While social media is still becoming more accessible, it has a great potential for promoting inclusivity, especially disability advocacy. People who have a disability are not only a part of the largest minority group, but also the most inclusive—anyone can become disabled at any time in their life. Despite this, and like many minorities, the disabled community has a long history of fighting for visibility and inclusion. With the rise of social media, more and more individuals are using their platforms to educate and find support in their communities.
However, the complications of social media can also play a greater role in spreading misconceptions; Rava AlJadir from Disability Horizons writes about the harmful effects that presenting perfect images has on mental health. From the perspective of someone who does not identify as disabled, I realized that when it comes to social media, it is important to avoid contributing to toxic positivity, and instead contribute to the dialogue that recognizes and accepts people for who they are, with their human beauty and all their struggles.
Of course, one can only do that by learning! To learn more about disability history, advocacy and experiences, here are some social media account recommendations I particularly like from Rebekah Taussig, author of the novel Sitting Pretty:
- Alice Wong (@Disability_Visability) created the Disability Visibility Project and uses her platform to educate and uplift the voices of disabled individuals.
- #CripLit has excellent literature recommendations from disabled authors.
- #DisabledAndBlack discusses language, medical racism and advocacy with empowerment and honesty.
- #DisabledAnd has a lot of advocacy and perspective shifters. In fact, If you simply search #DisabledAnd, there will be many more tags that you can explore!