, 45 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Hey housing folks [does finger whistle] would you listen if the things I've been trying to say about housing design were written by someone in the New York Times? Or still ignore?


#vanpoli #bcpoli #Cdnpoli

Gif:Husky dog jumping up and down, in/out of view excited
Features like open kitchens& spacious bathrooms appeal to nearly everyone. So why isn’t accessible housing more readily available?
Yep. I've pointed this out every time someone tells me they can't design for accessibility bc 'ugly'

"The open kitchens, stall showers and spacious baths found in so many pricey new towers often have accessibility laws to thank for their existence."
“The [accessibility] requirements, in a way, create more luxurious spaces,” said Brett Harris, a founding principal of AKI, a developer of Queens rentals."
Mr. Freiberg helped found the Fair Housing Justice Center in New York in the mid-2000s, "he encountered what could be described as a Wild West mentality."

"In recent years, accessibility testing has led federal prosecutors to bring cases against a who’s who of NY developers" As high-rises were multiplying amid a real estate boom, Mr. Freiberg began creating an army of testers, using local actors. Pretending to be New Yorkers in need of housing - and armed with tape measures - the testers, some of whom are disabled, tour condos and rentals to see what makes the grade. Most units, testers say, do no.
FWIW I have suggested having testers here - because it's a bloody obvious idea - but:
a) We don't have ADA here
b) We have a disability charity charging thousands of dollars who you have to decide to hire - monopolizing accessibility.
c) No one listens to me.
TBC it's more than ADA at play here. The US has other legislation - the Fair Housing Act.
"The finer points of disability legislation, in fact, have led many developers to embrace popular design elements like open floor plans and expansive bathrooms." Even fully mobile residents might enjoy the spaciousness in the bathrooms.
Look folks, I know legislation isn't sexy. I know we'd all rather discuss a ton of other things personal to our lives but there is a reason I read 100 page piece of legislation three times and wrote this article.

US disability activists are at a different point than we are in Canada. If we don't get our sh*t together we will never be there.

No the ADA did not create instant justice, but it is a hugely important piece in why there is even org'd disability activism in US & not here.
Follow me for a moment.
Dial back time to not that long ago, mid last century. Institutions for disabled people were common, main to only option depending - unless very wealthy & had family inclined to not put you in one.
And then something happened. The Civil Rights Movement in the US happened. Black America with its Black leaders, activists and intellectuals happened.
And the words and actions of the Civil Rights Movement inspired and informed disabled people all over the planet.
You folks know - or I hope you know - a lot of what took place in US. If not, here's a fun way to learn about a piece of it

What is less known is that it was spreading here in Canada. There were 'consumer' groups and there was an emerging sense of activism and community. Our community. About us. Led by us. But community. Not individuals. thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/dis… Link in tweet- this section begins The 1970's: Growth of Consumer Groups
And then something happened. derail verb: to prevent a plan or process from succeeding  - eg Renewed fighting threatens to derail the peace talks.
Now I'm not saying this was the intended effect but I am saying that everything the disability activists in this video made in 1987 (three years before US would sign ADA, at height of when collective activism) said has proven to be true.

Disabled people were uniting as a community, claiming and reclaiming. Moving forward together.
And then an event happened that centred around inspiring ableds, that catered to the abled gaze, that led Mulroney to circumvent his own govt agencies decision-making about funding
And how it would be allocated. Not based on evidence. Not based on proportionality of need. Not based on science. But because he wanted to announce million dollars in front of cameras for SCI research - this is during 'tighten your belt' era.
Canadian disability activists at the time criticized the tour, calling it a stunt, saying that it was not the way to create meaningful structural change & wondered where it would lead because while this stunt got tons of press, the public was going to want bigger stunts to top it
Disability activists at the time pointed out this would cause (or worsen) a sense of disability hierarchy with some disabilities having more stunt appeal than others and result in disproportionate funding, etc. It was in many ways, everything they were trying to move away from
Three years later in 1990 when US signed the ADA, an act that represented a collective victory, the product of so many hands, so much labour, so many sacrifices by so many people working together and alone but for similar objective - Canada got no disability rights legislation.
The legacy of the ADA, imo, is more than just ADA and its impact. And PLEASE for the love of history and facts, let's be clear Canadians, the ADA is why we have a lot of the accessibility we have up here - not because of an awareness campaign or inspiring video.
As US companies had to move towards compliance - because of lawsuits - we benefitted bc those designs were brought here.
Disabled Canadians have benefited from US ADA lawsuits. - Skywrite that somewhere. Someone needlepoint this for me. Put it on t-shirts bc y'all need to know
You think that Uber would even be trying to pretend about accessibility HERE in Canada if not for the ADA lawsuits in the US?
You all really that damn naive to believe it's because your fave disability org sat down & talked nicely & politely with them & Uber saw the light?
You know why I am even here - not in an institution although I still faced and face that threat - talking endlessly about curb cuts? Because US disability activists were so no shit some of them made some at midnight on their own until the ADA came along. Not bc we were 'inspired'
The ways we've benefitted from earlier generations of Canadian disability activists and past and current US disability activists - and the imperfect but immeasurably more than the nothing we got here, ADA - are all around us. They are in my apt - the parts that work.
Building a door wide enough for me to wheel in - bc legislation.

But I think the ADA legacy is bigger than that & I think you see it in the difference between US & Canadian disability communities. Not just the presence or absence of activism. The understanding of 'we' not 'me'
I don't want to belabour comparison and it's really just a sense I get.
But the point is, I think as disabled Canadians we've been given a false sense of what our role is in our own history and in our future destiny - as individuals and as a community, because they are connected
We were not 'given' what rights and accessibility we have because our governments were 'inspired.'
Rights are not treats handed out at awareness campaigns.
We are at an important juncture. There should be a sense of urgency but is there?
My personal history & yours, our own life stories, are irrevocably tied up together. If we all don't care enough about this legislation to make a stink, it won't change
Look, I get that US disability activists have moved on to justice - part of what allows them to do that work is they've established some rights via ADA and a sense of collective community identity. We don't have those things here. We are almost 3 decades behind.
We are often riding on coattails thinking we are leading when we aren't. It's part of the Canadian myth we tell ourselves about being the best - and the Canadian myth about how we do the right thing just because we're 'nice' - thanks but my not nice life says I need legislation
And I was going to get to this but @theAutistech already did it for me
"The Sexual Sterilization Act was in effect in BC for 40 years. On April 18, 1973, the legislation was repealed, although some have argued sterilization practices continued for sometime afterward, until the SCC made a decision in E. (Mrs.) vs. Eve (1986)."
Link for quote in last tweet. eugenicsarchive.ca/discover/timel…
So much of being disabled Canadian is isolation.
Add to that the hyped up individualism celebrated by 'overcome' narratives and the entirely unhealthy trope of the supercrips
But the oppression & discrimination is not isolated. And the solution is not found in any individual.
If you haven't watched that CBC video from 1987 (in this thread) I really urge you to. It's almost like we got stuck in time. I have that sense often when I am dealing with a lot of accessibility issues here. Peter Kavanagh's words and passion - could do with both right now.
But one thing, kind of personal to me for reasons followers will understand, stuck out to me.
Kavanagh compares the tour to the old dance marathons and the inflicting of pain & injury.
Hansen has a team, including physios to deal with it.
30 yrs later physio isn't covered for me
Do you. Do whatever you wish to raise funds for research.
But my rights will never be advanced by stunts, awareness campaigns, simulations or any one individual. My ability to be an individual relies on the work of many to fight for those collective rights.
Are we ready to demand those be something meaningful? Are we ready to make this legislation ours? Or are we too complacent? Or hoping to jump this part of the process and discuss the edgier stuff?

Idk. I guess we'll find out soon enough.
The only thing I know for sure is I can't get to your justice meeting if I don't have a curb cut.
I can't get to meet for coffee to discuss the ableism around social life if there isn't a bathroom I can pee in.
Legislation is may be boring but it's necessary.
It's sorta mentioned in earlier quote-tweet but, TBC, sterilization w/out consent of disabled people ended w SCC decision in 1986, bu the practice did not end for Indigenous women in Canada. Link via @kwardvancouver theconversation.com/canadas-shamef…
Badly worded tweet since really what it should say is it ended for all disabled people except Indigenous women, some of who I assume may be disabled Indigenous women.

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