Ouch weblog: individual blog entry
27 Jun 07, 12:12 AM - Fighting For Accessibility - It Ain't Just Me Anymore
I am really cranky with the world today - OK, I've been rather ornery for the last few weeks. I've been reading and writing a lot about disability rights and feminism, and I'm toeing the line between being a passionate fighter for civil rights or a bitter shrieking harpy. Today, the bee in my bonnet is the lack of accessible spaces.
I'm planning to hit a local gay bar downtown to do karaoke with my friends tonight. I invited my disabled friends to come along. One of them drives a power wheelchair. This bar has a wheelchair lift, but I have no idea whether it works or not, and if I need a key, and who holds the key, etc. I've called them several times and emailed them once and no one has gotten back to me. I don't want my friend to come all the way downtown if she's not able to get upstairs to the bar.
I'm also politely arguing with a local Pagan group over holding accessible rituals. When I wrote to the list saying that every ritual should be fully accessible, several people wrote back replying that if I want accessible ritual space, I can always volunteer to organize a ritual. There are so many things wrong with that. I won't get into all of here, because I've already gone into detail on my blog, but I'm pretty steamed. I probably will organize a future ritual, because I'm perfectly capable of doing it, but I shouldn't have to in order to have access to one. All I have to say is - and forgive me if you're not Pagan or otherwise informed and don't get the joke - there will be no Spiral Dances in my ritual!!!
Haven't we been fighting this fight for decades now? It's amazing that people I like and respect Just Don't Get It.
You know, once upon a time, I wouldn't have said anything. Actually, last year I wouldn't have said anything. I would have figured that since I was probably the only group member with accessibility issues, it wasn't worth raising a fuss over. After all, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, right?
But since connecting with a diverse group of disability bloggers from all over the world, I finally realize that it's not just my problem. Even if I am the only disabled member of a particular group, the fight for accessibility is still worth fighting. I'm not just fighting for myself; I'm fighting for my friends, their friends, future PWDs, parents of PWDs, children of PWDs, the elderly, people with disabilities all over the world.
I'm really glad that I don't feel alone anymore. It's nice to be fighting in solidarity for a cause that unites many, instead of fighting alone, or suffering in silence.
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