The Spark is a completely free festival of ideas, discussion, art, performance and more looking at how we can bring about positive change here in the UK and around the world 20 – 26 July 2015.
Sisters of Frida were invited again after last year’s participation. Some of us participated at Sparks and lead workshops.
Ciara and Dyi had a workshop: The ability in disability: questioning the idea of being healthy and well-being
This workshop asks what is ‘normal’? It explores ideas around ‘ability in disability’, ‘normal health’ or ‘healthy’. It encourages a curiosity about understanding ableism as a system that affects everyone by dictating what is ‘normal’ around ability, including ideas and practices around ‘health’ and ‘well-being’.
–Ciara identifies as an activist, an academic, queer, disabled.
–Dyi has been an activist in Amsterdam around issues of gender, race, reproductive rights, and age/generation and now, in London, tries to catch up on issues of disability and sex/uality while fluctuatingly ill and doing a PhD
Dyi was actually not well on the day and Ciara did it on her own with a great interactive discussion on.
The workshop after that was Equality and being inclusive and accessible
Everyone says they are aiming for equality however they do not always factor in being inclusive and accessible. Physical, hidden and logistical barriers can very often prevent people from being properly involved. Although nearly always unintentional, this exclusion has a negative impact on the campaign and access isnt always easy to add on later.
Non disabled people do not always understand what barriers disabled people face in going about day to day activities – eg. having steps to a physical meeting place mean wheelchair users are excluded, having information only available on pdfs mean that blind people who use text reader to access electronic information are left out and if you have meetings that start very early in the morning might mean that people who need personal assistance to get ready or those who have chronic issues might find it logistically challenging to make it to your meeting.
facilitated by Eleanor Lisney, an access adviser who is also a wheelchair user.