Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blogging Against Disablism: Hope

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2007

The thought of blogging about Disablism (Ableism, in my usual language) today seems a bit overwhelming. Instead, here are some signs of hope.

Hope, originally uploaded by Transguyjay

I have hope against Disablism when I see:

-Parents and kids working against Disablism, like Norma Desmond & Knight Lloyd (My favorite of their collaborations is Gifted with Asperger Syndrome)

-A person pulling me aside saying, "I've been thinking about what you shared, and I think that I might identify with neurodiversity***." Second moment of hope when the person identifies publicly. I've seen it happen twice this month alone.
***variations include Autistic Spectrum, Disablism/Ableism, or Scent-Free Spaces

-A person comes to my office for advocacy, and self-advocates to make a change in their own life.

-My partner says that he loves how Aspie I am when I am talking non-stop about Star Trek, making laser noises, rocking about something unjust that I just saw happen, standing on my head, or singing along with completely different notes to a different rhythm.

-At the churches I attend where I see persons with developmental disabilities participating in music leadership, invocation, hospitality, reading sacred texts, and greeting without being limited, or patronized. On Easter at one of the communities, we saw an exceedingly joyful liturgical dance to a gospel song by a young person with Down's Syndrome, which the congregation clapped along to.

-Intentional efforts towards community building of disabled people, such as
Breaking Isolation, Building Community at FORGE Forward Conference

-In a meeting or a social gathering and someone corrects their own Ableist statement. This week, it was a friend/colleague who questioned using the word lame.

-A young person from my former internship site is sharing her excitement about getting a new arm with people who were feeling sorry for her.

-The following blogs/sites:
Pitbull Poet
Chewing the Fat
Ragged Edge Online

-Progress in searching for Anti-Ableism resources for work and finding more and more new good resources every day.

-The person I've corrected when repeatedly saying handicapped with a look of concern finally spontaneously says disabled without grimacing.

-My friends gather for Wednesday breakfast, and we vent about the Disablism we've experienced and seen, challenge our own internalized Disablism, and support each other in living with Disabled Pride and hope.

Feel free to add more examples in the comments.
I'm going to bed so that I can get to breakfast in the morning.


internaltheology said...

This isn't related to the post - but if V and I end up back in the Twin Citites it would be fun to go to breakfasts again.

Jay said...

Great to hear.
They've been going strong.
L. and I get there by 7:20, then M. and P. (sometimes N.) arrive around 8, and usually R. just about as I leave for work at 8:30.
Any plans yet?

Intern-al Theology said...

Nothing yet although I'm headed to the cities today through Monday for interviews. I also have an interview down in TX and one in Milwaukee so we'll see. V and I are really hoping for the Twin Cities or Milwaukee.

Intern-al Theology said...

v and I are at UCC General Synod and one of the hopeful signs here has been the amount of empowerment and accessibility work that is being done. Many of the individuals I've spoken with have pointed out that it has been becoming a true coalition with work being done by both individuals with and without disabiities but with those who claim disability having the right to also claim for themselves what they want and/or need.

Of course it also involves the patience of working with a church that is congregational so there is no top down way to call folks to action ;)