50+ Disability Justice Resources!
“Exclusion of disabled people is an active choice, not an oversight.” - Sandy Ho
“Disabled people of the global majority — black and brown people — share common ground confronting and subverting colonial powers in our struggle for life and justice. There has always been resistance to all forms of oppression, as we know through our bones that there have simultaneously been disabled people visioning a world where we flourish, that values and celebrates us in all our myriad beauty.” - Patty Berne
by Abaki Beck
Recently, a fundraising event was hosted that was not in an accessible space (in a basement with only stairs). A friend of mine commented on the facebook event asking if it could be moved so the event would be accessible to everyone. A simple request, but it turned into a violent, ableist comment-storm. First the hosts argued that there was no other space they could have hosted it, and that they will be “aware” in the future. After my friend protested that this would not solve the current issue, the hosts turned cruel: saying she was trying to make this about herself, no one else even cared about accessibility, they were “good people” just trying to make a difference, and that she was trying to drag them down. I and others jumped in to her defense as best we could, but I was shocked at how a simple request - asking for anyone to be able to physically attend the event - was rejected so harshly.
I have become increasingly frustrated with the almost total lack of acknowledgement of disability and the importance of disability justice in social justice movements. We need to hold ourselves accountable.
But our discussions must not stop at accessibility. You shouldn’t get points for making sure your event or fundraiser is accessible. Folks with disabilities are victims of police violence at higher rates than the general population, and often face challenges in school and at work because of ableism - from derogatory language to overt exclusion and discrimination. It is essential that we are inclusive of disability justice and the voices of disabled people in social justice movements. Again, beyond accessibility.
In an effort to increase these discussions, we added over 50 resources to our website on topics like accessibility, state violence, and sexuality. You can find them in our newly revamped Disability Justice & Body Politics section. As always, let us know if you have an suggestions on resources to add!