I have two running projects, one on hackers and the other on patient activism with a focus on psychiatric survivors and chronic lyme disease activists. The later project may seem to have more overt ties with questions of the body and disability, but I would say computer hacking, which is the subject of a course I am teaching this fall is fundamentally tied in with issues of ability and disability as well. Three of the most salient issues are 1) Blindness 2) Autisms/Aspergers 3) Repetitive Stress Injuries
For example, the history of phone phreaking (a variant of hacking where experimentation is focused not on computers but phone systems; it predates hacking as well) is fundamentally intertwined with blindness. Some of the most famous phreakers from the past were blind (and found great comfort and freedom, really a social outlet, in exploring the phone lines and hanging out with other phreakers in party lines). And even today, some of the most (in) famous phreakers are blind, the subject of this recent article on a particularly bold and brash blind phreaker.
Some hackers also are known to have aspergers or autism (some identify with being autistic, others do not) and this sort of trait can lend itself toward computer work. I have heard people informally joke about how the Internet is built by the labor of autistic geeks. And while it is an exaggeration to say that all geeks and hackers have autism, there does seem to be a higher than normal prevalence of autistic like behaviors among this crowd.
Finally, there is what we might call the human-made disability of repetitive stress injury. I know many a hacker who lives in pain or now must avoid typing or who type on really odd keyboard, such as the Maltron to avoid RSI. Hackers are often portrayed as disembodied beings who have Large Mind and Just Think Logical Thoughts but these humans like all humans are encased in bodies who engage in repetitive action, which can and has led to enormous degree of disability and pain in this community.
There is so much more I can say about all three of these nodes and one day I will, especially when I turn to writing about this (I would like to write a piece on hacking and disability) but I merely wanted to introduce the landscape in a post and disturb what I think is a common conception of geeks and hackers: fully abled, one might say supra-abled. In fact, what one sees, especially with the the question of autism, is a range of disabilities, some of which are problems (for the lives of hackers) and others which have obviously have helped build our technological world.