Since this year’s inauguration, we’ve seen a sea of protest sweep across the U.S., from spontaneous events to carefully organized marches that have been in the works for weeks. As a seasoned protest veteran, it’s exciting to see so many people engaged in taking their causes to the streets.
It’s coming at a price, though. Many of these events are leaving disability off their “diversity statements” and they’re also failing to account for disabled people who might want to participate. We have a lot at stake in the coming years and we’re eager to join our fellow citizens. We’re also tired of repeatedly asking events to foreground accessibility, rather than treating it as an afterthought, or expecting us to come in and clean up their inaccessible mess.
Real inclusive organizing should at a minimum include: Incorporating disability into your values or action statements; having disabled people on the organizing committee or board; making accessibility a priority from day one; and listening to feedback from disabled people.
A news blog on issues in the community of people with disabilities and accessibility.
Derek Mortland, ADA and Community Outreach Coordinator