Access is just the start

Access is just the start

A recent commission for a collaboration between Women Enabled International and Revival Disability India discussing real climate justice from the lens of disabled activists, Àine, Lakshay and Tejaswi.

Grateful to Anna Maria Joseph (@whatnow_annafor reaching out to me with such a powerful article as a backdrop to create some fresh illustrations on this very important subject.

I pulled from personal experience to create this piece. I don't get out much in my wheelchair, when I do, usually it's to visit a hospital or my GP where access is plenty...except for the car park where folx still think parking on the ramp access to a pavement is fine because it's some form of space.
It's not fine to be wheeled into oncoming traffic on a blind bend.

Part of the reason I don't get out more is because I already know how poor wheelchair access is in my town, and most towns around me.
Any and all planning for a future with adjustments for climate has to also be fully accessible for any wheelchair or any person needing accommodations. When basic needs begin with disability needs being addressed first, everyone benefits in the span of their lifetime.

Illustration: A person with burgundy colored hair, wearing a green top and blue pants is sitting on a wheelchair, holding a white color board with blue text that says, “Nothing about us, without us” in all caps. There are symbols of a wheelchair user and an ear with a hearing aid on it. The person is facing a closed door that is greyish blue in color and has the twinkling stars in light blue. The door has a pale-yellow board hung on it that says “climate forum” in all caps, with text yellow in color. The wall around the door has bricks that are orange in color, followed by pastel green, yellow and brown colors. There is a blanket of green leaves that hangs from the top of the wall. A blue pot with an orange flowering plant sits beside the door and has a note in yellow with the text, “gone 4 lunch” in black and all caps. The ground is grey in color. The person on the wheelchair looks dejected at not being able to attend the climate forum.

“Cripping Climate Activism” is the title of the full article. The concept of ‘crip time’ is that things simply take longer when you have to navigate an able-designed world. The "Gone 4 Lunch" sign is indicative of not taking into account how it’s not always possible for disabled activists to access the same event in a reasonable time. How can this be addressed?

To read Anna’s full piece with illustrations please visit here.


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