Building a Better Community: Defining Ourselves

The disability community is fickle on its best day.

This is the second episode in our mini series called Building a Better Community. In this episode, Kyle and Emily discuss our community itself, all thanks to Anderson Cooper’s coverage on drive-by lawsuits specifically as they relate to the ADA. A transcript for this episode can be found here.

How can we achieve our goals if we don’t know what they are?

We don’t agree on much, and the things we do agree on are extremely nuanced. For example, we all agree that the world needs to be more accessible. But as we’ve covered in a previous episode, where does one person’s access conflict with another? What exactly does accessibility mean anyway?

Access is something that is fundamental to our world.

Yet we can’t even agree beyond the vague idea that there needs to be more of it.

So how, then, do we tackle bettering ourselves? Is there such a thing as a disability community, or instead of building a better community, should we be focusing on establishing clear goals in order to build one in the first place?

We like to discuss and argue over the correct terminology, how things should be and how we’re not there yet. And sometimes, it feels like we expect the world to adjust to us.

The truth is we need to adjust to the world too.

Disability by definition is extremely personal and isn’t really the same as other similar “social good” causes. The end goal might be similar: equal rights for all people. But our rights are so invisible to the world around us that the world often forgets about us entirely.

If we can’t convince each other what’s important and what needs to be focused on, how can we expect any kind of change? We discuss all of this and more in this latest episode.


Show notes: ADA National Network: Grandfather Clauses in the ADAEmily’s piece on Anderson Cooper’s report

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