Transcript with Video Description

[draft] wheeling in second life

Here is a transcript with video description of the "wheeling in second life" video, featuring Judith in person and in Second Life, with Simon Walsh in Second Life. Video by Roger Hudson and Russ Weakley.

Judith has cerebral palsy, as does Simon.

[video description: "WHEELING IN SECOND LIFE"]

[video: Young woman sitting at computer in bedroom. She is in a wheelchair, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and has a headstick, a pointer attached to her forehead with straps around her head and chin. She doesn't use her arms. Her keyboard is pink and there are stuffed animals on the bed in the background.]

Judith: I work during the day, so when I come home I've only got like a couple of hours. So by the time I do my own emails and correspondence that comes in during the day, then I might have about forty-five minutes or an hour to do whatever, so.

Roger: And what's your current really big thing on the Web that you're into?

[video: Judith smiles]

Judith: Second Life.

[video: computer screen showing an avatar in a wheelchair in a virtual environment]

Judith: I've got a wheelchair in Second Life also. You can choose whether you want to be in a chair or not. You can have crutches, you can have whatever disability you have in real life in Second Life.

Roger: Do you always stay in your wheelchair in second life?

Judith: No, no, no.

Roger: Are there many other people in wheelchairs in Second Life?

Judith: Simon Walsh.

Roger: From the UK?

Judith: Yes. And he always stays in his wheelchair.

Judith: But, just like in real life, I find the attitude of people in Second Life to people with disabilities [is disappointing]. I have run an experiment myself. I've gone to this particular site as an able bodied person, got out on the dance floor and danced for half an hour with different avatars or different people, or whatever you call them. Then I've gone away, put myself in my wheelchair, gone back, the same people were there and they didn't want to know me.

Roger: Are there special places in Second Life where people in wheelchairs hang out.

Judith: Yes, "Wheelies".

Roger: And what's Wheelies.

Judith: That's a nightclub specially built ... by a man who has cerebral palsy, in the UK.

Roger: Can you take us to it?

Judith: Yes.

[video: Judith types with headstick.]


[video: avatar in wheelchair moving around virtual environment]

Judith: Unfortunately like real life you've got to go around things because you can't go through them. You can fly over them. Oh, there's Simon!

Roger: He's in there is he?

Judith: Yes. He was there before, in there.

[video: Judith's avatar moves by a conference table. another avatar in a wheelchair waves his arms, clapping.]

[video: Judith types with headstick.]


[video: on-screen dialog: [How many people visit Wheelies a week?] Simon: "disabled or norms? Few 100 I guess"]

Judith: There you are; one hundred people a week. When I first started we got a couple of hundred.


Judith: That's Simon up there, the avatar.

[video: avatar looks at two screens in the virtual world, one with an avatar and one with a real-life photo.]

Judith: That's him in real life.

Roger: And he was on Big Brother?

Judith: Yes, in the UK.

[video: nightclub in virtual world. avatar turning towards dance floor. two avatars are dancing energetically]

Judith: And that's the DJ, that girl in green there, she's the DJ, and he pays her to be the DJ there.

Roger: Oh, right...

Judith: And she talks to you over there... saying, Hi Wheelies. See where she's talking to me.

[video: Judith and Simon's avatars in wheelchairs. Simon's avatar is moving his arms around.]

Roger: Do you think that this will be a really useful tool for people who are unable to get around, who have problems of mobility in real life?

Judith: Yes, because you can have friends without having to go out and physically find them.


Thanks to Judith, Simon, Roger, and Russ for the video and permission to post this transcript. Thanks to Alan Chuter for the first version of the audio transcript.

If you find any errors, please send email to with subject: wheelies transcript. Thanks.