Tips for practicing anti-ableism
Above all else access is an attitudinal issue. We are all influenced by a society steeped deeply in prejudicial attitudes about people with disabilities. The inclusion of disability issues as a social justice concern requires time, exposure, and political will. What follows is a brief synopsis of points to consider and reflect upon as you continue in your work:
- Recognize that disabled people are inherently worthwhile.
- Listen to disabled people’s stories, experiences, and perspectives.
- Understand that having a disability does not make our lives any more inspirational, pitiful, or tragic than yours. Our disabilities are ordinary and familiar parts of who we are.
- Use the phrase “disabled people” or “people with disabilities.”
- Understand that no single accommodation will work for all disabled people. One solution doesn’t fit all, but increased access does benefit everyone.
- Don’t ask intrusive questions, however well intentioned. Because of how disabled people are separated from society, many of us deal with daily curiosity about our bodies and lives. This can be irritating, exhausting, and demeaning.
- Ask before you offer help to a disabled person. What you assume is helpful may not be. Start with a friendly but non-intrusive question: “Can I provide assistance?” Be okay if the answer is no.
- Be aware. Disabled people are the experts about our own lives and what we need.
- Avoid using Language that equates disabled peoples bodies/minds with brokenness i.e. “lame, blind, dumb, stupid, have a fit, spazz out” etc, etc.
- Recognize that the words “cripple, defect, handicap, spastic, freak, retard, and crazy.” to name but a few have long been used to bully and oppress disabled people.
- You may hear disabled people calling each other “crip” or “gimp.” This is “insider” language, akin to “queer” and not appropriate for use by non-disabled people.
please share! help sick and disabled folks attend this year's allied media conference. thanks!
Creating Collective Access 2012 Needs Your Help!
We are Creating Collective Access at the 2012 Allied Media Conference and we need your help. We’re putting together a fundraising video that will live on IndieGoGo and help us raise the necessary funds to organize this year’s Creating Collective Access.
Want to help us raise the money? Here’s what we need from you…
Do you have any pictures and/or video of Creating Collective Access from 2010 or 2011?
We’re looking for people who have participated (and benefited from) in Creating Collective Access to record and upload video of yourselves talking about that experience.
We’re also hoping to get videos of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses in our networks, talking about how media has helped shape access in your life, and about your experiences with CCA and AMC in the past.
Are you interested in recording and uploading a video about your experiences? Do you have photos or videos of former conferences? Please contact us (email@example.com) and help us create the fundraising campaign that will make Creating Collective Access a success at the 2012 Allied Media Conference.
What is Creating Collective Access?
We are a cosmic practice space happening all over the AMC, with the goal of making the conference more accessible and awesome for folks with disabilities and chronic illnesses. We are practicing the kind of community access, support, and love we know is possible, building fierce community and support by and for disabled and chronically ill folks! We are building on past work at the AMC to create a sustainable model for crip-led, community-supported access. By building relationships, care, crip/disabled solidarity and solidarity with allies we are empowering those who have been traditionally marginalized, especially queer and trans* people, women, and gender non-conforming disabled/chronically ill people of color. We are resisting the individualization of access in movements and envisioning new ways of building community and being in movement spaces.
Our organizers this year are A’ishah Hils, Savannah Nicole Logsdon-Breakstone, billie rain, and Rachel Gadd-Nelson. Our advisors are Stacey Milbern and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.
What is the Allied Media Conference?
“The Allied Media Conference offers hands-on trainings and strategy sessions in a wide-range of media practices.
Through the AMC, held every summer in Detroit, we unite the worlds of media, art, technology, education and social justice. Participants build knowledge and relationships that continue to grow throughout the year.”