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Wed 12/8, 2021, 7:30pm
Event Format:In-Person Attendance + Livestream
Elsa Sjunneson with Meg Elison
One deafblind woman’s fight to end ableism
Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 7:30PM

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The Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, Washington 98101
A livestream of this event will also be available.

This event will have CART transcription and ASL interpretation.

Elsa Sjunneson is a Deafblind woman with partial vision in one eye and bilateral hearing aids. She cannot see well enough to operate without a guide dog or cane, but she can see enough to know when someone reacts to the visible signs of her blindness and can hear it when others whisper behind her back. She lives at the crossroads of blindness, sight, hearing, and deafness, much to the confusion of the world around her.

In her new book, Being Seen: One Deafblind Woman’s Fight to End Ableism, Sjunneson describes the damage caused by one-size-fits-all definitions of disability. As a writer and media studies professor, Sjunneson has encountered plenty of blind and deaf portrayals on film and argues that they often build an inaccurate and harmful cultural concept of disability that’s more myth than fact. By weaving her frank personal stories together with witty cultural criticism and history related to the Deafblind experience, Sjunneson brings urgent attention to the realities of disability today.

Elsa Sjunneson, a seven-time Hugo Award finalist, is a Deafblind speculative fiction writer living in Seattle, Washington. She has been published in CNN Opinion, The Boston Globe, Metro UK, and Tor. Her work has been praised as “eloquence and activism” in lockstep and can be found all over the internet. Elsa writes and edits speculative fiction and nonfiction. She has been a finalist for the Best Fan Writer and Best Semiprozine Hugo Awards, a winner of the D. Franklin Defying Doomsday Award, and a finalist for the Best Game Writing Nebula Award. As an activist for disability rights, she has worked with New Jersey 11th for Change and the New York Disability Pride Parade. And as an educator and public speaker, she has presented work at the University of Chicago and The Henry Art Gallery and taught workshops with Clarion West, Writing the Other, and various Science Fiction Conventions.

Meg Elison is a California Bay Area author and essayist. She writes science fiction and horror, as well as feminist essays and cultural criticism. She has been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Fangoria, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Catapult, and many other places. Her debut novel, The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, won the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award. Her novelette, The Pill, won the 2021 Locus Award. She is a Hugo, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards finalist and has been an Otherwise Award honoree twice. Her YA debut, Find Layla, was named one of Vanity Fair’s Best 15 Books of 2020. Her parasocial thriller, Number One Fan, will be published in summer 2022.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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