Kaite O’Reilly writes “In praise of theatre and collaboration”

Here is a moving post from Kaiteoreilly. In dark times such as ours, the arts, services to marginalized folks, and basic human kindness often go out the proverbial window. Yet, somehow we keep making art. Maybe this has something to do with the needs of the soul.

In praise of theatre and collaboration

Making theatre can be life affirming, Sometimes when I collaborate with others, I realise how remarkable humans can be. At the great risk of sounding like some evangelising naïf who has just undergone a religious conversion, or taken too much MDMA, I have to say working with Gaitkrash, The Llanarth Group and Theatre P’Yut has been one of the most rich, harmonious and satisfying experiences of my working life

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New-scooterAbout three weeks ago my new scooter came. This marks yet another transition. Like most Polio’s, I gather, I was reluctant to begin using a scooter. Finally, after several years of coaxing from the Polio Clinic, I took the proverbial plunge. Continue reading

Repost: New Paddle Design Opens Kayaking to Seniors and People with Disabilities


Here’s an intriguing post!
New Paddle Design Opens Kayaking to Seniors and People with Disabilities
Author: Angle Oar
Published: May 18, 2014 (Revised: May 18, 2014)
Author Contact Information: www.angleoar.com
Abstract: The paddle will open up kayaking to people with disabilities, senior citizens, amputees, anglers, children and novice kayakers who want to enjoy the sport without the physical exertion it normally entails.

“The Angle Oar, which has design elements of both a paddle and an oar, rests upon a centrally mounted post that sits on the floor of the kayak and absorbs the weight of the paddle.”

Detail: Until now, in order to kayak, a person had to have two fully functioning arms, strong back and core muscles, an absence of shoulder injuries, and cardiovascular endurance. Those preconditions have now been eliminated thanks to the introduction of a new “weightless” kayak paddle, called the Angle Oar.

Angle Oar, LLC, based in San Luis Obispo, CA, will soon begin offering a newly patented kayak paddle to marketplace. The paddle will open up kayaking to millions of new enthusiasts of varying ages and abilities, including people with physical disabilities, senior citizens, one arm amputees, kayak anglers, children and novice kayakers who want to enjoy the sport without the physical exertion it normally entails. “The Angle Oar is not intended to replace, improve upon or mimic a traditional kayak paddle. The stroke patterns and maneuverability are very different. Instead, it gives people who would never have been able to kayak, due to strength limitations or health conditions, the opportunity to do so,” said Meg McCall, president of Angle Oar.

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They Called Me Number one

Over the years I have worked with many adults who as children lived at St. Joseph’s Orphanage here in Burlington. In the following video Chief Bev Sellars speaks about her new book, and life in a residential school that carried the same name. Sadly the stories she tells are very like the stories from our local orphanage.


Reblog from Spiritbath

I have been attending professional conferences the past few days and will have thoughts to share soon. In the meanwhile, here is a remarkably moving video by Spiritbath., who asks, “Does the sheer beauty of our earth ever overwhelm you sometimes? Yeah, that just happened to me.”

AWAKENING | NEW ZEALAND 4K from Martin Heck | Timestorm Films on Vimeo.

Guest Blogger: Naomi Baltuck

I am honored to introduce our guest blogger, Naomi Baltuck. She is a world-traveler and an award-winning writer, photographer, and a marvelous story-teller whose works of fiction and nonfiction are available through Amazon HERE. Naomi presents her wonderful photo-stories – always interesting and rich with meaning and humor – at Writing Between the Lines, Life from the Writer’s POV. She also conducts workshops such as Peace Porridge (multicultural stories to promote cooperation, goodwill, and peaceful coexistence), Whispers in the Graveyard (a spellbinding array of haunting and mysterious stories), Tandem Tales, Traveling Light Around the World, and others. For more on her programs visit Naomi Baltuck.com.


A Gift to be Shared…
by Naomi Baltuck, © 2002

For every story that a storyteller gives voice to, be it folktale, literary, or historical, there is an untold story running just beneath the surface.
My mother, Aunt Loena, and Grandma Rhea would sit at the kitchen table and drink coffee, telling stories of our family hardships, courtships, scandals, jokes, and joys. They were passing down our history. Their stories were chosen carefully, I realize now, to impart values, wisdom, and warnings. Of a cousin who never married because of her dictatorial mother, my own mother began, “You can get too tangled up in an apron string…” Mom concluded another story, “You’ll find you have something in common with everyone you meet, even if it’s only that your feet hurt.” Continue reading

Disability Stories: Resistance, Resilience, and Community

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2014

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day! As always, a huge thank you to The Goldfish and Stephen who organize this yearly event!

Disablism is an academic Gimp term covering all concepts, ideologies, and practices of discrimination against people of Disability. It reflects the painfully common belief that the abled body should be the model for what is normal, and the many narratives and practices that seek to assure the abilist model remains dominant. Its companion, the able-bodied gaze, is a stealthy and powerful ally in the effort to marginalize persons who happen to be differently bodied and abled. Continue reading


Spring-FloodSpring has arrived. Well, sort of. The weather continues chilly and damp, and decidedly gray.

This morning we listened, as we usually do, to Harmonia via our local Public Radio station. Today’s program explored the music of composers killed or affected by the Plague.

This set me to thinking about Polio. Polio was a plague – or rather remains a plague, as it is making a comeback. For those of you who came of age after the mid-fifties, missing the plague years, it may come as a surprise to learn that Polio terrified North Americans for decades. Continue reading

Kaite O’Reilly on Disability

Fog-BuddhaThis blog post and accompanying video is marvelous. Kaite O’Reilly is a playwrite, author, and dramaturg. She is also disabled. In this video she discusses many of the core issues facing disabled persons in general, and particularly in the arts. Her discussions of Normative culture and the disability civil rights movement in the UK, and her critique of the Normative gaze in arts theory and criticism are peerless. As an artist who identifies as disabled, and whose work reflects disability experience, I was moved deeply.

Kaite writes:

Framing the atypical body.

Last year I was at Tanzkongress in Dusseldorf, giving a paper entitled ‘Border Control: Framing the atypical body.’ It was largely in response to Jerome Bel’s ‘Disabled Theater’, which I had seen at HAU in Berlin in 2012, and which angered me owing to its manipulation and framing of the actors with intellectual impairments who perform in this piece.

As someone who identifies as disabled and as a disability artist, I was frustrated by what I perceived as the lens of ‘normalcy’ through which we were invited to view the atypical body in this, and other so-called experimental or radical pieces. This talk was my response to that….

Read more and find link to her video.