After posting my entry yesterday, I discovered a few social media campaigns designed to raise awareness about dyslexia and the nasty and/or ignorant things people say to disabled people in general.
While I realize these sorts of things aren’t for everyone, I do feel they’re a great tool for spreading information otherwise unavailable.
|My contribution to the #dyslexicselfie campaign.|
Disability is generally a taboo topic in every day life, and those who fall into that category are often brushed aside as unimportant. It’s as if “normal” people don’t see anyone who happens to be different as actual human beings who can and do contribute to society.
Part of why I started this blog was to share my ongoing story as a dyslexic. I don’t think I’m all that remarkable, but I do know I’m human, and I know there are others out there who struggle with what I have in the past. There are yet more who are at a similar point in their lives. We all need some sort of company, right?
That said, the only person’s story I can deeply understand is my own. The only point of view I can share is my own. With that comes limitations, as I see the world through filters developed from life experience unique to me. Others see what I may not, which is why there’s value in these hash tag campaigns.
The #dyslexicselfie campaign was started by Hidden Abilities, a small company out of Missouri which specializes in providing accomodative technology to folks with learning disabilities.
This twitter/Facebook campaign strives to demonstrate the diverse population of people with dyslexia. It’s only been active for a day, but so far, a musician, a fellow blogger/recent college graduate (the author of Dyslexia and Me) as well as a competitor on the TV show American Ninja Warrior have all contributed their pictures.
Through highlighting our skills, our humanity and our all around awesomeness through pictures, we can hopefully chip away at the stigma too many of us still struggle with on a regular basis.
I’m not entirely sure of who originally came up with the idea of assigning October to dyslexia awareness, or who first started this hashtag, but it’s chock full of personal stories, blog entries and information all about dyslexia. If you’d like to learn more about this particular LD, please put some time aside to check this one out.
I know that dyslexia is considered a learning difference in the UK, in the US it’s classified as a learning disability. (I’ve written about this before, but I can’t seem to find the entry. Ah well.)
In this case, our personal choice of what to label dyslexia is irrelevant. The fact remains that there are still huge stigmas attached to this neurology, and people still end up acting on them. That shoddy behavior extends to all forms of disability, as well, but it’s often ignored, or completely overlooked.
Anyway, #heardwhilstdisabled was put in place by The Everyday Ableism Project, a UK based page dedicated to bringing more attention to this issue. A lot of the stuff in that tag is pretty disturbing, but it must be seen in order for any change for the better to happen. I’m also a bit late to the party for this one, but it’s still good to take a look at.
If there are any other hash tag campaigns of this sort that you know about, please let me know by commenting on this entry, replying to the tweet or commenting on Facebook, and I’ll check them out!