Access Is Love
Happy Valentine’s Day!
As you may know, my tics rename Valentine’s Day pretty much every year, this year they’ve gone for:
“Happy Boot and Bear Day”
“Happy Thorn In Your Side Day”
“Happy Emotional Roller Coaster Afternoon”
They might make me sound quite cynical about a day that celebrates love, but I’m not. Love is an incredibly powerful force – I’m not sure I’d describe it as ‘just’ an emotion. Giving and receiving love is the most beautiful act I can imagine, and I’m definitely not just talking about romantic love.
I’m lucky to feel loved and to be in a position to give a lot as well. The intimacy and trust that can develop between me and those who support me is a particular type of love, but it’s one that I rarely see included in people’s attempts to describe it. So when I saw that three incredible disabled writers and activists – Mia Mingus, Alice Wong and Sandy Ho – had teamed up to create a new project #AccessIsLove, my heart soared.
(Image Description: Jess Thom, a white woman with short curly hair, smiles and raises her arms in the air. She’s wearing a long-sleeved black t-shirt with the text ‘Access Is Love’ written on it, and the ‘o’ in ‘love’ is a heart.)
The Access Is Love campaign recognises that thinking about difference and accessibility is a responsibility for everyone, not just for a few individuals or specialist organisations.
The environments we move in are sending us messages all the time. For many disabled people these messages are often quite negative: ‘You’ve not been thought about’ or ‘You’re not welcome’. Providing access, on the other hand, has the potential to send totally different messages: ‘We’ve thought about you’, ‘You’re wanted here’, and most crucially, ‘You are loved!’
This Valentine’s Day please check out the Access Is Love top ten and consider making a commitment to access – this is one of the best commitments you can make because it has the potential to bring loads of new ideas and people into your life.
My tics certainly seem to be ready to get on board:
“Happy World At Your Feet Day”
“Happy Hug An Audio Describer Day”
“Happy Wheelchair Appreciation Lifetime”