Hey disability allies!
I am so impressed and heartened to see so many allies stepping up this Disability Day. It’s a huge change from previous years.
But I’m still going to ask – hey disability allies – where are you at?
Are you making your events accessible – holding them in wheelchair accessible venues, providing Auslan interpreting, pricing them affordably, catering to dietary needs, providing access info about the event on your website, holding events that aren’t too early or late in the day, providing a quiet room for participants to retreat to, recording and/or live streaming the event?
Are you making your digital content accessible – with captioned videos, image and video descriptions, content warnings, good colour contrasts, easy to read text and information in multiple formats (like Word, PDF, plain English, audio and video)?
Are you ensuring there’s a place for disabled people at every table; especially when working on or talking about disability issues?
Are you working to ensure more disabled people are in adequately paid employment – with accessible application and interview processes, accessible workplaces, providing flexible employment options ( part time, casual, flexible hours, job share, work from home options), and creating a safe space for disabled people to be ourselves and progress within the organisation?
Are you listening to and learning from disabled people – especially disabled First Nations people and disabled people of colour?
Are you ensuring your stores and restaurants are accessible (see event and digital access tips above – plus ensuring accessible changerooms, counters, seating options etc) and that your staff have undertaken disability awareness and cultural competency training?
Are you open to feedback about your inaccessibility and ableism, and are you responding empathetically and implementing change?
Are you assisting us with lodging complaints and advocating alongside us when we encounter ableism and discrimination?
Are you calling in your friends when they use ableist language, explaining why it’s harmful to disabled people – even when it’s not directed to disabled people? (Nobody ever uses a disability slur as a compliment.)
Are you convinced that disability is not a tragedy or something to be ashamed about?
Are you saying the words “disabled” and “disability”, rather than euphemisms like special needs and differently abled?
Are you doing these things today (#IDPWD) and every day?
Has this post helped you? Will you use it in your work or at school? Please consider buying me a drink.
Image: Selfie of a woman with a red face, short dark curly hair tied back, wearing a colourful floral dress, and a parakeet wreath brooch and a quokka wearing a blue koala onesie brooch, plus a pink scrunchie in her hair. She’s smiling, sitting in front of a white wall. “Hey disability Allies!” Is in a pink rectangle above her head.