Access Intimacy, Atmospheres and Interdependence: Getting Personal With the Language of Disability Culture's Core Concepts

Here at Leaving Evidence blog Mia Mingus deepens our understanding and gives a name to a phenomenon similar to what Fullbright Scholar Regina Cohen identifies as "atmospheres" in her excellent study of museum accessibility in Brazil.


First from Mia:

There are many ways to describe intimacy.  For example, there's physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, intellectual, political, familial or sexual intimacy.  But, as a physically disabled woman, there is another kind of intimacy I have been struggling to name and describe, what I have been calling "access intimacy".http://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/..

Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else "gets" your access needs.  The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level.  Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years.  It could also be the way your body relaxes and opens up with someone when all your access needs are being met.  It is not dependent on someone having a political understanding of disability, ableism or access.  




Here Regina describes "atmospheres" in context:

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