Using Your Platform For Good: How To Become A Disability Advocate Online

61 million adults in the United States live with some type of disability, the CDC reveals. Unfortunately, people with disabilities face various challenges, discrimination, and stigma in everyday life, which activists, advocates, and allies are collectively working to change. By getting involved in online activism, you can use your platform for good and help make positive change for the disability community.

Promote the work of activists with disabilities

You may understandably not feel comfortable discussing disability-related issues in your own words, but by boosting the work of other advocates and activists, you can still help further the discussion.
Also, handing the spotlight over to disability activists with valuable opinions who don’t have your reach can do a lot to raise awareness and help get their voices heard on important topics. So, for example, if there’s a disability-related issue you feel passionately about, act by sharing and reinforcing what people with disabilities themselves have to say. Be sure to share or retweet their content first, before giving your own take if you feel comfortable doing so.

Tell your own disability story

There’s no better way to get involved in disability advocacy by starting with your own story — whether you open up about your own disability or that of a loved one. If you don’t have a disability, however, be careful not to conflate your story with your loved one’s; your experiences, although related, aren’t the same. Share your story from your own point of view and include your loved one in it without speaking for them. So, for example, maybe you’re a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, the most common childhood motor disability.
You could choose to share your experience of your child’s diagnosis, which usually involves an observational diagnosis followed by a number of scans and tests to check for neurological irregularities, CPFN explains. Sharing your own story can help raise awareness of cerebral palsy and symptoms of the condition other parents should look out for. Keep in mind: the goal of sharing your story isn’t just to get people’s attention or sympathy. Look for ways to connect your situation back to a wider issue and how it impacts people with disabilites.

Post articles and calls-to-action on social media 

Posting articles and calls-to-action across your social media platforms is a simple step with the potential for great impact. And, if most of your followers aren’t already aware of disability issues, your credibility will encourage them to start thinking about key issues for the first time. For example, you could share an article explaining why voting rights are important for the disability community, or the importance of home-based care being emphasized in Biden’s infrastructure plan.
Using your platform for disability advocacy and activism is a rewarding decision that benefits the wider community. Promoting the work of activists with disabilities, sharing your own story, and posting informative articles on social media are just some ways you can make a positive impact.

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