Tag Archives: Blind

Statistics and Responsibilities

Hollywood (and its TV equivalents) are often condemned for failing to provide opportunities for members of minority groups. These days, racial and gender minorities are starting to make headway, but the disabled community is still far behind. Sebastian’s and my current crime-drama-of-choice is Lie To Me. In the third season, Shoshannah Stern – an actress who was born deaf – plays a deaf character. She’s a minor character, but it’s reminded me that while the industry isn’t innocent, some of the fault lies with the writers.

How many disabled characters do you find written into the great novels of our time? How many deaf or blind or wheelchair-bound heroes and heroines can you name? For me the answer is not many, and they don’t appear much in my own writing either.

Is this because of some subconscious prejudice? Or because I don’t know many disabled people to bring these characters to the forefront of my mind? Possibly, but I think there is also an element of fear (or, if you prefer, laziness – I’m not good at researching before I write). Last week I mentioned the challenges of writing a character of a different gender, but gender lines are blurry and for the most part the gender of a character has very little effect on their everyday life. A severe disability affects everything. I’m not talking about pity here, I’m talking about practicalities. I have no idea how (as in literally, not emotionally) disabled people do many of the things they not only do, but take for granted. And until I learn that, I don’t think I could write a disabled character with integrity.

But if most writers feel that way, and most writers are able-bodied, we can’t blame Hollywood for not offering decent roles – we’re not offering them to Hollywood either.


Filed under Writing

Friday Fiction #2

It turns out I got muddled about the different between pages and posts. hh, the joys of learning to blog. So anyway, my friday fiction posts will in future appear here, along with all my other musings. I hope you enjoy them and, as ever, please feel free to leave comments (good or bad).

This week’s inspiration, as ever from madisonwoods.wordpress.com was this picture:


“I’m here to enrol my daughter into your class. I hope it’s OK, she’s got her own horse. They are inseparable.” Mrs Dray laid her purse on the desk.

“We do normally provide the horses here.”

“I know, but they’ve been riding together since she was a little girl. You see, Ginger is blind. Josie is her eyes.”

“Wow. A lot of people wouldn’t have bothered. It’s hard enough to take care of a horse as it is. A lot of people would have had Ginger put to sleep.”

“Ginger is my daughter.  Would they still put her to sleep?”


Filed under Writing