Since I primarily type and navigate technology with my right hand’s index finger and thumb, I’ve tied these fingers together for method acting during this week’s update to “The Story” to empathize with how John (below, left) would use technology. It’s not easy! John and Trishna (right) are fortunately strong-willed characters, so let’s explore how they’ve adapted to their impairments, how their world broadly considers accessibility, and how technology has helped both them and us.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character/world building)
Childhood Accessibility Programs
Trishna went to decent public schools growing up. She was still picked on more than most kids because of her limited mobility, and because she was smarter than average, so she tended to stay in gifted program classes or in the library. John went from bad to worse public schools along his series of stays in assorted foster homes. He was placed in assorted special education, strict disciplinary, or other classes because he looked different.
Keyboard Typing Classes
Trishna did well in all of her classes. Her typing class had wholesome games to encourage their students to practice typing. Something like Mario Teaches Typing rather than this update’s inspiration: Blah Blah. John did acceptably in his classes, excelling at English reading and writing, so takes a middle school computer typing class as a challenge. In addition to his missing fingers, his right arm has limited responsiveness, so even moving a mouse is challenging.
Technology Helping Accessibility
Since John and Trishna met online, thanks to him writing a post about a pro-accessibility game tentatively called The Frame Game that resonates with her, that implies a certain level of technology and accessibility. There will more accessibility-minded games in the narrative than in our world. It’s just there is more bigotry and intolerance in the small towns they grew up in opposed to the city of Eville where they go to school and work.
Accessibility Rights Club
Within their first quarter of college, they find out about an accessibility rights club. Membership is open to anyone. The club quickly becomes the foundation for their social circle, along with their classes, and social gathering areas or events. They meet friends there. Trishna might find out she’s good at public speaking and John might curb his fight or flight anxiety toward most everyone. It’s a positive environment for them along with the college itself.
How They’ve Adapted
Trishna can stand for about two or three minutes on her good leg and foot. John can move his right arm, with assistance from his left hand and arm, to shake hands and such. Once they leave Trishna’s home to go to college, they develop teamwork on completing chores, and enlist the help of Trishna’s siblings or close friends for help when they move or need assistance with similar duties. Otherwise, they live normal lives.
How We Adapt
We’ve positively adapted to technology: communication and information. How about the negatives? Anxiety, chronic stress, and being “always on?”