International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) on December 3 aims to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all spheres of society. It seeks to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in political, social, economic and cultural life.
This year’s theme is “Fighting for rights in the post-COVID era”. The day aims to recognise the challenges and opportunities for people with disabilities in the context of the ongoing global pandemic, which has had a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities. The everyday exclusion and discrimination faced by people with disabilities has only increased with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Ongoing lockdown restrictions and medical vulnerability have meant that people with disabilities have faced unusual levels of isolation.
What can you do today to engage with the Disability Rights movement?
To mark International Day for People with Disabilities, London Vision has put together some ideas for engaging with the global disability rights movement.
Watch a film
Why not check out Crip Camp – it’s about a revolutionary American summer camp for people with disabilities. Many of those who attended the camp went on to become powerful activists in the disability community and campaigned to change legislation in the US.
You can watch it now on Netflix!
Particularly relevant to this year’s theme, Hen Night is about Jessica, a young disabled woman who holds her hen night just before the UK goes into full lockdown. As the world shuts down, the precarious nature of Jessica’s existence is laid bare when both her adapted Motability car and social care are withdrawn due to funding cuts; and she struggles to work and live her normal life as a result. It’s a short film inspired by some of the accounts featured in Frances Ryan’s book Crippled.
Read some disability focussed literature
Get better informed about disability by reading Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People by Frances Ryan. Recently updated to reflect the impact of COVID19 on the UK’s 14 million disabled people, Crippled tells the stories of Britain’s disabled population, how they have been systematically demonised by the press and presented as a drain on society’s resources. Ryan charts how the public attitude towards disabled people has transformed from compassion to contempt: from society’s ‘most vulnerable’ to benefit cheats.
Learn more about disability in the US by reading Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century by Alice Wong.
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent – but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. In this book, activist Alice Wong brings together an urgent, galvanising collection of contemporary essays by disabled people. This anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community.
Get planning some inclusive activities for 2022! London Vision’s favourite performers Quiplash are planning lots of new events for 2022. Quiplash consult, run workshops and training and make performances that disrupt perceived norms within LGBTQ+ spaces and disability led spaces in order to facilitate discussion and change. Their work pushes the boundaries of performance in more radical and inclusive ways and creates and promotes community-based models of access for the queer community, whiling making performances that are accessible.
Check out the Quiplash website for more information!
Talking of nights out – get down to a Georgie Morrell show! Georgie Morrell is a stand-up comedian, award-nominated actor, writer and (as she says herself) a One-Eyed Legend. Georgie is known for her own brand of gossipy humour mixed with disabled banter and she’s got gigs happening right through December until February.