On Really Getting What An Audit Is About

If you speak about RAMP’s (or anyone’s really) accessibility audit as simply a collection of boxes to tick off, and one which people and groups can simply use to “prove” they are “accessible” but then actually do little else, you do highlight a reality of living in an ableist society (where every tactic has its limitations, and every tool can be manipulated). And you also (i’m sure unintentionally) in some ways denigrate the process it entails, the work done by (in the case of RAMP) disabled folks, and most importantly you misunderstand the point.
.
The audit is not simply some dry, manipulate-able document for proving an individual or group’s commitment to accessibility; and it is not even simply about accessibility (whether someone takes a limited or expansive view of access). Try to remember that it’s a work in progress, it isn’t the only thing out there, and that RAMP welcomes feedback and input to make it even better and to keep it relevant.
.
Used to its full potential, i like to think of it as a whole process whereby individuals and groups begin (or continue) to look at the many ways their space/ event/ organizing group/ etc can shift its priorities, its philosophies, its understandings, and yes its walls, sometimes razing the entirety to the ground, to create and re-create not only a more welcoming space for multiply disabled folks, but to change, shift, demolish notions of worth, of solidarity, of resistance, of community altogether.
.
And it is something tangible that people can take away, whether variously disabled or not, and talk about within their own communities, can ask questions, can critique, can add ideas and specific experiences, can pick it apart, can adapt it to suit, can challenge the ableist notions that surround it.
.
And it is one tool those of us with decreased access (for a variety of reasons) can use to determine where and how we share our energy, talent, presence, brilliance and resistance.
.
And while it isn’t everything, doesn’t do everything, doesn’t encompass everything and isn’t without its limitations, it does add something, it does create dialogue and tangible change. i’ve seen it, experienced it first hand. 
And in a society that is pretty consistently telling variously disabled folks that our presence doesn’t have an impact, that our lives are not worth making and sharing space with, that does mean something.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s