ADA 30 in modern context.
With the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act a lot of Disabled are in an odd position. We’re supposed to be celebrating legislation that’s supposed to ensure accessibility.
It’s kind of America’s way of saying look At what we (able-bodied/Nuerotypical people) have done for you as a disabled person. Then we are supposed to clap and cry. Or something…
However, a lot of people who aren’t in our community don’t know what the A.D.A is… The Americans With Disabillity’s act is legislation that is supposed to ensure a few things for ALL who need them. Accessibility, if you have needs in relation to physically or mentally being allowed in a space you are supposed to be provided with supports that make these spaces accessible.
Ex.) Needing a ramp, needing an interpreter, or needing a stim toy. (Stims/fidgets helps people focus and feel comfortable in a physical space.)
However… As great as the ADA is it’s a tad decorative. In the year 2020 many buildings claim they can’t financially make buildings accessible. People who need wheelchairs are still harassed if they don’t always need it. People with invisible disabilities are still being told they don’t look disabled or are faking. Less than 1/4 of disabled people even attend college. This doesn’t even get into unemployment rates.
The A.D.A is something the disabled community is grateful for. However, nothing about us without us isn’t honored in ablebodied spaces. Often nothing about us without us is even forgotten about in spaces for disabled people as Ablebodied and Nuerotypical people still control the spaces as well as who has access. So disabled spaces are also primarily white which leaves out many voices within our community that need to be heard.
With A.D.A 30 people need to be reflecting on a few things about disability rights:
- The biggest thing is that our leadership spaces need to truly be nothing about us without us. This includes government spaces, mass media, and companies.
- We need to be intersectional as disabled people in our push for representation in media we also need to push to make sure our representation isn’t only white males. Our community can be and should be better than that. Especially when our community effects many children. We need more voices who are Lgbtq+,varying faiths, various races,and varying degrees of ability.
Our community deserves better than antiquated ideals. (Especially for the children who will grow up in our community.)
- That being said we need to fight in solidarity with one another.
We need to listen to Black voices and leaders when they say something isn’t fair or accessible listen and stand in solidarity.
We need to listen to indigenous voices when they say an issue is unfair towards their tribes, is racist,breaks treaties ,or raise their voices about things that continue colonialism.
We need to listen to people of different religions, when they let us know something is insulting, against thier religion, they have to observe a tradition,or that something is sacred to them and deserving of respect.
We need to listen to those who claim no religion and respect that.
We need to believe other people with disabilities or chronic illnesses when they discuss their lived experience.
We need to listen to Lgbtq+ folks when they tell us something is homophobic, disrespectful, sexist,and respect their pronouns.
We need to have disabled people from these communities in the room when any issues about disability are discussed. As all of us are disabled people who all deserve to have our voices heard. Especially as it ensures every disabled person from these communities gets equal and fair access to ensure accommodations,needed therapies ,and supports.
- We need to keep pushing to be heard in general both in media,on tv,on stages,in workspaces,in offices,in government,in meetings,in music,in tech,and in life. We all deserve to be heard. Which sometimes means we need to demand other people listen to us.
- Advocate for each other if needed as sometimes strength is in numbers. (But ask permission of the person first in case they are uncomfortable.)
- Learn our history, find our history,reclaim our history.
- Teach two ways don’t just teach disabled people Nuerotypical standards,teach Nuerotypicals nuerodiverse standards. (We don’t have to sacrifice our culture for you. You don’t have to sacrifice yours for us. We just need to have the skills to speak to each-other on both ends and meet each other where we are at.)
- Keep fighting 🤍