Sharing Your Story for Political Purpose

A South Asian person is in her wheelchair sitting in front of a brick wall, holding a microphone while giving a speech.
A South Asian person is in her wheelchair sitting in front of a brick wall, holding a microphone while giving a speech.
Credit: Disabled and Here

People with disabilities need to make policies ourselves. We should get to use our stories to help change the world.

Nothing about us, without us!

Sharing Your Story For A Political Purpose
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The government makes a lot of policies, and many of those policies affect people with disabilities. Sometimes, the government makes policies without talking to people with disabilities. When that happens, we don’t get to share how we feel about the policies. Because of this, some of the policies that get made to help us don’t help at all, and some even hurt people with disabilities.

We need to make sure that policies help people with disabilities instead of hurt us. People with disabilities need to make policies ourselves, but some people think that people with disabilities can’t think for ourselves. They think that we don’t have opinions about our disability, or that we don’t care about how the world treats us.

That’s why we don’t get taught how to talk to our elected officials. We only get taught how to share some of our stories, like the kinds that tell people about our lives, or “inspire” other people. That isn’t fair! People with disabilities have powerful stories. We should be in charge of what we want to share, and we should get to use our stories to help change the world.

Our stories can help the government make good policies, so we need to let elected officials know about the problems that people with disabilities have. Making sure elected officials hear from us makes a big difference.

Nothing about us, without us!

Sharing Your Story For A Political Purpose

Elected officials have to think about a lot of different problems.

They have to choose which problems to work on.

So they need to learn how a problem affects people in real life.

When someone shares their story, it can make a big difference.

Hearing a real person talk about a problem is important.

It gives elected officials a name and face to remember.

They will think of that person when they think of the problem.

That can make the elected official want to fix the problem.

Sharing Your Story For A Political Purpose

For practical recommendations for sharing your story, consult “Sharing Your Story For A Political Purpose” from ASAN.

Some of us at Stimpunks use Resistbot for accessibly writing to our representatives, telling bits of our story.

You shouldn’t talk about your whole life every time you tell your story! You should talk about the parts that will help make good policies. You want your story to make people want to take action, so they will help you fix the problems you talk about in your story.

Choosing how to tell your story takes a lot of steps. Here are some things you should think about…

Further reading,

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