Episode 85: Vote for Access II

Emily Ladau: Hi, I’m Emily Ladau.
Kyle Khachadurian: I’m Kyle Khachadurian.
Emily Ladau: You’re listening to another quarantined episode of The Accessible Stall.
Kyle Khachadurian: What are we going to talk about today, Emily, in this underground bunker that we are both living in?
Emily Ladau: We can’t both be living in it. That’s not social distancing.
Kyle Khachadurian: You’re right. This underground bunker that we are separately living in?
Emily Ladau: Right, exactly. We have a wall between us. It’s fine. Also, we are not actually in an underground bunker. That would be cool though. Remember last episode when we met with one of the people on the production team for Vote for Access.
Kyle Khachadurian: Sure do.
Emily Ladau: We have this star of the show today.
Kyle Khachadurian: We do?
Emily Ladau: I’m so excited. We do.
Kyle Khachadurian: Oh my God. Star, will you please introduce yourself?
Imani Barbarin: Hi everyone. I’m Imani Barbarin. It’s lovely to speak with you today.
Emily Ladau: Clarification, no, we are not actually together though.
Imani Barbarin: We’re not. We’re alone together.
Emily Ladau: Exactly. We are social distancing at home doing this virtually. Don’t you all worry about us.
Imani Barbarin: We’re fine. We promise. We are a social distancing. We are separated but together and loving one another, in harmony.
Emily Ladau: We’re fine in so far as you can be fine when you’re disabled in a pandemic.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, that’s true.
Kyle Khachadurian: Right.
Emily Ladau: That’s valid.
Imani Barbarin: [00:01:34 crosstalk] so much.
Emily Ladau: But I think the thing that is constantly being forgotten at this point in the never ending completely dizzying news cycle is the fact that like it or not, we still have an election coming up soon.
Imani Barbarin: Yes. I feel like a lot of people are already exhausted from it because it started last year, it feels like. There’s been so many ups and downs, people are so annoyed with talking about it still. But I think it’s still really important. It’s still very necessary to talk about. We especially needed to be talking about accessibility.
Emily Ladau: Yes, exactly. I think that’s more crucial than ever right now when there’s also health considerations to be taken into account. We still need to be talking about voting accessibility. It’s not like it’s gone by the wayside in our minds.
Imani Barbarin: Yes. I think that so many people really want to participate in this election, more so than ever. I think that people are now getting hip to a lot of disability accessibility in different ways from other aspects to pandemics, which can be frustrating, but we really do need to pay attention to the disability community when it comes to elections.
Emily Ladau: I’m the only of this group of three who was not actually part of some of the making a Vote for Access. Can you both fill me in? Can you tell me more about it? I know that we got the gist from Alexa last time, but just in case someone is tuning into this episode and not the last one, let’s get that summary.
Imani Barbarin: Sure. Vote for Access is a five part digital series, talking about different aspects that disenfranchised disabled voters. So anything from stereotypes to informational access to proximity to the polls. We go over a lot of different topics and talk to so many different people about their experiences voting and advocating for voting in this series. We just really wanted to make people aware of all the barriers to voting that disabled people experience, just to feel like they’re a participant in society. The series launched last week. We are promoting episode two right now, but you can watch every single episode on YouTube online or on voteforaccess.us.
Emily Ladau: Wow! I feel like you definitely practiced that.
Imani Barbarin: I need to take a breath.
Emily Ladau: Yes. Let’s do some breathing exercises now. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Since I’m a hundred percent sure you said that all in one breath. Anyway, here’s a question for you. Are these new conversations or are these conversations that people have been having in Morales aggregating these conversations right now? Maybe that’s a silly question, but sometimes I feel like it’s news to people, especially non-disabled people that voting access has been an issue for so long.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, it’s news to non-disabled people. So many aspects of accessibility that they are now aware of. Disabled people have been having this conversation for decades. With every election there’s this conversation around voting and accessibility. I think that the goal of this series isn’t just to valorize disabled voters to get disabled people to vote more, but it’s also really to get non-disabled people to confront their privilege when it comes to voting and why disabled people feel so disenfranchised and left out of voting conversations. I think that we really need allies to force their politicians to make voting accessible.
Emily Ladau: What does that look like? How can we advocate for voting accessibility? You can tell me if this is covered in the series because I have not seen all of them yet.
Imani Barbarin: When we talk about getting people to contact their Congress people, contact their election boards, that’s really what we want. We want people to start paying attention to the issues and the barriers. We want people to get better training on accessible voting units, better training on the ways in which disability infringes upon people’s rights to vote, and the ways in which attitudes really informed the way disabled people interact with their public figures. I think that non-disabled people really need to start tuning into the conversations that disabled people are having, because we can’t have them alone. We have been unfortunately, but it really needs to be a group effort on everybody’s part. I think that when we talk about people contacting their elected officials, they should really be asking, what are you doing to involve disabled people in the voting process? What are you doing to ingratiate yourself to disabled voters? How can you make it a little bit easier for everybody to be a participant in society?
Emily Ladau: Now that Imani has just giving you the script that you can use for your phone call or email…
Imani Barbarin: Email’s better, phone… it’s hard to sanitize the phone but…
Emily Ladau: That’s very true.
Kyle Khachadurian: That’s true.
Emily Ladau: Also, I hear that voicemails have become especially overwhelming right now. Not that they aren’t always, but…
Imani Barbarin: Yes, my inbox is… I think that any sort of inbox right now is just overwhelming, because you’re just looking and like, why are you trying to talk to me? I promise that we’re not doing [00:07:28 inaudible].
Emily Ladau: I have a [00:07:30 inaudible] in response to the sounds that my inbox makes at this point.
Kyle Khachadurian: Oh see, mine is a Slack noise [00:07:38 crosstalk]. It makes the hairs in the back of my neck stand up. It’s just not good.
Imani Barbarin: For me is email notification. The ting and like, no.
Emily Ladau: Anyway, let’s not stress ourselves out. We’re already stressed about voting access here people.
Imani Barbarin: Exactly, yes, [00:07:59 inaudible]. Thank you for bringing us back, Emily. I really appreciate your…
Emily Ladau: You’re right. I’m just here to bring it back around.
Imani Barbarin: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Kyle Khachadurian: Tell us about you. We’ve had you on the show before and we called you the hashtag queen. As far as we know, you still are very much the hashtag queen, but you didn’t just take your throne, did you? How did you get started in social media advocacy? Because how I found out about you is one day Emily, it was just like, “Oh my God, you have to follow this really cool person I just met”, which to be fair is how I meet everybody in the disability community. But she seemed particularly jazzed about you.
Emily Ladau: Oh, thank you.
Kyle Khachadurian: When I started working with Block by Block, I probably sounded like that to Jordan when he told me that you were being the host of the new series that didn’t yet have a name. Tell us about how you got started with your online activism in the disability world.
Emily Ladau: Bonus points for connecting it back to Vote for Access. Do you like a challenge?
Imani Barbarin: Yes, I like it. I like a challenge. You know what? I already have the connections. I can make it come full circle.
Emily Ladau: I’m ready.
Imani Barbarin: Here’s the story. Around 2014 I started my blog, crutchesandspice.com. I really wanted to have more of a dialogue with other disabled people, particularly disabled black people. I felt like the only people who were really reading my blog was my mom and she was skipping several posts.
Emily Ladau: Relatable.
Imani Barbarin: So, I started to use my Twitter profile a little bit more. I had had it since 2009, but really wasn’t twitting anything of substance. Then I started connecting to a Crip The Vote. A friend of mine had forwarded me a Crip The Vote conversation. I started engaging with people who were writing about voting and writing about disability about two years after I had started my blog. Then I started getting involved with a lot more political advocacy and disability advocacy. But really it was about me connecting it to a personal story and personal narrative about disability and how it affects people of color and disabled people of color, black people in particular.
It really has come full circle because once I started writing about Crip The Vote and politics and things like that, I started being geared in that arena and participating in those conversations. I always really liked the idea of a conversation, having a bookmark, so that people can refer back to it and have it referenced. That’s essentially what a hashtag is. It’s a bookmark on a conversation that anybody can revisit and talk about and engage with. I loved using hashtags in a way that would show the volume of these disability conversations and show that people weren’t alone. That’s why I really like hashtags in social media because you get to be surrounded by people who otherwise people would ignore. But because we are all coming together for this one purpose or for this one hashtag, it makes it feel like you’re invincible because there’s people around you who have your back, sometimes.
Emily Ladau: I love that because a lot of disability activism can be isolating. A lot of our experiences with inaccessibility and voter disenfranchisement can also be really isolating because a lot of times it’s happening not on this scale that seems to us to be incredibly broad, but it’s really this very localized in your town, in your community issue. I know that for me, when I go into my polling place, it’s this tinnie tiny little part of my town. It’s this school in my town. It’s a local issue. My mom and I are the only two people in wheelchairs in there at the time that we’re voting. Nobody else is thinking about my particular access needs. I think it just feels frustrating sometimes because you’re not in a big group of powerful people in that moment.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, and you feel so alone. I think one of the things about disability experiences prior to social media is that we accepted a lot of things as normal that weren’t, and that we didn’t necessarily excuse it, but we just wanted to get on with our day. You’re just like, oh, the machine’s not set up to vote. They haven’t been trained on getting everything together for me. This is just how it is. This is how it’s always going to be. But when you really are surrounded by a group of people who have a lot of the same experiences, you realize that’s not the way it has to be at all. In fact, we can work together to change it. That’s what the purpose of the series is, is that we’re having these conversations in the aim of changing the way we think about voting and thinking about forming communities around election access and accessibility.
Emily Ladau: I feel like especially right now in the middle of a pandemic, talking about access issues can be an especially emotionally difficult conversation. Can we take an interlude and you tell us something particularly fun about shooting the series, because I feel like we just need to make sure that people aren’t feeling too down right now, even though voting accessibility is such a hugely important issue.
Imani Barbarin: Oh yes. I had so much fun shooting the series. I worked with an amazing team, Jordan, Alexa, Rachel, everybody on the team was amazing. They were so fun to be around. That was the best part. Basically Rachel was throwing snacks to me between takes the whole time, which was great.
Emily Ladau: She’s the person in charge of a lot of office snacks, I can tell you that.
Imani Barbarin: Yes. There’s this bun place in Seattle that I’m obsessed with now, but I’ve been looking to find out how to make Cuban buns, like stuffed pork rolls, but anyways… Then the sheer amount of makeup I was wearing to me was ridiculous. Every time I would go to the bathroom, they would warn me like, “Don’t look in the mirror.” I was like, “Why?” They’re like, “Don’t look. It’s not great for your mental health.” I was like, “But I want to look in the mirror because I want to see what my makeup looks like.” I looked like I was haunting myself. Fluorescent lighting is not nice to anybody.
Kyle Khachadurian: No it is not.
Emily Ladau: [00:14:59 crosstalk].
Imani Barbarin: Right? If you’re wearing a face that you don’t quite recognize on a daily basis. That was always funny. Then Alexa would be behind the camera and we’d repeat line so much that I would just start getting I call it an Imani faced, which was like me just sarcastic but with my eyes only, and I [00:15:26 inaudible] side-eye, I look behind the camera but she’d be like, “No, you have to do that again because you look angry.”
Emily Ladau: I should probably warn you of something because I too have been filmed by Jordan who is now part of Block by Block and then he proceeded to take every blooper and turn it into a giving Tuesday video.
Kyle Khachadurian: But it worked though.
Imani Barbarin: I love it so much. I feel like Alexa wouldn’t do that to me. I feel like I’ve ingratiated myself enough to her that she wouldn’t use my side eye as a giving Tuesday video. Well, you never know I [00:16:11 crosstalk].
Emily Ladau: … never know.
Imani Barbarin: Yes. I did give her a lot of side eye, but I think I bought her a drink at one point, so I feel like I made up for it.
Kyle Khachadurian: That count.
Emily Ladau: It’s totally fine. I haven’t been really good authority that everybody loves working with you.
Imani Barbarin: Aw, thank you.
Emily Ladau: Also, I love you. So it’s just great. Everybody loves everybody right now
Imani Barbarin: Love you all.
Kyle Khachadurian: This it’s a mutual love [00:16:36 inaudible]. This is something that we also asked Alexa, but I’m going to ask you too just to see if you guys have different answers. I know the two of you worked on everything from the inception to the writing, but how did you, or the pair of you I suppose, land on the episodes that you did? How did you distill those five issues and say, okay, these are the ones that we need to talk about the most when there are so many to talk about when it comes to accessibility in voting.
Imani Barbarin: I think we just brainstormed all together. It was a blur because we were working together for five or six hours at a time. But I do remember us listing some of the barriers to voting and then sorting them into different categories. Initially, I think there were a couple more categories beyond that or there were different names for things. But that’s how we distilled them down, was we categorize the different aspects and different barriers to voting and then sorted them into episodes, and then tackled it from there. Because disenfranchisement comes in a lot of different forms.
We wanted to tackle as many different topics as possible without erasing any experiences. Both Alexa and I are very cognizant of intersectional identities and working with different groups in different populations. It was really important to us that we address as many as we could in the series. I think Alexa has a lot of patients working with me for this long.
Emily Ladau: You brought up a really good point about covering different types of voting access, because I think that people might have a relatively narrow view of what defines voting access just because we’re socialized to, if we even think about disability at all, to really only think about the physical manifestations of disability. Someone might think about wheelchair access or a voting machine or maybe somebody might think about voting if you are visually impaired or blind. But there are other issues with voting that are applicable to people with let’s say, intellectual and developmental disabilities. So we need to be mindful of the fact that voting access encompasses so much more than just, is there a voting machine that’s at wheelchair height or that will read options to you? It goes beyond that.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, I think that people have a very narrow view of what disability is. It looks like, sounds like, everything. I think that you see a lot of that on social media whenever a blind person post a picture of them using their phone or whenever a wheelchair user stands up. People think, oh, they’re faking it, they don’t need it. People don’t usually get the resources that they need once that starts to happen. I think we need to think about disability holistically, both in voting and outside of voting. Andrew [00:19:44 Pouring] wrote an article recently saying that there’s no list of disabilities under the American Disabilities Act, and that’s by design because there are so many disabilities that would be counted out or ignored.
We need to think about accessibility as so much more than just what we are conditioned to believe it is. People with sensory disabilities have access needs like people who are wheelchair users. It’s different, but it’s still a need that they have. When people think of accessibility, we too often think about proximity instead of, it’s sensory, it’s intellectuals, it’s developmental. There’s so many different disabilities that need help and access to their rights because this is a right for everybody. That we don’t really often talk about those issues.
Emily Ladau: It’s something that I think about a lot, the fact that we are advocating for voting access when some non-disabled people are so quick to infantilize us and think that we are not somehow allowed our rights. It’s a very interesting dynamic.
Imani Barbarin: Yes. One of the women on the series actually said that she’s a voting advocate and she said people that she works with thought that they couldn’t vote because they were disabled. Like what? Who told them that? Why do we let this stereotype exist other than to disenfranchise people?
Emily Ladau: Or worse? It’s not even that someone has told them that, but that it’s been implied and internalized.
Kyle Khachadurian: Yep. In fact, Emily, if you want a really awesome five minute lesson on that exact thing, might I point you to episode one of Vote for Access?
Imani Barbarin: In episode one we talk about attitudes and the many aspects of disability and voting that keep disabled people from the polls. On this episode [00:21:44 inaudible]. Thank you.
Kyle Khachadurian: That was really good.
Emily Ladau: Way to bring it full circle. [00:21:50 crosstalk].
Imani Barbarin: Thank you so much Kyle.
Emily Ladau: You’re both [00:21:55 inaudible], good job.
Imani Barbarin: Thank you, we try.
Emily Ladau: I know at the time of recording this for only two episodes in.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, technically we at are two episodes in the promotion of it, but all episodes are in voteforaccess.us.
Emily Ladau: If you feel like binge-watching Imani [00:22:14 inaudible].
Imani Barbarin: I’m sorry; I forget that I’m not on camera. I just did like a [00:22:17 inaudible] face.
Emily Ladau: Hey, now you just made it accessible for everyone because you are really [00:22:24 crosstalk]. I would recommend binge-watching. I personally have been following along with the broader public releases, but I will now be spending the rest of my night bingeing and not doing work like I’m supposed to.
Imani Barbarin: Thank you for binge-watching it. I refused to binge-watch it because I can’t look at myself that often or hear my voice that often.
Emily Ladau: You know, that’s real. I don’t really like listening back to the podcast.
Kyle Khachadurian: I do not either. I hate the sound of my own voice.
Imani Barbarin: It’s repelling, right? It’s so jarring.
Kyle Khachadurian: Yap.
Emily Ladau: But if you’re using the very jarring voice that you supposedly have, which I disagree, to spread a good message, then it’s worth listening to.
Imani Barbarin: I do hope so, because I think that I really want to see disabled people voting so much more. Now, that because of the pandemic, people are talking a lot about mailing in ballots, which are more accessible to some people with disabilities but not others, for issues like sightedness and people with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities may not have the ability to read the ballot as would with anybody else. But I think that hopefully we’ll be moving in the right direction and getting people to their ballots a lot easier.
Emily Ladau: Yes, and honestly conflicting access needs is a really vital point.
Kyle Khachadurian: Yap. Is there anything that you learned that you didn’t know about when it comes to access issues and voting?
Imani Barbarin: Yes. I learned a little bit about… When we were writing the series, we did a little bit of research on voting on reservations and having mailing addresses and the different ways that the government disenfranchises native voters. That was really disheartening. But some of the solutions that they came up with were these mobile voting centers where they would set up a voting center on a truck or wherever they could put it. They would have it so that people had access to a voting center. That was really cool to learn about.
Another thing that we talked about that was extremely important to me as a disabled black person, because I’m black, with a capital B, is voter disenfranchisement and the Georgia election, I believe in 2018 that use the ADA to pit it against voters of color and specifically black voters who would have voted for Stacey Abrams. That was extremely disheartening because disabled people are not at odds with black people or brown people. We did a little bit of research about that, but I don’t think all of that made it to the series, unfortunately. But I think that it’s important to point out, especially as we enter into a very interesting election coming up.
Emily Ladau: Yes. Identities are not mutually exclusive at all. I think that it’s really important that you brought that up. We talked about it a little bit on our episode with Alexa as well. Just acknowledging the fact that sometimes people will invoke disability rights as some cover up for the fact that they’re disenfranchising another population entirely. So, it’s sort of this catch 22 that they invent where they’re saying, “Oh, well don’t you want disability rights? Oh, well we’re trying to give them to you”, but they’re really not. I think that’s incredibly important to talk about.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, from the perspective of somebody who’s part of both communities, it basically pits one another against each other. People seem to think that the ADA is the problem when the disenfranchisement is a problem. That’s something that we need to address as a community, both in the black and disabled communities and listening to people that intersect in both of those identities.
Emily Ladau: Yes. That’s why I’m particularly glad that there was representation of multiple marginalized identities in this series, because the disability community is not a monolith and there’s a lot of different perspectives that need to be taken into account to really wrap your mind around voter inaccessibility and disenfranchisement as a whole.
Imani Barbarin: I was honored to be the host of the series and representing my communities as best as I can. That’s a huge honor to me. I was very excited to be a part of this project. I talked about it nonstop with family. They were like, “Please shut up. We very bored. We are bored. Thank you for your time. We would like to go back to watching Umbrella Academy.”
Emily Ladau: I’m not going to lie to you. I get that sometimes like, “Oh, I’m working on this thing related to ableism and inaccessibility and disability.” And my family’s like, “Oh, oh, okay.”
Kyle Khachadurian: Again?
Emily Ladau: Yes. [00:27:05 crosstalk.
Imani Barbarin: I’ve had arguments at the dinner table with my family over disability rights. My family is like, “Can we change the topic?” At any point, we could change the topic.
Emily Ladau: My God! Honestly same. It’s a little different in that sometimes it’s my mom and I and we’re arguing with my dad because it’s that disabled, non-disabled binary. But that comes out. But sometimes you have to get into it with the people that you care about in order to make a little change. Honestly, sometimes you have to get into it with people who are not that close to you, but [00:27:42 crosstalk] the right thing.
Imani Barbarin: I have been called rude for a disabled person, many a times. I wear that [00:27:48 inaudible]. I do, I really do. [00:27:53 inaudible], because somebody else said it to me. I said, I’ve heard it not multiple [00:27:58 inaudible]. I don’t care.
Emily Ladau: Also, you’re nice to the right people.
Imani Barbarin: Thank you. Yes, there’s this very big dichotomy to me where I’m like, I don’t give a crap about some people that are just trolling me. Then with the people I really care about, I’m like, “I love you so much. You’re a beautiful butterfly, angel face.”
Emily Ladau: It’s true. Imani is actually very affectionate, so anyone who thinks that she’s rude for a disabled person; it’s probably a “you problem”.
Imani Barbarin: Well, thank you so much. I’m tender.
Emily Ladau: We hear a little weirdness to bridge this up. It’s a good, weird is good. Are there any other things that we’ve not talked about regarding Vote for Access that really stand out to you, that you want people to know? Here’s one, if people took away only one thing from this series, what would it be?
Imani Barbarin: One thing, Emily, come on? I can’t pick just one thing.
Emily Ladau: Or what do you want to be the one thing that people take away from it? And that’s different than what they might take away.
Imani Barbarin: That’s hard. Okay. I think that [00:29:07 crosstalk].
Kyle Khachadurian: It’s a hard [00:29:07 inaudible], Emily. That’s unfair.
Imani Barbarin: That’s like being very [00:29:10 crosstalk]. Every single episode [00:29:13 inaudible] different things that they should take away.
Emily Ladau: I’m sorry. I’m a horrible person.
Imani Barbarin: Okay, I have two.
Emily Ladau: [00:29:23 inaudible].
Imani Barbarin: I have two. Would that be okay?
Emily Ladau: Fine. Of course.
Imani Barbarin: I think the first one that I want people to take away is that the disability community is incredibly diverse. There’s no one size fits all solution to voting. I think that voting has to be accessible to everybody and that takes a lot of different solutions and a lot of different minds coming together to create them. I don’t want people to walk away thinking that there’s only one way to address this issue. I think that they need to be thinking about the community as a whole and we thinking about the diversity of the community and the ways in which these different aspects of voting disenfranchised disabled voters. That’s the first thing.
The next thing I think I want people to take away with is just the perseverance that disabled have to show up for the society in which we live. Every single person that we talked to, they never questioned whether or not it was important for them to vote. They want to vote, because they know that their voice matters. I know that their voice matters. Just talking with people like Eric Patrick, he tried to vote for 20 years and was on successful, 20 years. I said this in a prior interview. After five years, I would have given up. I would have been like, “You haven’t set it up again? Okay, next time. Okay, I’m done.” The fact that he just kept at it and at it and at it and made sure that people listened to him. That’s incredible. That’s the spirit of the disability community. We want to be a part of the society. We have every right to be. Anybody that tries to doubt that or take it away from us is not for us. I think that that’s what I want people to take away.
I want you to learn from the disability community, but I also want you to respect us. I want you to respect what we need for our lives, the things that we want to say and the things that we care about. Because we are your neighbors. We’re your friends, we’re your family members, and we have every right to be able to help choose who leads our country, who break our laws and who enshrine our value on society, because we enshrine our value on society. You just have to sit back and recognize it.
Emily Ladau: [00:31:44 inaudible].
Kyle Khachadurian: We don’t even need to do a final takeaways.
Emily Ladau: I’m done. Goodnight everybody. I think all of the takeaways that you gave are so important and I knew that you would not be able to have just one, and both of what you’ve mentioned hold very much equal weight in my mind for things that people should take away from this series. I suppose my takeaway as disabled person and as observer of the series is that my hope is that one day the series becomes completely irrelevant, because we’ll no longer have to persevere for 20 years to exercise something that’s a guaranteed right.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, that’s the hope. I hope it’s just a time capsule piece where I’m like, “I did this thing this one time about voting, but all of these things are outdated now, so you don’t have to watch it anymore.”
Emily Ladau: That’s the dream. That’s what I would love to see. I think this is yet another push in the right direction. I also wish it didn’t have to exist in the first place, but that’s not where we are. That being said, I’m glad that we have people like you and people who did the work, ever did in [00:33:00 inaudible] in Block by Block. I know this sounds like an infomercial but I swear because I actually liked the people, could put together something but needs to be talked about in this [00:33:13 crosstalk].
Imani Barbarin: Can I just say something? The teams at Block by Block and Rooted in Rights are incredible people and incredible activists in their own right and they work extremely hard. Anytime you see our videos, please thank them, because they really put a lot of work into it and they’ve really put their entire hearts and souls into it. A lot of times when you’re in the production part of these types of things, you don’t really get to hear that because you’re not necessarily the face of it. But they are an incredible team of people and I had every pleasure of working with them and I want to work with them again eventually. So please, whenever you get the chance, thank them, because they are amazing people.
Emily Ladau: I am going to take that one back to the team and I think Kyle will take that back to his team.
Kyle Khachadurian: Definitely.
Emily Ladau: Do we have more general final takeaways? Like, where can people find you on social media and can you tell us again where we can find Vote for Access and are you working on any cool things that we should be aware of right now? [00:34:20 crosstalk] questions…
Imani Barbarin: Staying alive is my main project right now.
Emily Ladau: Excellent, me too.
Imani Barbarin: My social media, you can find me on Twitter @Imani_barbarin. I am on Facebook at Crutches and Spice by Imani Barbarin. I am also on Instagram @crutches_and_spice. I also work for Disability Rights, Pennsylvania, @disabilityrightspa.org. I’m the communications director there. In terms of what I’m working on, nothing much. But you can find the series at voteforaccess.us. You can watch all five episodes there. Please share the videos. They’re extremely important. I love working on them and I would appreciate some of that love. Thank you.
Kyle Khachadurian: I’d also like to say that the series is, we tried very hard to make it accessible. There are subtitles in both English and Spanish. There is audio description, there is ASL and there are transcripts available in English and Spanish as well. We tried very hard to make all the videos as accessible as possible.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, Rooted in Rights and Block by Block, they set the tone. This is not aspirational accessibility. This is what everybody should be doing.
Emily Ladau: In my dream world, everything would just be that accessible from the outset, but I think it’s important to lead by example in this team.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, definitely. I think that we’re getting a little bit better as a society with accessibility. But like the series says, we have a long way to go.
Emily Ladau: We do have a long way to go, but I feel like people right now also need to hear again that what they’re doing is vitally important when it feels like it’s futile. Your speaking up is making a difference. You might not feel it right now. I know that sounds like I’m just being a TV motivational speaker, but if you don’t speak up, the change isn’t going to happen. It’s not on us to do that work. We shouldn’t have to. But know that you’ve got a team of people behind you and the three of us at least who were in that work for the long haul. Was that way too [00:36:33 crosstalk]?
Imani Barbarin: No, it was really good. It didn’t… It’s…
Kyle Khachadurian: Totally on brand.
Imani Barbarin: … totally on brand. I [00:36:39 inaudible], sorry. It’s a good shift from you almost cussing out somebody who tried to get you to race them. But I really appreciated the tone.
Emily Ladau: I became more [00:36:53 inaudible].
Imani Barbarin: You really are.
Emily Ladau: I think on that note, this has been another, and may I say fun episode of The Accessible Stall. Thank you for joining us, Imani.
Kyle Khachadurian: Thank you so much.
Emily Ladau: We love a good double guest. Everybody go check out her other episode on being the hashtag queen. We’ll link it in the show notes. It’s really fun.
Imani Barbarin: Thank you. We do a lot of fun together, I will say that though.
Emily Ladau: Very true. Maybe one day in like 2028 we’ll have fun in person.
Imani Barbarin: Yes.
Emily Ladau: Sorry, I’m the one who was like; I’m going to motivate everyone. [00:37:32 inaudible].
Imani Barbarin: This has been an emotional roller coaster, Emily.
Emily Ladau: Well, I’m going to let Kyle wrap it up so that everyone can hear is nice, smooth radio voice going out.
Kyle Khachadurian: Well… Amani has been wonderful and I always have fun with you, Emily inside this cramped little bathroom stall we call podcast. Who knows, in 2028 when we can all hang out, we should just do that.
Emily Ladau: Great. I’m putting it on my calendar.
Imani Barbarin: Yes, if our calendars will be relevant by then. We shall see.
Emily Ladau: We love you all and might we say, you look good today. Thanks so much for listening.
Kyle Khachadurian: Thanks everybody.
Imani Barbarin: Bye.
Emily Ladau: Bye.