I believe now is the time to stop whooping about awareness and take some real actions. Pride in disability identity might be a step, or innovatively defending disability rights another. We the disabled community would love to see everyone with the spirit and audacity to accost and confront the weary awareness trope and begin taking substantive steps.
As many in my generation will have experienced, I left high school full of self-doubt and confusion about my future. I certainly didn't have a plan about what to do with my life and the idea of running my own business seemed completely alien to me. The only thing I was sure about is that I wanted to improve my English. So at a young age I took the plunge and moved from my hometown in Italy to the capital of the UK, full of nerves and anticipation for my future.
In recent times I've banged on a lot about my foundations. Thankfully, for now, my health/care/equipment/housing/finances/relationships are in a good place. Of course I'm always protecting, fighting and securing these. But overall I'm in a place where I can enjoy them, and concentrate on new and exciting things.
If anything festivals are starting to lead the way in demonstrating how deaf and disabled people can fully enjoy the whole experience alongside their family and friends. In my own experience many of the big festivals are going beyond the simple legal access requirements and doing more than paying lip service to accessibility.
It is striking that despite the significant variance in mathematical ability between within gender, generalised binary rules are often applied when discussing these issues. This phenomenon is not exclusive to gender and skills, but seen consistently in situations where there are different groups, leading to stereotype formation.
Like many disabled people, I just want access to the same places and products as everyone else, and I hope disabled people feel as encouraged as I do that this report may be the best way in which we can start to access them. So if you are reading this as a disabled person, the next time you feel discriminated against, my advice is to do a Julia Roberts...
It is a daily experience that anyone who is disabled will know all too well. I have been a wheelchair user for 35 years, and while there is now a law stating that businesses should make every "reasonable adjustment" to ensure that they are accessible the real experience is that many places are still closed to disabled people.