Actually the official UN name for it is International Day of Persons with Disabilities and this year the theme is "removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all". It's a good theme, it's a great theme. It's also a kind of lifetimes work to even imagine what a society for all would really look like and feel like.
I think a good place to start is to try and understand that disability isn't just something that happens to a body. Breaking your neck, getting blown up and losing a leg, having a body that hurts all the time or a body that moves, talks, and understands in ways that seem non-normative, those are the things that I think most people think about when they think about disability. And that's part of disability. But just as being religious is a lot more than showing up in a room and praying, being disabled is a lot more than how one's body moves, how one's mind thinks, and how one is stared at and judged for these things.
So if you've got 10-15 minutes and want to do something to celebrate the day, check out any of the links below.
Disability and Language: it's not about unthinkingly using words that someone told you are the "right" ones to use. Disability and language means thinking about language and using it in ways that make things clearer for everyone and make it easier for everyone to feel like they can communicate. If you want to know a bit more about language and disability here are a few things to check out:
- About.com: Disability and Language
- CMAJ: Person-first language: Noble intent but to what effect?
- Bitch Magazine: Tales from the Crip - Ready, Willing, and Disabled
Disability in the News: The Associated Press recently covered an important report on disabled parents and the biases they face. And if you have been hearing a lot about sexual surrogacy and disability thanks to the popular film The Sessions, why not treat yourself to some decidedly less Hollywood friendly examples of poet Mark O'Brien's work, courtesy of Mouth Magazine Message To a Piece of Shit & Letter to an Orange County Social Worker.
Disability Culture: There's so much going on in disability culture, here are just a few to check out:
- The Wild Magazine: Leroy Moore, Kripping Our Kulture
- Kiss Kiss Bank Bank: Etreinte Publique
- This is What Disability Looks Like
And finally, since this is a site about sexuality, check out any of the links on the following page: See It, Hear It, Read It, Feel It: Sex and Disability Represent
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