Wrapping Up our Cripping Digital Writing and Technology Blog Carnival


In our CFP for the Cripping Digital Writing and Technology Blog Carnival, we asked writers to explore how the disability studies key term “cripping” could be explored and implemented in digital rhetoric and technology. We were very lucky to get a wide slate of practical, pedagogical, and theoretical posts that challenged the ways we teach, write, and move through the world. Here’s a round up of the posts from this blog carnival.

In our first post titled “Remediating Disability: Articulating an Arts-based Pedagogy to Crip The Work of Composition,” Maria Novotny explored how multimodal, community-based arts pedagogy “destabilize assumptions and cultural privileging of able-bodied orientations.” The art she explores, which combines materials from infertility treatment, also pushes against narratives of gender and sexuality that frame our understanding of family.

Sean Kamperman’s “Digital Mapping and Anti-Ableist Urban Planning” examines how community mapping apps and websites help disabled people navigate and influence the design of urban environments. He discusses how maps like the AXS map act as ” critical mode of resistance to ableist spacemaking regimes,” but also how these maps often have poor user interfaces and also can potentially hurt marginalized communities.

In “Combinatory Composition,” PD Arrington uses multiple modes for writing to make an argument about the necessity of combinatory composition, which Arrington defines as “writing texts in versions that privilege different modes of communication.” Exploring the different versions of Arrington’s text helps the reader experience the process of writing from this framework.

Karl Stolley’s two part post offers a practical discussion on building visual accessibility into multimodal webtexts. Starting with an exploration of the history and function of the alt-tag, Stolley explains how semantic HTML and ARIA attributes build better flexibility and accuracy into image description in the first post. In the second, he discusses how to code responsive, accessible, and flexible images for webtexts.

In “‘The Sound of Light’: Composing Access, Composing Justice,” Chad Iwertz examines the complicated rhetorical art of CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation). As he puts it, CART transcriptionists “craft artistic and skilled instructional content commingling human and nonhuman sound in order to work toward specific ends for specific audiences.” However, Iwertz highlights how CART is framed as a stopgap and as an objective tool by higher education institutions and in profession contexts like CCCC.

Kristeen Cherney explores how writing instructors can address students’ anxiety with new writing technologies in “Anxiety and Technology in the Classroom: Identification and Solutions for Multimodal Inclusivity.” She delves into the phenomenon of “technostress” and offers guidance for how teachers can address students’ anxieties about learning new forms of digital writing.

Returning to the topic of cripping digital mapping, Leah Heilig writes about accessiblity, wayfinding, and new cripped mapping technologies in “De-Naturalizing the Digital Map: Wayfinding as Designed.” Heilig shows us the impact of several different mobile mapping technologies on wayfinding for disabled users, such as Ariadne GPS and WheelMate.

In “Citizenship Logics, Disability and Higher Education,” Caelyn Randall analyzes the technologies of citizenship embedded in the artifacts of and processes surrounding accommodations in higher education. She describes how university accommodations rhetorically “legitimize the presence of students with disabilities in the classroom, but only through proper documentation and ongoing surveillance.”

Our final two posts explore closed captioning and offer tools for how we can use them when producing videos and other multimodal forms in the composition classroom. Sean Zdenek in “Cripping closed captioning: Experiments with type, icons, and dynamic effects” offers several “experiments” with closed captioning using Adobe After Effects that show how modifying type, using icons, and shifting the placement of captions achieves a more accurate representation of the meaning of sounds in film. Ashanka Kumari’s “A Reflection and Step-by-Step Process of Using Open-Source Software to Closed Caption Video” examines the process of writing captions, providing a useful guide to writers and teachers exploring how to caption videos.

The organizers of this blog carnival want to thank all of our contributors to building this rich archive of knowledge, one we hope will expand the conversation about disability and technology in the composition and rhetoric community.

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