Blogging’s contribution to a more accessible future
The 3rd of December has marked International Day of Disabled Persons for over 25 years; a day to celebrate equality, to recognise the rights of disabled people and to raise awareness of the situation and experiences of disabled people in every aspect of their day-to-day lives.
A unique theme is assigned to this day each year in order to further the conversation on a particular topic and this year’s focus is on ‘The future is accessible’.
With this in mind, we’re looking at the concept of blogging and how writing about disability online contributes to the accessibility of the future.
Blogging has gained fierce traction in the last few years and as the digital landscape becomes more saturated, it’s wonderful to see the number of disabled bloggers rising too. As so many are taking to their keyboards to share their stories online, it begs the question of how this is contributing to our world, is it making the future more accessible for disabled people?
I for one would like to think so and there are a myriad of reasons that support the contributions disabled bloggers are making to strive for a more accessible world.
A simple google search can now lead you to topics and issues you simply weren’t aware of before with many bloggers reiterating their experiences in a candid and nuanced way. From embracing mobility aids to discussing the barriers faced when trying to access public transport, we’re witnessing a new way of talking about topics that deserve to be in the spotlight.
Not only are these thoughts captured in long form blog content, many disabled people take to social media to share their experiences, both positive and negative, too. This highlighting some of the most prominent issues facing the disability community whilst encouraging conversations we should be having more often.
So, how is blogging contributing to a more accessible future?
Raising awareness and changing attitudes
It’s no secret that disabled people are now being recognised more widely in the bloggersphere and whilst many are connecting with those in similar situations, their words are also reaching non-disabled people with strong messages of awareness being sent out to those who choose to read.
As a blogger myself, I’ve received messages from non-disabled people with many stating that my writing has helped them to gain a better understanding of sight loss and that it encourages them to be more mindful of some aspects of vision impairment in the future.
It’s rewarding to hear such comments and it’s an indication to the small difference blogging can make. If one person takes something away from every disability blog out there then that’s already educating many people and if it helps them to view disability in a slightly different way then it’s a step in the right direction.
It’s inevitable that we can’t change every negative attitude or assumption about disability but, for as long as people keep writing about their experiences, previously untold stories are being recognised by the wider public and it could be a beneficial step into making the world a more inclusive place.
Shining the light on accessibility barriers
From inaccessible attractions, venues and websites to failures in passenger assistance, blogs are a great way of highlighting access barriers that disabled people face in their day-to-day lives. By doing so, they open a conversation that needs to be heard more widely. An article highlighting someone’s negative experience with passenger assistance for example can be taken by storm with people joining the conversation, sharing their own experiences and therefore shining a light on the extent of the matter. Such content has been known to get picked up by the media which reflects the impact blogging can have and the people and platforms it can reach.
And of course, an offering of practical solutions come with the mention of accessibility barriers. Some bloggers have been known to write about how to make the online world more accessible, tips on making the school and university experience more inclusive as well as an abundance of other tips and advice regarding how to make the world a more accessible place for disabled people.
Change isn’t going to happen over night but as more and more people take to blogging and social media to share their experiences, disability is being recognised more widely and as the general public’s awareness increases slightly and companies are taking note of what we have to say, the future looks far more accessible and inclusive than it ever has before.