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High-touch media: caring practices at the Deaf AIDS Information Center

McKinney, Cait and Mulvin, Dylan ORCID: 0000-0002-8925-2460 (2023) High-touch media: caring practices at the Deaf AIDS Information Center. Feminist Media Histories, 9 (1). 98 – 122. ISSN 2373-7492

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Identification Number: 10.1525/fmh.2023.9.1.98


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 by The Regents of the University of California.
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2023 16:24
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2024 21:09

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