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By Wainer H.

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Finger noted the paradox that when she used her wheelchair, she was “quite mobile and independent,” but when she walked with crutches, she received few offers of help, even though she needed help more than she did when she was in the wheelchair. ”34 This view that walking was key to living a normal life after polio was shared by patients and physicians alike. Sister Elizabeth Kenny, whose hot packs and stretching revolutionized polio rehabilitation, believed so deeply in the importance of walking to recovery that she titled her autobiography And They Shall Walk.

23 For example, some individuals persisted in walking, despite the pain and strain on legs and arms, when it would have been safer and healthier to have used a Passing in the Shadow of FDR D 21 wheelchair. Over time, others found it increasingly difficult psychologically to deny their disability, to pretend they were not disabled, to carry on as if nothing was wrong. Post-polio syndrome often brought the deception to an end. The new pain, fatigue, and muscle weakness was simply too much. The body could no longer sustain the behaviors suggestive of normality.

BRUNE M OST OF THE TIME we think about passing on a concrete level—for example, an act by which someone conceals or overlooks the presence of disability in the body. However, passing also occurs on a more abstract level, as authors and audiences overlook the presence of disability in texts and in public discourse. It is this form of abstract passing that influences and suppresses discussions of disability. ”1 While scholars often complain about the absence of disability in texts, no one has yet examined carefully the historical process by which disability becomes subverted in literature and public discourse.

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A Centenary Celebration for Will Burtin: A Pioneer of Scientific Visualization by Wainer H.


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