What is disability justice? You may have heard of “Social Justice” or “Disability Rights”. Disability Justice is a lot like those. It asks us to be responsible for our actions and impacts on individuals who experience not only one kind of disability, but all kinds of disabilities. We should also consider our impact people who get treated unfairly based on their identities, such as their race, gender, or sexual orientation. That’s right, disability justice is not just about disability, but embracing a “whole person” in the form of all of their identities together. It is all about changing the ideas that people have about the value of a human body and a human life based on things like productivity or attractiveness. Where Self Advocacy is focused on fighting for your individual rights, Disability Justice is about society expecting and accepting differences in disability, identity and culture. Below are some of the core ideas of Disability Justice.
- All bodies are unique and essential.
- All bodies have strengths and needs that must be met.
- We are powerful, not despite the complexities of our bodies, but because of them.
- All bodies are confined by ability, race, gender, sexuality, class, nation state, religion, and more, and we cannot separate them.
This is the first post in a series about Disability Justice. The rest of the posts will go into detail about some of the ten Disability Justice Principles that guide the work of Disability Justice.