Here's a number for you, 1 billion. One billion people is the estimated number of disabled people in the world. One billion. One in 8 people on the planet. That means that each of us knows someone, likely many someones, with a disability whether visible or hidden. Yet disability is a subject that most of us give little or no thought to.
Disability activist Emily Ladau joined me on the podcast to talk about Demystifying Disability, which is also the title of her new book. Emily and I talked about how to normalize disability as simply another part of the human experience. We spoke about the impact of intersecting marginalized identities and how diverse the disability community is.
At the end of our talk I knew a lot more than I had before and increased my comfort level in how to talk about disability with members of both the disability and non disabled communities.
One billion people. Maybe we should be paying more attention to this than we typically do.
For a written transcript of this conversation click here.
Emily Ladau is an author and disability rights activist whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. Her writing has been published in outlets including The New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice, and HuffPost and her first book, Demystifying Disability, was published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in September 2021.
Emily's Action Items:
1) Listen to, learn from, and amplify the voices of the disabled
2) Know when to pass the mic
3) Take the time to get to know and understand the disability experience
Demystifying Disability by Emily Ladau
Connect with Emily:
Harmonica music courtesy of a friend