10 Principles of Disability Justice
By Mohammed Akel '23
As the virtual reality industry recognizes the potential of such technology in improving the overall well-being of people with disabilities. It is important to always keep in mind the principles of disability justice. Any technical or non-technical solution that does not embrace all 10 principles is not going to help the community in question. As designers, developers, and entrepreneurs explore the intersection between disability and VR, they should not lose sight of the following guiding principles:
10 PRINCIPLES OF DISABILITY JUSTICE
INTERSECTIONALITY “We do not live single issue lives” –Audre Lorde. Ableism, coupled with white supremacy, supported by capitalism, underscored by heteropatriarchy, has rendered the vast majority of the world “invalid.”
LEADERSHIP OF THOSE MOST IMPACTED “We are led by those who most know these systems.” –Aurora Levins Morales
ANTI-CAPITALIST POLITIC In an economy that sees land and humans as components of profit, we are anti-capitalist by the nature of having non-conforming body/minds.
COMMITMENT TO CROSS-MOVEMENT ORGANIZING Shifting how social justice movements understand disability and contextualize ableism, disability justice lends itself to politics of alliance.
RECOGNIZING WHOLENESS People have inherent worth outside of commodity relations and capitalist notions of productivity. Each person is full of history and life experience.
SUSTAINABILITY We pace ourselves, individually and collectively, to be sustained long term. Our embodied experiences guide us toward ongoing justice and liberation.
COMMITMENT TO CROSS-DISABILITY SOLIDARITY We honor the insights and participation of all of our community members, knowing that isolation undermines collective liberation.
INTERDEPENDENCE We meet each others’ needs as we build toward liberation, knowing that state solutions inevitably extend into further control over lives.
COLLECTIVE ACCESS As brown, black and queer-bodied disabled people we bring flexibility and creative nuance that go beyond able-bodied/minded normativity, to be in community with each other.
COLLECTIVE LIBERATION No body or mind can be left behind – only moving together can we accomplish the revolution we require.'