The International #FacesofDisability Project: a global video initiative

Listen to this post: 

If you know me well, you know I’m a leftist more than a liberal. I would much rather our current racist, classist systems be smashed up and turned into compost. To me, that’s better than continuing with the never-ending cycle of stop-gap measures to try to fix a “broken system.” Our system wasn’t broken before 45 got in office. It’s intended to be racist, classist, ableist, anti-Indigenous, and everything else that allows the 1% to be the 1% and encourages everyone else to step on each other to try to make it into the 1% (all the while assuming most people can’t ever get even a short turn up there).

And yet. And yet. And yet. If we don’t make some shifts to what we have now, more disabled people of all ages and our elders are going to be institutionalized at significantly, and many will die. The people providing much needed care and assistance in the community for pay lose their jobs. Skeptics, including some of my friends with disabilities, at this point always ask me for the evidence. Here. Imani Barbarin compiled it for us to read. Thank you, Imani. DREDF put together captioned videos and text transcripts if you want more. Thank you to Stacy Milbern, Jade Theriault, Nikki Brown-Booker, and Alana Theriault for the videos.

Here’s an opportunity to contribute your personal narrative to the greater collective narrative about the worth and value of disabled people’s lives.

Everything below is from my friend, Dominick Ławniczak Evans, a prominent trans, disabled media maker and activist who started the #FilmDis campaign on Twitter. Follow Dominick on Twitter, and check out his podcast, DISrupt the Media, which is released in audio format and is currently being transcribed as well.

From Dominick:

“Calling All Disabled/Deaf World Citizens for a Global Video Initiative – The International #FacesOfDisability Project.

Right now, the press in the wealthiest countries around the world are adding to the negative political noise concerning disability and life-sustaining, independence-providing government programs. We know these are lies because we are the faces of the disability/Deaf community! It doesn’t matter what your disability is… physical, chronic health, psychiatric/psychosocial, neurological, intellectual, sensory…or if you just identify as Deaf or having a chronic health condition, but not necessarily Disabled… If you need access and/or accommodation, we are looking for videos from you for a project called the #FacesOfDisability! You are a part of a greater international disability community that should be included in legislation in your respective countries, ensuring you receive access and accommodation!

Please submit a video of under three minutes in length. Please say your name, and any disabilities you wish to share. Also, please explain how having these services allows you to be more independent. Does it allow you to be able to work? Does it ensure you can have an active social life? Does it provide you the freedom to play sports? Does it keep you out of the hospital?

Right now, the faces and stories of actually disabled people are being ignored. We plan to use this video to show the world that disabled people are more independent, more successful, healthier, and happier because they have access to the services we need. We need to show the world that cutting these services will have a great detriment to those who actually need them.

[Please follow this script]

Please answer the following question:

“With [insert name of program] I am able to_______.”

Also, please say:

“I am a Disabled/Deaf/Autistic/LP/PWD/However you Self Identify Person.

I am not a scammer or I am not ripping off the government or system, or I am not a scrounger.”

*Please choose which one makes sense for your country or make your own that follows the sentiment and make sense for where you live! (The idea is to show the same sentiments happening to disabled people around the world).

“I am not lazy.

“I need these services to be_______ (independent/successful/etc.). ”

[End Script]

*Please note that you should list the program that is a part of your specific country. We want to highlight that no matter the government, disabled people around the world are being accused of ripping off or cheating the system. This is leading to greater incidences of hate crimes and horrific misconceptions that are hurting disabled people worldwide.”

Please submit all videos before June 24 to Dominick Ławniczak Evans. If you’re not connected to Dominick on Facebook or Twitter or are not sure how to contact him, send your videos to me, and I will pass them along!