So You Want To Be More Inclusive

So You Want To Be More Inclusive

Have you ever thought about living in a world that's not made for you based on one of your personal identities? Whether that be the color of your skin,  your gender identity and expression, or who you love, we may sometimes feel that we are living in a world that isn't exactly made for us. As we've gone through this "Your Potential is Limitless" campaign, I have had numerous conversations with humans living with disabilities and honestly, it all comes back to one thing: They are living in a world that's not made for them and they face this reality every day. 

“It isn't your condition, your crutches, your wheelchair etc. that disables you in this world. It is society. It is people, and places, that limit you. I said in my TED talk that 'people's perceptions need to change to eliminate limitations.'” - Chloe Ball-Hopkins (@chloe_ballhopzy)

Here are some ideas for a more inclusive and accessible world:

  1. More ramps and elevators, especially in newly constructed buildings. 
  2. Representation in the media - move away from abled bodied actors portraying disabled characters. 
  3. Adaptable clothing and accessory lines.

Tangible Things You Can Do As An Ally: 

  1. Start with “How can I be a good ally?"
  2. Understand that you’ll never really “get it.” (@disabilityinsight)
  3. Treat wheelchairs as extensions of people’s bodies. (@thewheelchairdiaries)
  4. Listen: to our voices, our lived experiences, our thoughts and feelings (@thewheelchairdiaries) 
  5. Follow people living with disabilities - follow them, share their work, listen to them.
    • See some of our favorite accounts below!
  6. Learn the Language: Almost everyone is on board with using the term disabled (not special needs, not handicap, etc.) (@thewheelchairdiaries)
    • Keep in mind we are people, made up of individuals, and within the group, each person has the right to their own viewpoints and opinions and their preference for how to be identified. Listen and honor those wishes. (@thewheelchairdiaries)
  7. Stop saying "You're so brave and inspiring." (@disabilityinsight)
  8. Advocate WITH us - listen and learn before jumping into our efforts, otherwise, the harm could be greater than the good you’re trying to do. We DO need you to care, listen and be in the trenches with us. It’s VITAL! (@thewheelchairdiaries)
  9. Educate yourself -- Check out the resources below.

Educational Resources:

  1. Social Model of Disability
  2. @stfdpodcast with Christina (@christina_chambers) and Liv (@livhopebender)
    • Two women living with disabilities discussing different topics so that humans can relate, learn, and enjoy a safe space for allies and those living with disabilities, especially women.
  3. TEDx  Talk - Chloe Ball-Hopkins - Inclusivity in the Fashion Industry
  4. TEDx - Stella Young  - I am NOT Your Inspiration
  5. Resources Covering Different Disabilities

Awesome Accounts to Follow and Learn From:

  1. @diversability
  2. @disabilityinsight
  3. @disability_visability
  4. @disabilityreframed
  5. @ableismistrash