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Tag : disability

July 9, 2019 by

“Can I Borrow Your Wheelchair?”

“A culminating moment for me was when one of the resident advisors in my dorm—an able-bodied woman—asked if she could borrow my wheelchair for a simulation during Disability Awareness Week. Of course, I said no. I was so frustrated that the university saw disability as a problem to be fixed. I was also the first student who used a wheelchair to be enrolled in the Honors College. The building had a ramp, but not automatic doors, and there was no easy way for me to get to the lounge or computer areas. Some of the professors held events in their homes and I was never able to go. I felt as though I was always throwing a wrench into their erudite plans. I was not mistreated, but they were unprepared for a physically disabled student. It was a complete lack of recognition that dealing with disabilities involves complex and nuanced solutions.”

Disability rights activist Emily Ladau on “How to Make Feminism Include Everyone,” an interview with ELEANOR J. BADER, The Lilith Blog, March 2019.

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The Lilith Blog

March 22, 2019 by

Disability Rights Activist Emily Ladau on How to Make Feminism Include Everyone

While sipping tea in a funky, independently owned café in Babylon, New York, disability justice activist-writer Emily Ladau suddenly makes an unexpected confession: “I have a fraught relationship with feminism,” she says.

It’s not ideological. 

Ladau is pro-choice, pro-ERA, pro-LGBTQ equality, and supports equal pay for work of equal value. But as someone who uses a wheelchair, she has frequently felt excluded. “I don’t think feminists who are not disabled identify with me, even though I identify with them,” she explains. “Feminist groups often ignore the fact that disability intersects with every other marginalized identity.”

Changing this—not just within the women’s movement but in the world at large—is Ladau’s passion and, as editor of Rooted in Rights (rootedinrights.org), she and other writers work tirelessly to expose—and push back against—the many ways in which the disabled are belittled, condescended to and all too often completely ignored.

Ladau and Lilith’s Eleanor J. Bader met in late February to discuss how she became an outspoken advocate and educator.

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