Being disabled is the one group that you don’t have to be born into – you can become disabled at any time. So my fight for equality and disability justice should be your fight, because you may very well become a person with a disability one day.
-Ola Ojewumi, founder and director of Project Ascend
You can become disabled at any time. You can do everything right and still become disabled.
At various points in our lives, we will become disabled temporarily or permanently.
There is no protection or prevention that will stop you from joining this group.
What we do to improve the lives of minority groups improves the lives for everyone, and disability is the largest minority group in Australia.
You may realise how difficult it is living with a disability, only when you experience it yourself or see someone close to you struggle with daily simple things that could be easily improved with more considered thought and design. I can’t tell you how many times I see something and think ‘If it was adjusted just slightly, it would be so much more inclusive’.
When we have curb cuts, it not only allows people who use wheelchairs to move between the road and footpath, but it helps parents with prams, elderly with walking frames, anyone who can’t walk up steps including young children or postoperative recovery. That could be any of us at any time in our lives. When we don’t have these simple shapes built into our streets, it makes life incredibly and unnecessarily difficult. And that is just one obvious example.
If we were to build everything so that disabled people could use it, non-disabled people could still use it too. Disability inclusion and accessibility takes nothing away from non-disabled people – it means that everyone is included. It means we are not constantly reverse engineering to make life easier for ourselves when it would have benefited everyone to have more consideration from the start.
Investing time, energy and resources to fight for disability equality and justice is an insurance policy – we have people who need it now and we also know we are going to need it someday in the future so why not be proactive and prepare the world now?
Why not do it to make life simpler for those who need just some slight adjustments. Be generous in your design. Take an extra minute to work out how to be more inclusive. It’s not that hard.
Take good care of each other, Readers. I’ll keep the light on.
Standing Up To Stigma
It seems fitting to round up Mental Health month by focusing on the stigma that surrounds mental health. There is a lot we can do to make it easier for everyone if we tackle the issue of stigma.
Book Therapy – Growing Up Disabled In Australia
Growing Up Disabled in Australia is a diverse anthology of the very best kind!
What We Can Do To Support Mental Health
October is Mental Health Awareness month and here are a few things we can do to support mental health.
How Someone Looks May Not Be How They Feel
We all just want to be seen and heard for how we really are.
Have You Considered Mental Health First Aid Training?
We are all aware of the mental health campaigns urging us to check in with each other, to start the conversation about someone’s mental health… but do you know how to support and guide them to resources if they say “No, I’m not ok”?. What are the next steps to take? Do you feel confident…
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