Emily Michael


Congratulations! You have been born into a Modern Society that recognizes the challenges of living with a Disability. In this epic fantasy adventure, you will move through several stages, but keep your mind focused on your end goal: to reach Inclusion Grotto. As you complete major and minor Tasks, you can earn Personhood Points, Passing Points, and Attitude Points. Personhood Points can be redeemed for Friends, Validity Shields, and Swords of Activism. Passing Points can be redeemed for Inconsistent Social Support and Invisibility Tokens. Attitude Points cannot be redeemed, but you can throw them at Meddlers, Faith Healers, and Zealous Strangers in the Meadow of Intrusive Questions.

You'll need Friends and at least one Validity Shield to traverse the Valley of Lesser Discrimination. You'll need 10 Friends, 5 Attitude Points, and 3 Validity Shields to pass through the Valley of Greater Discrimination. Careful though: Inconsistent Social Support may lead you astray, into Negligence Cavern, where you'll have to pay several Invisibility Tokens to escape! Luckily you can divert the attentions of Meddlers by using Inconsistent Social Support as a distraction: Just use the "Speak for Me" option and your Inconsistent Social Support will do the talking. This maneuver buys you time to escape using an Invisibility Token and an Illegitimate Authority Cloak.

With your Sword of Activism, you can hack your way through the Forest of Implacable Bureaucracy and deflect the nefarious efforts of the Inspiration Fairy, who is determined to cover you in saccharine glitter and trap you in a lifelong performance on her theater in the clouds. If you defeat all these foes, you will arrive with your Friends at Inclusion Grotto where you will receive the Diadem of Self-Determination! This crown unlocks another 50 levels which include Career Options, Romance, Hobbies, Reasonable Levels of Happiness, and Heirs. Please play responsibly.


Emily K. Michael is a blind poet, musician, and writing instructor from Jacksonville, FL. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Wordgathering, The Hopper, Artemis Journal, The Deaf Poets Society, Nine Mile Magazine, The Fem, Rogue Agent, Disability Rhetoric, Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, Barriers and Belonging, and AWP Writer’s Notebook. Find her on Twitter (@ModwynEarendel) and at her blog On the Blink. Watch her TEDx Talk, "The Confluence of Disability and Imagination."