your ramp doesn’t mean shit if you lock the fucking door at the top of it

Pardon my language, but yeah, that.

Some folks continue to make the mistake of assuming that if someone has “physical disabilities”, then all they must be interested in addressing/ talking about/ dealing with/ changing/ etc is (a particularly able-bodied notion of) just physical accessibility. If you assume this, please stop it.

For starters, when you do this to me you make assumptions about what i got going on. Yes i have a broken body, i also deal with cognitive disabilities due to two brain injuries and ADHD.

And this isn’t just about cramming physical bodies into ENabled spaces.

And besides, what is “just physical accessibility” if not that which our physical selves can access? And what is “just” physical disability, exactly? Where does the “physical” begin and end, exactly? And what is it leaning up against?

MCS is physical. Polio is physical. Car crash broken neck is physical. Sobriety is physical. Fat is physical. Colonization is physical. Poverty is physical. HIV/AIDS is physical. Gender and race and getting it on and language and incarceration and sex work and migrant status and so on is all physical. So many things are physical because they involve bodies. Bodies which include brains and pocketbooks and lungs and no fucking work visa or passport or status and history and all kinds of other things. If work around accessibility doesn’t talk about and work on  this stuff, what are we doing?

That whole thing i talked about a little while ago about access not only being about ramps, except when it is about ramps, i meant it. If you think that means that ramps etc aren’t critically important, aren’t actually a priority, don’t actually increase access, if you think it’s too overwhelming, and/or if you think this should be an easy process where we don’t actually have to do work on our shit, you’re simply not paying attention.

If you want to talk with me about accessibility, make it plural: ACCESSIBILITIES. And then when you can do that, start talking about JUSTICE because that is the only way i understand this, and believe it’s the only way we can ever change any of this. Yes, let’s take it bit by bit; yes, let’s do what we can; yes, let’s acknowledge we can’t do everything right away; yes, let’s make the changes we can make right now.

But your ramp doesn’t mean shit if you lock the fucking door at the top of it. 

No one left behind.
Ever.
No, not until after the revolution.
No, not til next week, next time.
Now.
No one.
Left.
Behind.

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3 thoughts on “your ramp doesn’t mean shit if you lock the fucking door at the top of it

  1. This is awesome and well said. It never ceases to amaze me how clueless the bi-pedal world is when they THINK they are making something “accessible”. The Waverly Hotel in ATL made a wonderfully accessible public bathroom, really well done. And then located it in an alcove that is up THREE decorative steps.

    • Right?? How ridiculous.
      What gets my gander up too is when currently accessible spaces make themselves less accessible. One among many examples: a local nightclub had a ramp from 2 mildly accessible washrooms to the dancefloor. When i went to audit it many years later they had built a nice single stall accessible washroom (which they then packed with random supply boxes making it inaccessible) and removed the ramp. i mean, COME ON! i suppose it could be a totally fun night out on the town watching everyone else having a good time from the door of the accessible bathroom O.o

  2. Pingback: Being a Disabled Top in Kink Community | Kink Praxis

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