“Accessibility is a priority, not an afterthought.” –Rorri Burton, Pro Bono ASL
We, as community arts educators, cannot commit to anti-racism, anti-sexism, and anti-ageism without committing to disability justice –and vice versa.
1 and 4 Americans are living with a disability, and when you include “invisible” disabilities (such as mental health and learning disabilities), the percentage increases. Further still, the likelihood, and impact, of living with a disability is disproportionately greater for Black people, people over the age of 65, and people in poverty.
And yet, too often in community arts education, people with disabilities are treated as an afterthought, as Rorri cautions, in everything from our programs and meeting spaces to our storytelling and finances, to our leadership and equitywork. This issue of GuildNotes shares perspectives and tangible advice on how to change this harmful tendency and intentionally prioritize people with disabilities.