I woke up this morning and realized my audience is mostly Blind and visually impaired readers.
That would make sense. Right? I mean, after all, I’m Blind, so it’s only natural people in my own community want to support me.
As I get more involved with the wider Disability community, though, I began to notice that my events and otherwise weren’t accessible to everybody. At least, as accessible as they could be to the widest possible audience. I was narrowly focused on my own community and not really paying attention to, say, people that are Deaf and hard of hearing that really enjoy reading my work because it allows them to glimpse a different world.
As I become aware of my own narrow ways of thinking, I’ll vow to change them and make things better and more inclusive. Of course, I won’t get everything right, but me getting everything right isn’t as important as the lessons I acknowledge and examine afterward.
Basically, I’ll aim too always do better. For instance, here’s a few recent examples.
I get interviewed a lot for podcasts. On every podcast interview I attend, I’ll always require my episode be transcribed. If a person wants me on their literature panel as a guest, I’ll ask for sign language interpreters and captions. If a person wants to give me an award, I’ll ask the presenter to make sure that the venue is wheelchair accessible.
I’ve also taken some steps on my website, as well. For instance, I don’t highlight every podcast I appear on. I’ve started posting only podcast episodes with transcripts provided. I’ve also started highlighting only events that took multiple steps to be inclusive.
Lastly, simply put, I’ve started listening more to my fellow Disabled authors that don’t have my Disabilities. Sure, there’s always going to be more that I need to learn and understand, but I’m ready for the opportunity. Nothing about us without us is such a powerful statement and it’s my new motto.
The best thing I can do is do my best, listen, and learn. Thank you for coming along this journey with me. I look forward to growing even more!