I welcome you to the “MAKING” blog post about Access Your Ability. This may be a long one. So buckle in, but I am hoping by the time you finish reading this, you will understand the reasoning of my project.
It’s week 13 now of the #bcm114 subject, and sadly, it’s coming to an end. But not my project. We spent time thinking, observing and defining a problem, coming up with an idea to solve this problem. We then learnt through rapid prototyping of select ideas and evolving new ideas. Then through feedback, (got to listen to your audience, otherwise how would your product be successful?) we reiterate. Then repeat this process.
In my previous post, I ended it with “What were snuggies originally designed for”. So, with research, I have found there are some claims that they are designed for people in wheelchairs and others that they are not.
However, doesn’t matter what the snuggies are originally designed for. This opens up a new insight to how sucky society can be. There are brilliant designs that assist people living with disabilities in their daily life, but, society considers it as a laughing matter and see it as “lazy”.
This is why #disabilityawareness is so important. Majority of people see people living with disabilities a “minority”, which to me, is wrong. We are all people, put on this earth, trying to figure out why we are here. But, unfortunately society has constructed the “majority” and the “minority”.
In the early days, people with disabilities were institutionalised and treated as mentally incapable or even inhuman. Thank god for the human rights coming in and saving the day, for most. This is me sugar coating it for you, have a look, do some research. You can start here –
Society has come a long way with how they treat people with disabilities. We have charities and disability organisations that provide support to individuals and families, ensuring basic human rights and needs are being met. But, they aren’t always well funded and there are many that do miss out. I guess there are always a negative with a positive, how can we distinguish between good and bad?
Another concept I would like to reflect on is “normalising disability” by providing “positive imagery” in the media. Society at large is being fed a image of a disabled person that is physically abled, educationally competent and determined to live a ‘normal’ lifestyle. This ‘positive’ representation has now become a stereotype, and I feel, it isn’t ethical. Is this so the “majority” of people think they are cute and want to contribute money to services? hmmmm. When looking at this, I looked at my project and the photos I uploaded of my brother Zac, was I contributing to this stereotype of positive imagery?
The comment – “I can’t decide that I liked this photo because of the composition or place but it is really good”.
This is proof that people like a certain type of image. What would be the response if I uploaded an image of a person with a disability that relied on support to complete tasks such as breathing, eating or going to the toilet.?
This is a touchy, yet, deep subject.
I really feel I understand the words of Eric Raymond. Once I began iterating my idea, I fell deep into the issues surrounding disability. What was the reason behind this lack of access, why is there this stigma about disability, what does this ‘positive imagery of disability’ made by charities and organisations actually mean and what does ‘normalising disability’ mean and is the media doing it correctly? Is this ethical ?
Whirlwind of emotions. This is why I attempted to capture my insight of some of the foundations of these issues.
- People making fun of people with disabilities
- Society is separated into the “minorities” and “majorities”
- Traumatic history of people with disabilities being institutionalised
- Unethical “positive imagery” of “abled” disability people
To sum it up, the “majority” of people are uneducated and unaware of the history and issues people with disabilities face.
Okay, so my project.
In my previous post Prototyping I addressed my learning moments through the various platforms I tried and the content I made – WordPress, Tumblr and Instagram.
I have been continuing with Instagram because it is free, the cost of failure is low, easy to reach targeted audience through the use of hashtags and it’s inexpensive.
My process of my project is ongoing. With my insights mentioned above I have explored with the content and Issues I am addressing. Again, it is interesting the amount of likes/interactions I get when I post a ‘positive’ image of Zac. So my aim, here to to raise awareness of issues people with disability face, as well as raising disability awareness.
A quick development of Access Your Ability
>From the beginning
I designed and implemented story highlights and posted related content.
Below – a post about making changes. Not a stereotypical positive image….
Also, used Canva to create this. (Free + quick)
Events story highlight – I went to my brothers Gala ball and took this opportunity to capture the event and promote my project.
I tagged the organisation in my posts.
I changed my info – added ‘services’ and implemented #whatsyourstory.
I feel it is really hard to put my progress into a blog post without boring you and rambling on…
To sum up my progress, I have learnt through MAKING, I have discovered the DEEPER issues, making me more PASSIONATE for this project to develop into something that can benefit and make change.