Friday, December 30, 2016

Writing Disabilities

Today I am talking about how to write disabilities. I am obviously no expert, but I think some of these things could help other authors with writing. (Published or unpublished)

I have two disabilities I have written before (unpublished/fanfiction) and I think there is always something to be learned about writing it.

1. Blindness.
You need to be very careful with how you depict any person with a disability. It can become very easy to offend people by acting like they are unable to do things. (Driving is a given but even some legally blind people can, technically, drive.)
The first thing you need to do is get educated on the subject. If you aren't informed you will come off the wrong way.
The second thing you should do is get to know the people. Go out of your way to meet blind people. Be transparent about what you're doing. Being honest is the best way to go.
The third thing you should do is read literature (fiction) that focuses on blindness. It will give you a general idea on how to write it.

2. Deafness
Again, you need to be extremely careful with how you depict any group of people. This applies for deafness as well.
The first thing you need to do with this is take some ASL courses and/or a Deaf culture class. This will help you become mildly educated on the subject. I would also suggest reading a variety of books on the subject.
One such book is called: Inside Deaf Culture. This particular book brings you back to the eighteen hundreds and earlier (if I remember right) and details Deaf culture from that point forward. I am currently a little more than halfway through it.
The second thing you should do is go meet some Deaf people. Take an Interpreter with you if you know you won't be able to understand. Be transparent about what you are doing, they will appreciate your honesty.
And the third thing is read literature that focuses on it. I haven't read much literature with Deaf people in it, unfortunately, but there is a Manga called A Silent Voice and is an excellent manga. I am very picky about what type of Manga I will read but that particular one is and always will be one of my favorites. I have read the first three and will soon have more on hold at my Library.

Thanks for reading. This just scratches the tip of the iceberg but I hope it can be of some help.


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