Disabled activists in the United States brought unique expertise to HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and ’90s, including understanding social stigma and health as social justice issues and approaching information as a complex access problem. Disproportionately affected Deaf communities mounted a response that carefully blended face-to-face caring practices with mediated information by and for deaf people grappling with HIV. San Francisco’s Deaf AIDS Information Center (DAIC) advocated for wider access to Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) in the AIDS service sector while also marking this text and modem-based machine’s inadequacies as a substitute for the high-touch, one-to-one interpretive work needed by many ASL users. Crossovers among media, AIDS, and disability justice histories are underdocumented and risk seeming minor. Through our analysis of the DAIC, we argue that this intersection is key to advancing knowledge of how HIV left an imprint on emerging communication technologies and how sexuality and disability factor in technological cultures.
Feminist Media Histories
High-Touch Media: Caring Practices at the Deaf AIDS Information Center
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Member of collection