01 May 2012

Blogging Against Disablism Day

On Sunday night I was alerted to Blogging Against Disablism Day via a tweet. Disables is discrimination against people with disability. The event is being run by Diaryof a Goldfish. You can get involved by blogging, on Twitter (theTwitter account is @BADDtweetsand the hashtag is #BADD2012) and sharing the posts about Blogging Against Disablism.

“The seventh annual Blogging Against Disablism day will be on Tuesday, 1st May. This is the day where all around the world, disabled and non-disabled people blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination. In this way, we hope to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we've made.”

The internet can be used for evil. Especially toward minority groups – there is a lot of online bullying by anonymous trolls.

The other day I saw a news article online about a young girl with Downs syndrome whose photo had been used in a cruel internet meme making fun of people with disabilities. While the news article covered this in a compassionate way, some of the comments didn’t, and were equally as offensive as the original meme.

I have also seen pictures of children with disabilities circulated on Facebook with the caption “like if you feel sorry for this baby” or “like if you think she is beautiful”. Again, the majority of the comments are discriminatory and offensive.

Pretty disgusting. And these meme and photo taunts spread virally. I am not going to link to the articles and pictures, I am sure you've seen them or similar.

However, the internet can be used for so much good. Blogging is a brilliant way to stamp out disablism.

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a fraud when people call me an activist or advocate. I am merely sharing my own experiences, and sometimes I feel I don't feel I know enough about disability or am not disabled enough to be an activist or advocate. So for this blogging event, I want to share some other fabulous bloggers who are doing their bit to raise awareness and change attitudes about disabilities.

Here are a few websites that I would love you to visit. These are every day people doing extraordinary things.

Avery's Bucket List – Baby Avery was born in November 2011 and at the beginning of April was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). It is not expected for her to live past 18 months old. Avery has a blog where “she tells” her story of ticking things off her bucket list. Her blog – written from the perspective of a baby, is very funny, and very uplifting. So far Avery has been kissed by an older boy, been to a sporting match at a stadium, eaten a cupcake, been recognised by a fan AND received her first tattoo of a Hello Kitty. Her blog raises awareness about SMA and asks for donations to help her achieve her bucket list and raise money for SMA research. Avery’s Bucket List is a beautiful read.

Living with Bob – Michelle writes about the challenges she faces living with Dysautonomia. One of the powerful posts Michelle wrote recently was to draw attention to a disablist Facebook group that was discriminating against people with disabilities using disabled parking spaces. Because Hate Is Not Hilarious. With the help of this post, she and her readers reported the Facebook group and had it closed down.

AutismOur Words – a site created by a number of mums, sharing their stories of having children with autism, and inviting others to do the same. The site is brand spanking, and I think they've done a great job to raise awareness and help others tell their stories.

And lastly there's this beautiful post by Magneto Bold Too. She writes about it being ok not to know what to say. It really moved me, and that is a sign of great writing. (Sorry I can't do a proper link - I'm updating on my phone.) http://magnetoboldtoo.com/2012/04/30/its-ok/
Please stop by to look at the blogsI've mentioned. And remember, disability is about all of us – it's about changing the way society treats people with disabilities, and changing attitudes towards them. Make a difference, blog against disablism.



  1. The word "Disabilism" is confusing me. Are they saying they are being discriminated against because they are NOT disabled? You're right, there are evil people in the world, and unfortunately the internet has helped them spread their poison globally.

    There was a story about Avery's Bucket List last night on the news. (I think it was our national news, although it might just have been carried by my local station (New York City.) I already follow Blessed by Brenna's blog, thanks to you.

    I'm amazed at how many people have set up blogs. I have friends who also do it, and I wonder how everyone comes up with so much to say. I don't have that much "in me." I guess (I hope) I have other talents.

    1. Disablism is discrimination against people with disabilities. Like racism, sexism. ...

  2. Oh, my mistake. I'm not familiar with that term, so I took it the opposite way. I'm not even sure what we call it here.

    1. I can understand your confusion: In the US it's sometimes called Abelism (which seems like it would be the opposite of Disabilism), but I've also seen the term 'handicapism;' more often, though, it's just called disability discrimination, which can make for confusion even amongst advocates.

    2. Thanks for that explanation Never That Easy. Terminology is tricky!

  3. You are a wealth of information Carly, thank you, and it's always great to read your perspective on things. Am feeling a bit disgusted by the facebook stuff, feel very isolated here on my hill, so sad to see there's so much hate and ignorance out there.. Have also voted for you for Blogher and SWC, good luck with both! You are one busy girl. Hope you're having a good week!

  4. Thanks for link to our Autism: In our words site Carly xx

  5. Sharing your experience helps others to see outside of their own experience and is just as big a part of advocacy as anything else you might do. Its not easy to put your life on display, and you do it with grace and style :)

  6. Thanks for the comment Beet. It sparked my confidence a lot. To be honest a couple of things have been said to me recently to make me question my role As an advocate.

  7. The best person you can speak for and about is yourself. Like songs, people do take their own most meaningful messages out of what you share with them. Writing what you know is what bloggers do best Carly- never feel apologetic for sharing what it's (literally) like to live in your skin. As far as I know, you're the only blogger who knows what that's like- how can that be fraudulent? It has ripple effects, it does.
    PS Thanks for mentioning our site xx

  8. Brilliant, Carly. This really needs to be talked about more. I am sickened by those memes and pictures circulating (I must say I haven't seen them thank goodness) - but I have seen similar things in relation to racism. Thank you for these links, I look forward to reading them.


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