. Enter pithy quips about the meaning of life and humanity (of which disability and disabled people do not take part). Enter the sad music. Enter the cure, the elusive cure, please fund the cure. Did we mention the cure?