AuthorTube is a small section of YouTube, where writers can get together to network and grow their community. Every YouTuber uses their platform to offer different resources for writing editing, marketing tips and advice. Timed writing sprints are a common service offered throughout the writing community, but in June, a new opportunity presented itself to use AuthorTube to discuss diversity in writing.
I was invited onto Kashay Warren’s channel to discuss diversity in writing focusing on how disabilities are represented in writing. We had three other guests aside from me, where I discussed being a blind and visually impaired author, Catalleya Storm, who discussed being an author who is deaf and hard of hearing,
Dana Gaulin, who is a caretaker for a child affected by autism, and Kashay herself, who discussed dealing with multiple issues Partial Complex Epilepsy, which causes seizers, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD) and panic attacks.
The Disability Panel is still available to watch on Kashay’s channel , I enjoyed how we were all able to pull from our experiences of dealing with these different disabilities and educate one another. In literature, sometimes a character can be shown having a disability where it limits their capabilities. We feel sorry for the character and are shown the author crating a cure to fix their disability.
The mindset of having to fix a character is enraging for someone that must live with a disability. Due to my disability, it forces me to be adaptable, resilient, and able to build relationships based on character and not on physical appearance. In fantasy, I have learned that authors like to use their magic system to cure a character’s disability and this isn’t realistic. The author should draw inspiration from how the character adapts to the world around them and use this as their strengths.
Disability Panel Follow-Up I am excited to announce that we will be offering a second opportunity to discuss disabilities in literature. On Friday, August 28, 2020 at 12:30 P.M Eastern, I will be hosting the discussion on my channel Divided By Sight. I am hoping that the discussion leads to educating the YouTube community on diverse types of disabilities and a more encouraging way of including it in their writing.
I will be joining Kashay in her August writing challenge. For the month of August, we’re tasked with authoring a story and including a main character with a disability. I am going to use this opportunity to include a character that is blind. I haven’t had the courage to draw from my own experiences of growing up being visually impaired, but I think this is a marvelous push to start.
Burned it! Emberly