When it first occurred to me that it was time to condense my sporadic article writing into the more current blog format, my original intention was to write to the non-disabled community. My idea was to mirror my educational mission statement, which is to address the society with which the disabled community interacts, not the people who are themselves disabled. As a speaker, I thought I could do more good by seeking out the HR professionals, the employees of retail, hospitality, and health care establishments, in an effort to reach those who serve the widest array of individuals from all walks of life. I decided to augment that notion with some passionate writing on the subject.
Yet, my target audience has eluded me. What can I do to bring them to the table? How can I offer education to a seemingly indifferent general public?
So, I have asked. In an informal canvassing of my non-disabled universe, I have learned that what keeps people away from seeking information on the topic of disability can be boiled down to fear. Fear of exposing themselves as ignorant, fear of being vulnerable to ridicule, fear of being offensive. Most surprisingly, a fear of bringing about that which they are most curious. Simply put, some people are superstitious, believing that if they ask questions about disability, they are "putting it out there into the universe," as one respondent said.
I really want to throw open the curtains and allow the bright light of truth to shine in here.
To that end, I have assembled a mastermind group of brilliant people who will participate in a question-and-answer feature on the Accessible Insights Blog. Each are experts in their own field, some are IT pros, web development experts, legal eagles, or access and universal design gurus. They will field readers’ questions about disability and related issues, as each are members of the disability community. This Q and A aspect of the blog is not meant for responding to tech support questions by people new to assistive gadgets, rather, it is meant for the edification of those who are not disabled by those who are. Think of this as an "everything you ever wanted to know about disability, but were afraid to ask" type of thing. It is my version of the Linked In or Yahoo answers feature, except that it is a much narrower niche.
We’re ready, so start sending in your questions. Need information about living with vision loss? We know all about it. Know of a caregiver who could use a heads-up? Send them the link to this post. Concerned about an aging loved one, and you want to talk to a real pro? Ask away. Got a friend who could use a little attitude adjustment? We’ll set ‘em straight. Simply click the link for the accessible contact form at the top of the page. My group of insightful experts will be ready with myth-busting responses and advice about hiring and interviewing, conflict resolution, workplace inclusion, barrier-free living, assistive tech tips and much more.
Looking forward to hearing from you!