I have noticed something lately that is both exciting and a little scary. Ableism is trending. People are starting to know what it is and take action to be more inclusive of disabilities. It is exciting. It has potential. But it also has the potential to become the next easy hit.
Racism has been trending for a little while now. Everyone is talking about it. Everyone is quick to put up Black Lives Matter signs. CEOs of major companies wrote statements in support of black lives. But what didn’t happen is systematic change. When a topic becomes trendy, people want in and want the easiest way in possible. But dismantling issues such as ableism and racism is far from easy. It is hard work. It is isolating work. Everyone wants to be seen as inclusive but not necessarily at the cost of their own privilege.
Racism is a hot topic but it is far from ended. And now ableism is being pulled into the spotlight as well. Great! We need to talk about it. People need to be made aware of it. But it is going to take a lot more work than just adding a wheelchair avatar to Animal Crossing. Yes, a nice gesture but could disabled people have some fundamental rights as well? Could disabled people maybe have equal access to healthcare, jobs, transportation? Oh yea and that multimillion-dollar brand spanking new building they built down the street, would it have killed you to make it accessible? Could disabled people get married or enjoy a promotion without living in fear that their life-saving services could be taken away?
I really am excited you all are finally arriving. I really am. I am so glad you are working to learn more about disabilities and inclusion. We welcome you to the fight. Just please remember, this issue goes deep. So please don’t stop at a yard sign (oh and btw, could you at least include us now on those “all-inclusive” signs while you are at it? K thanx bye).