Dominick Evans, about a multifaceted event he’s been planning for September 26, called Celebrate Access Equality. For some reason, I kept mentally noting it and then promptly forgetting about it. I can’t keep track of every disability rights event, and even if I could, I don’t have the time and energy to dive deep into all of them. So this one slipped to the back burner.
I hope you are well! I’m writing to tell you about a project I’ve been working on the last several months. I am working with others with disabilities around the world to promote a day to educate and inform about access barriers. I believe that the vast majority of discrimination people with disabilities face is due to lack of access.
In my mind, access isn’t just about physically being able to move around this world. Access barriers can be mental and emotional. Access barriers can include stigma and oppression. As such, something needs to change. We need to make the world aware of access barriers, so that real change can be made. That is the idea behind the day of Access Equality.
Participation can occur anywhere in the world. There are a variety of ways to participate. These include:
-sharing our FB page located here: https://www.facebook.com/AccessEquality
-tweeting about access barriers using #AccessEquality
-contacting state and federal government representatives
-protest in your own community
-sign petitions relating to access barriers
-rate a business for accessibility on apps like AXS Map and AbleRoad
-support organizations holding protests, actions, and events on September 26 by sharing their updates
We’re also planning events throughout the day, including a twitter chat, and live streaming.
We are offering two gift cards on Amazon to encourage participation. One person will randomly be selected from those who choose to blog, and one person will be selected from those who take pictures in their community and post them to our FB page and/or using our #AccessEquality. Participants do not have to be disabled themselves, although we heartily encourage individuals to share their own personal experiences with access barriers!
The idea is to create so much content and noise on September 26 that it is too hard not to notice us.
You can find more ideas and information here:
I could really use your help. Please share this information with your networks and encourage participation. Please also consider participating. We need your voices!!
I appreciate your consideration and possible participation.
I plan on joining in the Twitter discussion on September 26, posting a blog post here at Disability Thinking on that day, and helping promote all of the above activities.
Most of all, I plan to help Dominick kick off a really significant push for disabled people and disability activists to enter hundreds, maybe thousands of businesses into online accessibility mapping tools like AbleRoad and AXS Map. Nothing is definite yet, but it looks like our best bet will be to use AXS Map, which has a feature that keeps track of group mapping efforts.
To review ...
These mapping tools use existing Internet-based maps and consumer review sites like Yelp to form the basis of easily consulted reports on accessibility at businesses and other public facilities. Both programs can be added to and consulted on a PC’s web browser, and both also have accompanying mobile apps, so you can enter reviews immediately, without having to take notes and enter them later. Anyone can go to one or both of these sites, download the apps, and get started. If you’re still foggy on how this works, check out this video:
Our tentative plan is to set up a Mapathon at AXS Map, and invite people to register (for free) and commit to enter a certain number of site accessibility reviews. We are thinking we will use September 26 for the kickoff, with an end date of December 31. As soon as the Mapathon is set up, we’ll announce how to get started.
Meanwhile, here is some additional information about the September 26 Access Equality Day: