You know it's not polite to call a man a cripple, but maybe it's okay if that's the word he uses to describe himself? The disabled are beginning to thumb their noses at stigma. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the new field of disability studies. Also, the life that Helen Keller abandoned to become an American icon.
Simi Linton is co-director of the Disability Studies Project at Hunter College, and author of "Claiming Disability: Knowledge and Identity." She tells Jim Fleming that disability studies is about challenging stereotypes and asserting the rights of disabled people. Also, Nancy Mairs lost the use of her arms and legs and calls herself a cripple. She tells Judith Strasser why she resists being lumped in with people who have other disabilities, and how she wants other people to treat her in her wheelchair. Her book is "Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled."SEGMENT 2:
Stephen Kuusisto is legally blind but hid the extent of his disability. Now, he's written a memoir, "Planet of the Blind." He tells Steve Paulson what he can and cannot see, how he fooled and manipulated people into taking him places, and why stereotypes about the blind still have the power to hurt.SEGMENT 3:
Dorothy Herrmann is the author of "Helen Keller: A Life." She tells Steve Paulson that Keller held radical social views and wanted a normal, married, family life. She planned to elope with her secretary but was stopped by her mother and ended up living as an icon and secular saint.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-10-18-C.
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