8 Ways To Be An Ally To The Disability Community

    Time to break some barriers.

    Dec. 3 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities as declared by the UN. This is a day that aims to promote awareness and understanding of disability issues around the world. There are 1.5 billion people on the planet with disabilities, and allyship is an important part of making the world more accessible and inclusive.

    Whether you are already doing your part or have never thought about these issues before, here are 8 legit ways to show up as an ally:

    1. Educate yourself.

    A colourful illustration of a boy with glasses reading a book

    2. Respect individual experiences.

    A colourful illustration of two people kissing and a person looking at their phone.

    3. Make your content accessible.

    A colourful illustration of a computer screen, speaker symbol, text symbol, and closed captioning symbol.

    4. Consider accessibility in everything you do.

    A colourful illustraion of two people at a restaurant telling the server, "We'd like to use your braille menus."

    5. Hire and promote people with disabilities.

    A colourful illustration of people with disabilities.

    6. Diversify your feed and amplify voices of people with disabilities.

    A colourful illustration of a person posing with their hands up in a peace symbol wearing a shirt that says #ActuallyAutistic

    7. Advocate proactively.

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    8. Show up imperfectly.

    A colourful illustration of three people, one person has hearts on their eyes

    Visit Access Now to learn more about accessibility around the world and get involved. It's 2020, and if the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that feeling cut off from the world really sucks. This is what a lack of accessibility feels like. As an ally, there are a million ways to get involved in the disability movement — time to break some barriers.

    Maayan Ziv is the founder and CEO of Access Now, an activist, advocate and accomplished photographer. Based in Toronto, Ziv was recently awarded the Governor General Innovation Award.

    Jessica Oddi is a disabled freelance graphic designer. She focuses on accessible design and has a passion for inclusive collaborations.