Sunday, 1 April 2018

Sunday Short - this is systemic disableism

This post first appeared on facebook on 24/03/18

This was inspired by the HuffPost article BBC Journalist Criticises Heathrow Airport's Treatment of Disabled Passengers
This is what we mean by systemic disableism. Having guidelines or systems or accessibility features is all well and good but they have to work. You have to be able to use them smoothly and effectively. If they are an afterthought, addition, or hidden away in the back of a training folder they aren't actually accommodations.

You need to think about accessibility right from the beginning and have accommodations for disabled people as seamless a feature as any service you offer to literally any other customer. If you are designing services or features for your customers you have to include all you customers able bodied and disabled right from the start because if you don't the chances are your accommodations won't actually accommodate. A disabled customer, client, or service user is no lesser than any other customer. They are not a subclass, or different species. They are people who should be valued equally with your able bodied customers. And that means you don't lose a wheelchair.

You can read more about my thoughts on this issue along with more examples in this article: Your Accessibility Needs to Be Accessible

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Laptop Fund

My laptop is on its last legs. It has recurring power issues, is starting to crash more frequently and is doing some weird stuff. Though I have an old back up laptop it is old and has its own problems and doesn't run some of the programs I need. I am disabled and often stuck at home: my laptop is what keeps me connected to the world. I use it to talk to friends and family, see what is going on in the world and to learn.

More than that it's what I use to write for my blog Axes'n'Yarn and to run access:LARP. I have a very very small income through access:LARP but without the laptop I couldn't even earn that! Any contributions to my new laptop fund (or let's be honest, a refurbished laptop fund) are greatly appreciated as I am not sure how I can afford a new one right now and I am scared of loosing my connection to the world. I'm not aiming for a super fancy high end gaming laptop, my needs are fairly modest. I just need something that works, actually charges and keeps me connected.

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