Building an
Access Praxis

 

Places to Start: Meeting Access Needs

Disability Intersectionality Summit & the #AccessIsLove Campaign

#AccessIsLove

Alice Wong, Mia Mingus, Sandy Ho

Care as an Act of Love

Leah Lakshmi Piezna-Samarasinha

Access Intimacy

Access Intimacy: The Missing Link

Mia Mingus, Leaving Evidence

"Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else “gets” your access needs. The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level.  Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years...It is not dependent on someone having a political understanding of disability, ableism or access...Access intimacy is also the intimacy I feel with many other disabled and sick people who have an automatic understanding of access needs out of our shared similar lived experience of the many different ways ableism manifests in our lives."

Access Intimacy, Interdependence and Disability Justice

Mia Mingus, Leaving Evidence

"For me, I understand Access Intimacy as something that can transform ordinary access into a tool for liberation, instead of merely reinforcing “inclusion” and “equality.” I am done with disability simply being “included” in able bodied people’s agendas and lives only when it’s convenient. I want us to tap into the transformative powers of disability...Access intimacy at once recognizes and understands the relational and human quality of access, while simultaneously deepening the relationships involved. It moves the work of access out of the realm of only logistics and into the realm of relationships and understanding disabled people as humans, not burdens."

Forced Intimacy: An Ableist Norm

Mia Mingus, Leaving Evidence

"Forced intimacy is a cornerstone of how ableism functions in an able bodied supremacist world. Disabled people are expected to “strip down” and “show all our cards” metaphorically in order to get the basic access we need in order to survive. We are the ones who must be vulnerable—whether we want to or not—about ourselves, our bodyminds and our abilities...Forced intimacy is the opposite of access intimacy. It feels exploitative, exhausting and at times violating...Sure, I know how to survive and get by with ableist access, that is a skill I will never lose as long as I am living in an ableist world; but I am also working for a world where disabled people get to be human and have consent over our bodies, minds and intimacy."

Feeling the Weight: Some Beginning Notes on Disability, Access and Love

Mia Mingus, Leaving Evidence

"This is what I desire as a queer disabled woman of color adoptee: to be able to love and not have access used as a weapon, and to be able to have access without the fear of losing love."

 

Critical Access Studies

 

"Critical Access Studies"

Aimi Hamraie, Harvard University Graduate School of Design Lecture

Thirty years after the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act, much of the built environment remains inaccessible to disabled people. Accordingly, the vast majority of research and writing on accessibility seeks to convince the unconvinced of the value of inclusion. This field, which I term “Access Studies,” would benefit from greater engagement with the concepts, practices, and political commitments of critical disability studies. In this talk, I will discuss the emerging field of “Critical Access Studies,” which engages with the methodologies, epistemologies, and political commitments of accessibility from the perspectives of Disability Justice and disability culture. Using historical and contemporary examples, I will illustrate the difference that critical perspectives on disability—including intersectional perspectives—can make for architects seeking to understand design with, by, and for disabled people.