In a workshop with the women’s studies centre at Jesus and Mary College, our co-leads Programmes, Srinidhi Raghavan spoke about how disability and gender intersect. The workshop focussed on how disabled people are perceived, either through the lens of inspiration or through charity. The group of students discussed their perceptions about disabled people and how so many of these are shaped by mainstream media and lack of interaction with disabled people. Following this, we discussed the role accessibility to spaces plays in furthering this ignorance. Since disabled people cannot participate in spaces in the same way that non disabled people may be able to, the gap of information about disabled people persists. This gap is where we have to start thinking about accessibility. The conversation continued to address reasonable accommodations for disabled people and how their invisibilization as active members of society means our public, private spaces remain inaccessible. She also addressed how in some cases access measures such as lifts or the vibrate mode on our phone are normalised and not thought of as something special. These conversations enabled the students to reflect on disability and accessibility in our everyday lives.
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