\\rant. If it’s not about you it’s not about you. i just need to get this out.
So often it feels like when able bodied people decide it’s time to act somehow on inaccessibility, we disabled folks are supposed to just jump on board with these efforts no matter how ill-informed and/or dangerous and/or xerox-copies-of-our-work and/or removed from our actual needs & lives and/or how actually able-bodied-centric and presumptuous they can so often be; and that we are just immediately supposed to trust this process, we are just supposed to trust *you*, because finally some of you are doing something, and something is better than nothing amirite? and all that bullshit we put up with and continue to put up with to get even scraps is supposed to immediately, with no process at all, be water under that bridge in this really, well, entitled way.
This stuff may well not be the intent, i’d like to think it’s not for most. But it would go a hella long way to re-building bridges *that able bodied people have burnt*, it would be just generally real awesome, if more folks would be aware that that hesitance or reluctance or outright refusal to work with you on this (right now or ever) is so often part of the ongoing effects of dealing with your un-examined ableism, and not some character flaw on our part. If we are not getting involved in the work you are doing, think about why that might be, honestly. If you think it’s because we just want to complain about something and not actually do any work, you are so incredibly, fantastically clued-out, you have missed the point entirely.
Please, some simple steps to not reinforcing ableism while this work happens:
- Step back.
- Ask what is needed. [No, you don’t automatically know.]
- Ask how or if you can help. [Sometimes we actually don’t want or need your help.]
- Actually listen to the answers. [They matter, and they should inform how you proceed.]
- Offer resources if you have them, [but don’t just plow ahead as though no one’s been doing anything this whole time.]
- Listen the closest to disabled folks. [Have actual conversations with disabled folks about our lives and understand that this takes time and trust and you may not have ours yet, and you need trust to build community with us.]
- Do your own re-learning work.
- Follow direction.
- Re-centre disabled folks.
And no, i don’t want to talk with random able-bodied folks about this rant.