‘Being Disabled is Fun’

‘Being disabled is fun’ explores language use and truth construction, and how disabled people are powerful actors in the reworking of everyday realities. Drawing on the words of Steven Cole (1963 – 2016), a learning disability day service survivor, this piece uses speech synthesis to present a series of alternative ‘world’ truths. In 2005 Steven started using JAWS (Job Access With Speech – a computer screen reader program that allows users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a refreshable braille display). Steven wrote extensively about his life growing up in the east end of London, medicine and surgery, family relationships, day services and attitudes to disabled people. Within these are also a range alternative ‘world’ truths presented, that reverse and rework aspects of our everyday realities, including many of the labels given to him. Steven particularly enjoyed creating text to speech synthesised soundscapes by varying the computerised voices, text formations and layout in a word processor. This would produce both alternative accounts of everyday life and unique word and speech sounds which this piece has attempted to reflect. Length -3m15s, Created – 2016.

Published by SLH