Please feel free to critique us, praise us, or put us in our place. But whatever you do, please don’t call us inspirational.
The majority of what is read about disability in the press is not an accurate depiction of our lived experience. This faulty narrative falsely denotes disability as a state one must succumb to or overcome. Both ends of this spectrum are deemed inspirational, creating a phenomenon called Inspiration Porn.
Disability does not make a person inspirational.
Disability is not a hurdle.
Disability simply is.
This unfortunate reality puts the Inclusive Fashion & Design Collective in an uncomfortable position. We seek to ensure an accurate narrative without trying to control it.
For this reason, the Inclusive Fashion & Design Collective has compiled an extraordinary list of disability scholars, thinkers, theorists, and writers. This group is a resource to you, the media. If you are interested in connecting with a co-author or editor, or participating in media training, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Inspiration Porn Resolution
- I will empower others, not by co-opting, but by accurately depicting their lived experience.
I will not presume to understand a person’s experience of living with disability, even if I also live with disability. (While there is a vibrant ‘disability community’, our experiences are not shared. We must all check our privilege and ask questions.)
When in doubt about language, I will ask and respect the way people with disabilities self identify, and use resources such as the Disability Language Style Guide from the National Center on Disability and Journalism.
I will advocate for the hiring and pay of disabled writers, editors, collaborators, and consultants at my publication.
These ideas and our requests are reinforced by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.
Finally, these services are not free. People with disabilities must be paid for their expertise. We kindly ask that you consider making a gift to the Inclusive Fashion & Design Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the IFDC, so that we can continue to provide these resources in the future.
Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.