Elsa Sjunneson-Henry


Worldbuilding for Disabled Characters
October 7

October 7, 2018, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University District, Seattle

The world as it is now, is not what we would call disability friendly. The social model suggests that disability has little to do with one’s medical condition, and everything to do with how society reacts to disability. This class will go over both models of disability (social and medical) and talk about how theories of disability can be used to create your world to include disabled characters. How do magic systems work without creating loopholes to cure disabilities in your setting? How can disability exist on a space station?

This class will help you not only envision the contemporary setting of today with a better understanding of what disabled characters go through, but to create worlds without barriers (or with barriers that aren’t erasure.)

Elsa Sjunneson-Henry is a deafblind speculative fiction writer and editor. She is the Managing Editor of Fireside Magazine, and the Guest Co-Editor in Chief of Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction. Her work on disability, both fiction and non-fiction has appeared in the Boston Globe, Uncanny Magazine, Fireside, tor.com and many other places. She has a Master’s in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College, and is deeply involved in activism as a disabled person. She was raised in Seattle, WA and now resides in New Jersey where everything is terribly flat.