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Session 2(October 2013)

Audio from the session: Access and disability.

How can we make queer spaces and activism more accessible? How does disability shape gender and sexual identities? What are the intersections between disability and marginalised sexualities?

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Summary

The abstract summarizes an audio recording of a session entitled "Beyond Conference," held at Wellington High School on October 12, 2013, and presented by Esther Woodbury. The focus of the session is on issues of access and disability within the context of the 2010s decade.

The presenter begins by emphasizing the importance of access, particularly for individuals with mobility issues, underlining how lack of access can prevent participation in society. The discussion highlights the issue that people with disabilities often face barriers and limitations that non-disabled individuals might not consider. The narrative revolves around the idea that accessibility is not just about removing physical barriers such as stairs but also about accommodating a wide range of needs to foster inclusive environments.

The presenter brings up their personal challenges, including arthritis and depression, and how these intersect with activism efforts. They also discuss issues of visibility and representation within the disability community, pointing out that many people with disabilities do not see others like themselves in the community, leading to a lack of role models and a sense of isolation.

Furthermore, the conversation moves towards the intersection of queerness and disability. The presenter questions the idea that certain bodies or identities are considered marginal because they do not fit normative models of sexuality or bodily function. They articulate the ways in which society often desexualizes and marginalizes disabled bodies, and shares personal resistance to these perceptions by asserting their gender and sexual identities.

There's an exploration of how physical spaces and digital platforms might exclude individuals on the basis of lack of accessibility. The example of strict web accessibility standards about to be implemented by the government is used to illustrate how making spaces accessible in a broad sense is vital, and not just from a physical standpoint. The discussion covers technical aspects such as PDF readibility to attitudinal changes like engaging directly with a person with a disability instead of their attendant.

Questions from the audience and panel discussions delve into how communities can work towards better inclusion through solidarity and joint activism, focusing on tangible contributions everyone can make to bridge the social gaps faced by marginalized groups. The speaker urges that individual support is crucial, but societal changes are needed to drive substantial progress.

The recording wraps up with an encouragement for applying the forthcoming accessibility list developed by the presenter to hold government departments accountable and ensure compliance. Issues like ensuring the accessibility of parliamentary inquiries and other governmental processes come under scrutiny, showing the breadth of the accessibility challenge.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:12th October 2013
Location:Wellington High School, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004267).
URL:https://www.pridenz.com/beyond_conference_session_2.html