“By The Power Of #Hashtags”

Online activism can be powerful, as campaigns like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite have demonstrated. Hashtags like these can be especially useful in highlighting the shared experiences of a particular group and creating space for solidarity to be given and received. Crucially they can make abusive or oppressive behaviour visible, allowing it to be better understood and challenged.

Online activism plays a vital role within the campaign for disability equality and justice, with digital platforms enabling people to campaign from bed and allowing disabled people to connect across borders. This doesn’t mean that wider activist campaigns and spaces shouldn’t campaign for disabled people, as tweets like these from activists @twitchyspoonie and @BeingCharisBlog about yesterday’s Women’s March demonstrate.

 

 

 

I join these and many other voices calling for increased accessibility within social justice campaigns. Anyone organising an event should consider different types of body and mind – there are some resources that might help with this here and here.
Over the last few days my timeline’s been full of tweets from disabled people across the globe using the hashtag #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow which was created by the brilliant @Imani_Barbarin who also brought us #DisTheOscars.

Seeing so many aspects of my daily life made visible through #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow has felt powerful and moving. Here are just a few of the tweets I strongly relate to:

 

 

I couldn’t agree more with the last one: the hashtag shares vital insight and knowledge, and it’s something everyone should read, understand and, where appropriate, contribute to.

But this isn’t the only brilliant disability-related hashtag – here are some others well worth checking out @Keah_Maria‘s #disabledandcute, Alice Wong‘s #SuckItAbleism, @BlondeHistorian’s #JustAskDontGrab and @StayUpLateUK’s #nobedtimes.

To all those tirelessly campaigning for increased understanding and access for disabled people, thank you. If you’re non-disabled and want to be a good ally you can find some useful advice here and here. We must keep finding ways to connect with, listen to, and amplify the messages of disabled people.

My tics love creating hashtags too, but I don’t expect to see these trending anytime soon: “#ILoveDonkeyHair”, “#AllenKeysAreDangerous” or “#YourDingleOrYourDangle”

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