Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion from a Disability Lens
Updated: May 25, 2022
Today I had the honor to be the guest speaker at the May 2022 meeting of the Diversity Roundtable of Central Indiana. The topic was Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion from a Disability Lens which expands on the revelation that disabilities, which are tremendously diverse in and of themselves, do not discriminate. Disabilities cross all demographics...cultural, racial, economic, etc. People with Disabilities, when viewed as a global culture, share a history of suspicion, oppression, and injustice dating back to before we began to measure time, and makes up the largest minority in the world.
The description of the event can still be found here:
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion from a Disability Lens - Member Event By Diversity Roundtable of Central Indiana (drtci.org)
The following is just a short synopsis of the high points:
In the United States, People with Disabilities make up a quarter of the population and growing, as the overall population is aging and acquiring more disabilities every day. Globally People with Disabilities are growing at an exponential rate as people suffer physical, mental, and emotional trauma from violent events like natural disasters, school shootings, war, and so on. In Ukraine, People with Disabilities are acquiring additional disabilities while new People with Disabilities are also created around them from Russia's violence. People with disabilities are being left behind on the evacuation trails.
If we focus on building a world that is inclusive of People with Disabilities, we foster opportunities for connection amongst a naturally diverse population. We create environments where People with Disabilities are able to adapt to their medical challenges through the use of assistive technology and reasonable accommodations and are not disabled by a society that isn't designed for them. If we foster inclusive communities then we promote equity by ensuring that people with disabilities are not only welcome at the table but are in an equitable position to lead the table.
Due to a technical difficulty, we were only able to capture about 25 minutes of the presentation on video. Unfortunately, this did not include the portion of the presentation that covered my origin and journey as a Person with a Disability. We did send out the presentation in PDF form afterwards, but this does not include the videos that I built into the presentation to demonstrate both how my legs work and what can be achieved when you stop saying "I can't" or listening to the people who say, "you can't" and start asking "how can I..."? So, I've posted them here:
To see the final 25 minute segment of todays presentation, which includes some valuable information and resources, watch this video: