Ada Lovelace Day 2009 – who should we write about?

I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same.

Suw Charman-Anderson

And Ada Lovelace Day was born. (More about what we expect from you, dear reader, but first, a little background.)

Suw Charman-Anderson set up a pledge site to find those one thousand other people. She described the purpose of the day as follows:

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women's contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements.

To refresh your memory about Ada Lovelace or to learn about her for the first time, start with a visit to her page on Wikipedia (hint: she is consider the first programmer).

The Ada Lovelace blog mentions an interesting article "Women need female role models" about how women need to see more female role models than men need at see mail role models. Many of these stories are not being told, but now we have a chance!

When Suw Charman-Anderson launched this pledge, she hoped to get 1000 participants by March 24th, the day chosen for Ada Lovelace Day, which, by the way, was just a day that was clear on her calendar, having missed other relevant dates related to Lovelace! She managed the task in only 7 days, not 77 days. Pledging is still open and will remain open until March 24th.

If you would like to participate, go to the registration site for Ada Lovelace Day and register. Participate and pledge to publish a post on Tuesday, March 24, 2009. Remember that many blog tools allow you to set a future publication date, so you can write it now and publish on the 24th.

You can also follow the development of this blogging event by following the Twitter account called @findingada. In fact, the AccessAbility SIG first announced this event on its Twitter account, @stcaccess!

Why do we have a question in the title of this post, and what would we like from you, dear reader? Suggestions! And something special about those suggestions.

We would like to write about women excelling in technology who just happen to have a disability. This blogging event will give us many stories about women in technology. We would like to focus on women who were not only dealing with gender issues, but also with disability issues. It would be a lovely way to demonstrate how we aim to take the "Dis" out of "Disability"! Lovelace herself did not have the best of health, according to the Wikipedia article, but that was not a barrier to her.

Add your suggestions in the comments. If you want to do the same, keep visiting this post to see what ideas others provide. We look forward to hearing from you. And thank you!

Accessibility Literature

  • Accessibility Blogs Roundup maintained by Digital A11Y.
  • Accessibility Tips that Target Low-Literacy Users by Jill Kurtz
  • U.S. Access Board Information and Communication Technology Revised 508 Standards and 255 Guidelines  New
  • Bibliography—literature in relation to Design for All (299 K .pdf) edited by Greta Olsson & Thomas Lyhne. This Bibliography is a part of CEN/CENELEC Guide 6 "Guidelines for standards developers to address the needs of older persons and persons with disabilities". The Guide addresses relevant aspects relating to the needs of older persons and persons with disabilities to be considered when drafting standards. Both documents are part of the Mandate 283 on the safety and usability of products by persons with special needs given by the Commission of the European Communities.
  • Books of the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
  • Disability Etiquette (.pdf). The United Spinal Association offers a free publication about etiquette. You don't have to feel awkward when interacting with, or when you meet, a person who has a disability. This booklet provides some basic tips for you to follow. And if you are ever unsure about what to do or say with a person who has a disability, just ask!
  • Disability Graphics
    • Downloadable Disability Access Symbols provided by the Graphic Artists Guild
    • Disability Graphics Disability vector images, illustrations, and clip art
      Browse 30,148 disability stock illustrations and vector graphics available royalty-free, or search for special needs children or disability icon. From iStock by Getty Images.
  • Guide to Accessible Web Design & Development of Section508.gov
  • Health and Disability in North Carolina 2003: a joint report from the Office on Disability and Health and the State Center for Health Statistics (.pdf) collection of publications about removing barriers from health, meeting, and recreation facilities from the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health (NCODH)
  • New Harbinger Publications specializes in psychology and self-help books for medical conditions
  • H-Disability Discussion Network from H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online
  • WaSP Interact Curriculum WaSP InterAct is a living, open curriculum based upon web standards and best practices, designed to teach students the skills of the web professional. Adapt and reuse our resources. Contribute your own content and ideas.
  • Literature relating to women and technology:
    • Women With Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture, and Politics. Introduction: Beyond Pedestals. Ed: Michelle Fine and Adrienne Asch. Temple University Press. Philadelphia. 1988. ISBN 0-87722-474-9.
    • "On the Margin of the Myth: Exploring the Landscape of Disabled Women's Lives." May 1997 Mainstream Magazine.
    • Saxton, Marsha, and Florence Howe, editors. "With wings: An anthology of
      literature by and about women with disabilities". NY: Feminist Press, 1987.
    • Schultz, Kara. "Every Implanted Child a Star (and Some Other Failures): Guilt and Shame in the Cochlear Implant Debates." Quarterly Journal of Speech 86.3(2000): 251-75.
    • Women's Health (.pdf). The United Spinal Association has a publication about health for women. For many women with spinal cord injuries or disorders (SCI/D) knowledgeable physicians and the right facilities are often hard to find. Use this checklist, not only for your own personal information, but also for educating your primary health care provider on what he or she needs to know about the unique needs and concerns of women with SCI/D.
  • Substance Abuse Library and Information Studies (SALIS Journal) SALIS (Substance Abuse Librarians & Information Specialists) is an international association of individuals and organizations with special interests in the exchange and dissemination of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) information.
  • Parking Etiquette and Rules
    • ADA Handicapped Parking Rules—Access Signs Regulations access sign regulations, parking space size, location how many parking spaces are required. Updated PDF version (.pdf)
    • Parking Etiquette Notices for Windshields (.pdf). The United Spinal Association offers a free publication about disabled parking etiquette. Have you ever discovered someone illegally parked in a handicapped zone and wished you could say or do something? Now you can! Take action with our handy "Just a Minute…" is 60 Seconds too long parking pad. Simply slip one of these informative reminders under the offender's windshield wiper and you've made your point.
  • Special Needs Library Services in Rockville, Maryland
  • The Taxicab Driver Customer Service Pocket Guide is a reference tool developed by Easterseals' Project ACTION with assistance from the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA) [renamed the Transportation Alliance in 2019] to provide important tips and guidelines for taxicab drivers on communicating with and providing transportation service to customers with disabilities. The laminated brochure outlines the responsibilities of taxicab drivers and the rights of passengers with disabilities. It reviews general guidelines on serving customers with disabilities and provides drivers with specific tips on serving customers who are hard of hearing, who use wheelchairs, who use service animals, and who have visual disabilities. [Download a PDF or RTF of the Taxi Operator's Pocket Guide from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC)]
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (.pdf). The United Spinal Association offers a free publication about the ADA. Many regard the ADA as the most sweeping piece of civil rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Others believe that because of the many structural and communication barriers the ADA will remove, it is the farthest-reaching civil rights law ever enacted.
  • The Fair Housing Amendment Act (.pdf). The United Spinal Association offers a free publication about the FHA Act. This law is intended to increase housing opportunities for people with disabilities. However, individual citizens must come forward with concerns, file complaints or sue if they believe their rights have been violated. The government has no other way of detecting discrimination as it occurs. As a result, it is important to understand this legislation and how to make it work for you.