Emma's Summer Contemplations - August 25th

This time the topic of Crip Camp was to build across movements. More specifically, how disability is a social justice issue and how the disability perspective is connected to other civil rights movements.

Of course disability issues is a social justice issue! As already stated several times this summer you are never just one thing; never just a crip but always a crip and…! This Sunday night there were several guest speakers who talked about their work with Disability Justice within other movements and organizations. There were conversations on everything from homelessness to discussions of mental illness among people in prison. Truly important issues which demand deliberate answers. At the same time there were also, as always, fireside questions for the participants to consider on their own. One of these was:

“What are the top three issues you want to work on and what groups would you work with to make it happen?”

I would have liked to make a deeper analysis on group belonging and disability – on how you are never just one thing, but at the same time never allowed to be more than just that one thing. But I have already had that rant. You surely know where I stand on this. How tired I am of, in the eyes of society, only be disabled and never disabled and. That is why I thought I would do a short post this time, where I simply offer a potential answer to the question above. I will refrain from stating possible collaboration partners and I myself am not the best suited person to work on these issues (there are pros who can do it hundred times better), but here are three issues about crip and… which should be talked about. What are your three?

  1. Employment!

Why do crips not get proper jobs, no matter further education? Why is it considered more reasonable, in the eyes of society, to live on governmental funding than have a regular salary? Disability is not equal to not being able!

  1. Women’s vulnerability!

Women’s vulnerability when it comes to domestic violence as well as sexual abuse is a fact, but no one talks about the vulnerable situation of women with disabilities. Hardly a fifth of all women’s shelters are accessible whatsoever, if you use an electric wheelchair you are pretty much screwed.

  1. Cityscape and architecture!

To build stairs as an aesthetic detail, to make specific accessible entrances and hidden elevators – what the hell. And no, a good wheelchair seating in the audience is not enough, we should also have access to the stage.

Emma Åstrand

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