Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (#IDPWD). I so often see people worrying that they aren’t good enough activists because they aren’t doing enough, aren’t being loud enough, aren’t pushing hard enough in support of the disability rights movement. Would you believe me if I said just being present is activism?
Existing in this world as a disabled person is inherently a radical act of resistance. Simply BEING and unapologetically taking up space is itself a monumental step forward for the disability rights movement.
Being open about your disability with friends or family, using accommodations, being present in the same spaces as able bodied people, expecting equality — these are each a form of activism. You’re showing that we belong. We are valuable. We are here and we deserve to be. Without necessarily realizing it, your quiet presence pushes those around you to reshape their worldview.
Never forget that persevering and striving for more in an ableist world is activism. It doesn’t have to be protests, articles, news stories, awareness events. Your mere existence is radical resistance, and it’s immeasurably impactful.