Originally written as a Facebook post on International Day of People with Disability, our founder Rebekah Lambert muses as a person with disabilities on what the day means for her. 

I have been asked (nudged?) by a couple of people today re: acknowledging International Day of People with Disability.

OK, so here goes.
I’m really, really fucking happy that the world is (fina-fucking-lly) realising disability isn’t some shameful end-game. That mental health, physical health and disability disclosure is up is fantastic.
We don’t have to hide away anymore because able-bods won’t be scared to catch cooties. 😉

But there’s still work to be done.

We live in a world built from an unrealistic and unrealised position of health. One that creates situations in policy, architecture and public sentiment that excludes, marginalises and trivialises the impact not only disability but the covert and overt aggression felt by people with disabilities every damn day.
<I deleted a tonne of ranty stuff so just imagine me blowing a small gasket here>
BUT… I have hope. Because change is happening.

What would I like to see more of in 2022?

  • Less “we tack this on the end” and more “we design with disability in mind” style thinking across architecture and digital spaces
  • Less disability community in-fighting
  • Greater education and understanding of Neurodiversity – and with it, less fear, blame and shame
  • Representation – and variation of representatives within that advocacy as the younger generation and previous quiet people ‘come out’
  • More challenging of the language surrounding mental health and disability itself
  • Greater understanding of the life-cycle to disability and that it is a club anyone can join at any time – and one 70% do by age 70
  • Better understanding that higher diagnosis and visibility doesn’t mean all of a sudden everyone is “getting disabled”. We’re simply better at classification, spotting, and encouraging disclosure of a wider range of disabilities these days
  • That greater understanding and disclosure is a cause for celebration. Because it’s proof we’re moving away from a very narrow definition of people
  • More of your ideas of what you want to have happen, too 🙂

If you would like to read more about my thoughts on disability outside this writing for the International Day of People with Disability 2021, you can start with what to do when your health falls apart.

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