Values and Social Change Reflection Session

Values and Social Change Reflection Session – Feedback Article

In last week’s Strategies for Change Session, we reflected on Niall Crowley’s two sessions about Values and Social Change.

“We as activists need to start naming our values and defining our values.  So collectively, our values have the same meaning to affect change coherently and consistently; this is how we connect and build solidarity?

The two weeks with Niall were “eye-opening”, a full 360 degree turn around in my eyes. These sessions were refreshing, “I’m not damaged”, society is the problem, not us. Society has been constructed by non-disabled people, with non-disabled people in mind (see – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6wavnGIR3w). 

The media has too much power over how disabled people are portrayed – we are either superhuman or charity cases and in need of “care”. The language we use in our activism needs to be political. We are DISABLED PEOPLE, and we demand EQUALITY. We are not people with a disability; we are NOT incapable or abnormal or need to be fixed or cured. “All media platforms need to change how they portray and talk about disabled people”.

Disability identity is also an issue. Many disabled people feel different because of how society is constructed, which is very damaging to some disabled people’s self-concept (see – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSvRA8jUSxQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsuCMKiQYiE). 

All disabled people must believe that they are of worth and value – “we need to feel safe in our own skins” (see – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBrRpb8aLwk). WE COLLECTIVELY need to use our Lived Experience’s to DEMAND CHANGE; everything that is not QUALITY in our lives needs to change, including poor disabled service’s that support us to live our lives. If we don’t demand QUALITY, we won’t get QUALITY, and things stay the same. Our government will continue to fund outdated services that are mediocre and are just “in the business in servicing disabled people” (see – https://inclusion.com/2020/person-centered-vs-system-centered-beth-mount/). 

The more we are true to our core values, true to living a quality life and engage in collective activism, the more we can affect change, “making a collective complaint about the simplest of things can make real change” for a lot of other disabled people as well. 

We are “just ordinary people with lived experience of INEQUALITY, but that’s our power”.

Some of the New Things the SFC Learned included:

  • A new perspective, hopeful at times, but barriers need to go… 
  • Our values can be individual and collective 
  • Understanding our values and collectively working together will effect change
  • Naill put a new slant on the way I look at how values work 
  • A great tool to use and keep in your backpack
  • Interesting – identifying fundamental values, use them to effect change 
  • The importance of equality – all humans strive for equality; we just need to A-line our ideas of what equality means to us with other social justice movements.

Our Individual and Collective Values

Independence; Freedom; Capable & Competent; Knowledge Sharers; Choice; Learning Is Power; Sense Of Belonging; Sense Of Community, Our Lived Shared Experiences is a Source of Power; Universal Design And Activism.