Academic Ableism

A graduation ceremony. Photographed from a distance, Amy, photographed from behind, has walked up steps and across a stage. In the background on auditorium style seating, a group of academics in robes. Amy's blonde hair is visible, she wears a black academic gown with green hood.

In an article titled, Extremist and Disability Chic, academics Kauffman & Badar state: “we do not want disability to be seen as merely another form of good or acceptable diversity”. They argue that disability is inherently ‘bad’, a curse rather than a gift, something to be prevented, cured, segregated and institutionalised. According to Kauffman &… Continue reading Academic Ableism

How does disability define me?

Amy is being filmed. She stands at a pedestrian crossing, her cane in her left hand reaching out onto the tactile paving. In front of her a road, to her right, the pedestrian button box, crouching beside her a camera woman in a green tshirt points the camera up at Amy. Amy wears a pink tshirt, sunglasses, and has tropical pattered trousers.

For nearly 27 years I used to say that I wasn’t “defined by my disability”. The reality was that I had internalised pervasive, toxic and negative representations of disability. By refusing to be defined by my disability, I denied myself an identity, a community and the support I needed. My disability used to be something… Continue reading How does disability define me?

Bold, Blind & Beautiful?

Two side by side photos. One Amy's plain blonde hair from the back, the other Amy's hair with the light pink to hot pink to purple fade at the of her hair.

I don’t really consider myself very fashionable. I’ve never had a massive interest in clothes. I wear makeup somewhat begrudgingly and constantly feel like I’m probably getting it wrong. My wardrobe contains more PJs than nice dresses. A recent transition to a new job has meant I’ve had to dress a bit more professionally in… Continue reading Bold, Blind & Beautiful?

“Just Ask, Don’t Grab”: the role of Active Bystander Intervention

A flow chart titled active bystander intervention techniques. Heading, witnessing harassment and 5 arrows pointing to sub headings and boxes. 1. No action, do nothing to intervene in the harassment. 2. Direct action, directly intervene and confront the perpetrator. 3. distraction de-escalate teh situation by engaging the perpetrator or the target in conversation, 4, delegation ask someone with more power in the situation to intervene instead of you, 5, delay, wait until the harassment stops then approach the target to check they are alright.

With the rise in hate crime so evident, street harassment is on the minds of many of us. However, for disabled people, street harassment is a matter of every-day living. It is a very rare day that I am able to leave the house with my wheelchair and not be subjected to some form of… Continue reading “Just Ask, Don’t Grab”: the role of Active Bystander Intervention