AAAAAARGH inappropriate questions! Where do I even start?
We get them day in and day out and the worst part is always that the askee never understands why it isn’t ok. Sometimes we are too tired to educate people, others we just don’t have the time but how do we get this information across so we stop butting up against this?
It’s no secret that my personal opinion is representation. Books, TV and media are an excellent gateway for people to learn about experiences different from their own but having worked in the TV industry I also know the uphill battle that we still have to fight.
There is still that idea that diversity is another target to hit. It becomes a box ticking exercise and I think that is largely down to the way it’s represented. We aren’t fundamentally teaching the importance of it first. what it means to be represented or in many cases, not.
If people don’t have an understanding of the why they cannot implement the changes properly. We are not creating allies that can go out into the world and spread the message because they don’t understand it in the first place.
Diversity was only ever about trying to collect more of it. In my entire career even the diversity training I had, never touched on the why of it. It just taught me how to ‘capture data’.
I’m not pretending I have all the answers to this and certainly the solution isn’t something we can easily decide upon. A lot, I would say relies, on the amplification of disabled voices but also breaking down training to explaining the real reasons it’s important and getting people to connect with that. that aren’t a part of the community.
I understand that idea can cause some what of a stir in our community. I know many don’t think we should be trying to pander to non disabled voices but above all I am pragmatic. I have worked at the front line of this and can tell you that people resent diversity more than engage with it. It’s sad but true and frankly we need them on our side as this is not something we can tackle alone.
What are your views? Do you think I am completely wrong? Let’s talk in the comments below!