DISCLAIMER: the signs were voice-interpreted and the transcript based off of those interpretations, so there may be some things that were lost in translation.
HEARD is hosting monthly, hour-long webinars on various topics related to carceral systems and cross-movement building (i.e., how can non-deaf/disability movements ensure that their actions/content is accessible/access-centered). We hope our webinars–which are live-captioned and interpreted in American Sign Language/English–will serve as a model for other groups/collectives. Our goal is to increase access to information about mass incarceration (and other related systems) to deaf/disabled communities who have historically been shut out from information access due to the failure of most organizers and organizations to ensure that their content and actions are accessible.
This webinar’s goal is to understand the fact that Disabled people represent about 20% of the United States population, but make up over 50% of the people killed by police and of jail & prison populations nationwide.
Even so, organizers often erase, exclude or do not consider disability in their actions or community building efforts. Some instances of this disability erasure/exclusion are more visible–no ASL interpreters, ramps, etc. Other instances are more nuanced such as disallowing breaks, using ableist language, refusal to have scent-free spaces, etc.
We will learn how ableism & audism compound racism, classism, and other oppressions, and learn how to create access-centered spaces. Panelists will define ableism/audism; discuss experiences of ableism/audism within activist action/events; & explain how failure to consider and center disabled/deaf people in movements/actions has been detrimental to the very existence of resistance & rebellion.
Please be patient & gentle with HEARD as we work hard to organize access-centered webinars. We’re a volunteer-run organization & are doing our absolute best with this very new process. We expect that there will be a lot of learning before, during & after each webinar. With your support we will be able to adjust & improve each month. Access-centered organizing requires community support, so we are depending on you.