How to be a "Self Advocate" That Disability Organizations Will Listen To:
1. Be a Self Narrating Zoo Exhibit!
No question should be too invasive or offensive. You don't deserve dignity! Your purpose is to protect the feels of non-disabled people at all costs and if that involves talking about your toilet habits, well god damn it, you're going to do that to appease the feels! THE NONDISABLED FEELS ARE OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE. THAT IS WHAT WE ARE HERE FOR!
2. Be Inspirational As EFF!
Did you eat breakfast this morning? HOW INSPIRING! You did a thing and you did it while disabled so it's like you double did the thing with sparkles and rainbows and glitter and shit. I hope you did it smiling because even if things are harder for you, you have to overcome that disability like a fucking boss. Even if you don't want to "overcome", you're gonna overcome because pointing out ableism and the ways that society devalues disabled lives is a total bummer and it's super negative and you want to be so god damn positive that it makes Mary Fucking Poppins look like she has clinical depression.
3. Stop Pointing Out Barriers to Access!
Did you not get the memo about being inspiring and positive? Pointing out that events, conferences, etc put on by disability organizations are not accessible to actual disabled people is just going to harsh the mellow of nondisabled people who are just trying to be our helping helpers! They're doing an autism "awareness" event in a crowded venue with florescent lighting and loud ass "professionals" talking about us,without us? Who cares if they call us a burden and talk about how much we cost? Put on some noise cancelling headphones and suck it up, it's not about YOU, it's about their FEELS. (see #1).
4. Embrace Being Tokenized!
Did you think your lived experience as a Disabled person means more than the "expertise" of professionals, parents or anyone who makes money off of us without us? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Think again, because it doesn't. And if you want to complain about it, please see #1 and #2. Because you are not minding their feels if you want to be taken seriously and you are not being very inspiring at all.
5. Do Not Be Proud!
You can't "overcome" your disability if you're proud of who you are. You can't tell inspiring stories if you're more concerned with the civil rights, dignity and autonomy of Disabled People. If you're proud, you might expect to be treated like a human being who is equal and deserving of respect. We can't have that!
6. Always Be Willing To Throw Other Disabled People Under the Bus!
Non-disabled people LOVE functioning labels. It's almost pathological how they want to separate those who deserve rights and those who don't. If you want to be taken seriously and you have accomplished not being proud, you've got to make sure that you are separating yourself from other disabled people who may have higher support needs. Talking about how we are all interdependent is kind of a bring down, so don't do that. Talk about how "independent" you are a lot and how "smart" you are as if those things somehow indicate being a better person who is more worthy of human rights.
7. Don't Expect to Get Paid!
Payment is for the "experts", which if you'll refer to Rule # 4, you'd know that these things just aren't about us. We're just along for the ride! They are doing us a real solid by including us and letting us work, write, speak and educate others for FREE. I realize that the joy of helping others isn't putting food on your table, and that disabled adults disproportionately are suffering in poverty and struggle with homelessness but getting paid is probably going to veer into hurtfeels territory, so we should not hope for actual cash money.
8. Complain Often About How Activists "Divide" The Community!
Make sure that others know that the issue is not barriers to access, denial of human rights and dignity, ableism or anything that they or society are doing to disabled people. The problem is CLEARLY those who bring attention to these issues and hurt the feels of the non-disabled. Obviously, they did not see Rule # 1 about the feels minding. They are just a bunch of trouble makers who need to be put in their place and stop being such Debbie Downers about it all, am I right? They'll get their rights when our helping helpers decide it's time. I mean, the helping helpers have our best interests in mind or else they wouldn't just give you so many opportunities to feel terrible about yourself!
Image: Green background with white text outlined in black that reads:
How to be a "Self Advocate" That Disability Organizations Will Listen To!
8 Guidelines Guaranteed Not To Piss Anybody Off & Maintain The Status Quo