Monday, September 29, 2014

Fundraiser: Get Self-Advocates to #TASH2014

If you're looking for Imaginary Friends, I will have Ch. 14 up later today. For now:

Kerima Cevik has partnered with The Ollibean Foundation to help raise money for self-advocates and disabled scholars who have been accepted to present at the TASH disability rights conference on Dec. 3-5. This is an important conference of disabled presenters to be able to attend, because TASH has stated that they wish to emphasize the voices of disabled people and that they are committed to disability rights, but their actual event is too pricey for many to attend. (Myself included.)

Because I already knew about the costs and I have other events this fall, I did not submit to this one. If it was affordable, though, I might have considered attending it. Several of my friends did submit though, and I want them to be able to attend and to help this organization move toward including disabled voices equally, so I really want my friends to be able to do their presentations. My hope is that once they see how many great presenters they were pricing out of their event, that they might move toward an organizational plan and price structure that is more fair and inclusive.

I know that it's tempting to have a "F@#$ them" attitude toward disability groups that are not already making their events as accessible economically as they are physically, since the assumption of wealth tends to create a de facto emphasis on the voices of professionals who often think they know better than their clients, but this is the way the work gets done. Paying these costs is what activists need to do in order to prevent high attendance costs in the future, because TASH will not hear their voices unless they actually make it to the conference to present.

That's the work we do, all of us, whether we're attending this particular conference or not. Activism is about paying the unfair price so that other people don't have to, and it's also about making sure that people realize why it's unfair.

If you want to help make sure that these activists and self-advocates are heard, you can give at the link below.