The 2022 Visions of Community Conference happened in late March of this year, and its positive effect on our community of allies continues.
Parents learned tips and tricks for supporting their children through advocacy (and themselves through workshops in self-care!). Young adults with disabilities explored the vast potential of their future. Educators and others who support people with disabilities learned how to meaningfully engage with families. Everyone came together, forming a community of collaborators with the shared mission of empowering and supporting people with disabilities.
This being my first VOC conference with the Federation, I wanted to share one of my favorite moments and lessons from that day. Haben Girma was the first keynote speaker and talked about reframing how we use words like “inspirational” in the context of people with disabilities. She gave words to what some of our blind spots are in terms of disability. She spoke about the difference between calling a person with disabilities inspirational and saying that they inspired you to take action through their story or their words.
Because of self-advocates such as Haben, I am inspired to increase the accessibility of the information I put out through my work at FCSN. I am also inspired to challenge any preconceived notions about people with disabilities I may have— as this is always a continuous process in all of our work as allies of the disability community.
Now that I shared what I felt inspired to do, I want you to think about:
What do self-advocates like Haben inspire you to do?