Firstly, we want to recognize the people in the disability community and others who are activists, who advocate, and those who raise awareness about disability and the lived experience. We know there are many people and organizations who are doing similar amazing work in the community and we appreciate all of their emotional and often physical labour that they contribute to the community.
We are aware that our services may overlap with existing organizations, supports, and services. However, there are not enough services that encompasses the intersectional and lived experiences of disability. We hope by contributing our expertise and lived experiences we are creating opportunities for people to access information and supports that match their needs.
Secondly, our definition of disability includes, but are not limited to:
- Mental health disabilities
- Physical disabilities
- Learning disabilities
- Developmental disabilities
- d/Deaf/ hard of hearing/ deafblind/ degree of hearing loss
- Blind/ partially sighted/ degree of vision loss
- Cognitive disabilities
- Neurological disabilities
- Genetic disabilities
- Neurodivergent disabilities
- Processing/ sensory disabilities
- Episodic disabilities
- Conditional or situational disabilities
- Visible/ invisible disabilities
- Diagnosed/ undiagnosed disabilities
- Born with, acquired, or temporary disabilities
- Any disability that impacts the person’s day to day quality of life
We recognize that identity is diverse and intersectional. Some people will use person first language, and some will use identity first language. For best practices and inclusion, we will be using identity first language for our content, as this is what the Disability Community unanimously expressed wanting as Disabled and Disability are not bad words.
We do not approach disability from a medical or deficit model. While these models have a time and place, our primary focus is on the social and identity models of disability.
We also recognize that not everyone identifies as/with being disabled or want to be a part of the disability community. There are degrees to which people may associate with their disability, and the degree can change depending on context.
Sometimes people are managing internalized ableism, ableism, and other barriers to accessing services, supports, or diagnosis. We want to create an environment where people can access services and supports regardless of context and the many interpretations of disability.