Disability and Representation

Changing the Cultural Conversation

Accessibility: My Kid Makes It Happen!

[Note: This is a post about my kid West, who is genderqueer and uses the pronouns they/them. So when I use those pronouns, I'm referring to West.]

My kid West is AWESOME.

They’re taking a creative writing class at a local community college. Last night, everyone in the class did a reading of their work, and we were invited to attend.

I need written backup for oral presentations; otherwise, my auditory delays and general difficulty with auditory processing makes it hard to discern everything being said. My husband Bob also has auditory difficulties and hearing loss. West knows that and took the initiative with the professor to talk about accessibility — not just for us, but for everyone. They sent me the following message a day before the presentation:

I talked to [the professor] about accessibility for the final and she and I are going to work on making it more accessible next semester. And for this final, she sent out an email asking if anyone’s loved ones are going to need accommodation and she asked for everyone to print out two copies of their work for you and Bob!

So we get to the presentation, and we’re immediately presented with written copies of almost every single reading. It made being there so wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And all of the credit goes to West, for being such a kick-ass a disability rights advocate and making sure that the professor was aware of access needs.

Thank you, West! You ROCK.

© 2013 by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg

Accessibility, Advocacy

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