Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Posts Tagged ‘Rebecca Watson

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #9

with 2 comments

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

  1. Always make sure any type of rally or meeting is held in places which is inclusive to ALL people. Eg wheel chair access, equal number of toilets for males / females.
  2. Find and include guest speakers with disabilities to act as a draw card or at least give their perspective.
  3. Don’t court controversy. Make the environment conducive and productive to all people.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

Avoid situations like where people like what happened between Rebecca Watson and Richard Dawkins by inviting people who are not single issue.

For instance, if you are going to talk about “ableism in atheism”, then conduct the presentation in such a manner that addressing and removing “ableism” is beneficial for the whole community.

The above has been response #9 from theĀ Ableism in Atheism survey.

Ah, the “beneficial for the whole community” trope. It pops up from time to time. Not that there’s anything wrong with caring about the whole community and attempting to benefit it. But the attitude that being more inclusive to people with different abilities is somehow at odds with benefiting the whole community is rather reactionary at best and at worst can form an “us vs them” situation based in privilege-denial. See, people who currently do not have a disability, especially if they haven’t had one for a while, tend to be unaware of just how demanding life is for people who have disabilities.

There’s an amazing essay about the Spoon Theory that explains it better than I can. No seriously, go read it. In fact, read it and just forget about my comments here, they’re basically worthless compared to her amazing post.

Written by The Nerd

April 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm