Being a Disability Ally

Allyship between non-disabled and disabled people is multifaceted. Incorporating social and economic systems such as employment, education and interpersonal relationships. To change an ableist society requires transformative change - the time is now.

For me, I have been on my own journey on what it means to be an ally to myself. In the past, I have disowned my identity as a disabled person - I was my own worst enemy. Recently I have let go of unrealistic expectations and ideas of what I 'should’ be capable of. Changing my internal thought process and external behaviours was truly life changing! With conscious reflection on my values, beliefs and intentions on how to live a good life as a disabled person. 

Non-disabled people play a huge role in authentic allyship. For example, anti-oppression to archaic language like deformed, cripple or damaged and becoming aware of the power imbalances of non-disabled people and disabled people. To be an ally requires non-disabled people to reflect on exclusion. There is always room to learn and grow to be inclusive and requires kindness and curiosity. 

Exchange your judgements for kindness and curiosity. For example, the language disabled people use can isolate disabled people. To become an ally, be open and curious to labels - someone’s way to describe themselves may make me cringe, but could be someone else’s preference.

Kia pai tō rā     Have a nice day