So, according to the Skype video,
Sarah and Paige have been best friends since they were 8 years old and have shared everything over Skype. But the crazy part is they've never met in person. Until now.
This video, in a first wave of perception, is a nice tear-jerker. We all want friends to meet. We all want disabled people to share their experiences. But in a second wave of looking at this, I went, WAIT...!!
I find it stunning that amputees are connected before they are born. Both girls were born into a world where their mothers already had connected.
Secondly, it appears that the experiences that an arm amputee makes are scaringly uniform. The emotional social experiences - the same type of exclusion, the same type of stares, the same type of practical difficulties - points to a scaringly uniform society - no matter whether in the USA or New Zealand, according to this video one can understand "everything" if only one shares this handicap. So, these girls that are portrayed seem nice, concerned and switched on. But what is it that is going on? It does appear that our societies, by and large, manage to treat amputees in a way that firstly, their actual problems dominate (and are not insignificant) so they necessitate a type of subculture - and secondly, that their actual problems actually match to a degree that one girl says about the other that she "needed someone that would understand everything about her". - Everything? How hard can it be, then, as arm amputee, to make actually unique outstanding, individual and new experiences? And in fact, many books published by amputees cover the two subjects of staring, or "overcoming" something. No other reflections or thoughts there, right? Are we that easy to mold and re-shape and to put into labelled little boxes?
Thirdly, this is a high tech prosthesis video even though both girls do not seem to use prostheses. Now about these terms: prosthetic arms are prostheses, to state the obvious. We kinda knew that. But websites, e-mail and skype are artificial communication enhancers that also act as a prosthetic. So just in case you were wondering - both these girls did make extensive use of prostheses in a wider sense.
The next time you see an amputee that is relaxed, happy about themselves and well integrated with society, even without wearing a prosthetic arm? They could be suffering from uniform problems imposed on them by society (including you) which they overcome using some type of visible and invisible prostheses. Both to a very high degree.
The really interesting, self-referential part is that you are sitting there, reading this, with chances being >99% that you are part of the problem (treating amputees in above mentioned ways), and yet, you are using the internet as communication prosthesis since your perception otherwise would be needlessly disabled (may I remind you that *this* is a *website*), and not reflecting that as an absurd issue in the year 2013. That is the really interesting part here.