7 disabled people to follow on Instagram right now!
Here’s 7 disabled people to follow on Instagram right now!
Dear Aimee Abled-Mom of A Disabled Kid,
I don’t want things to be hard for my kid. It’s just not fair that this happened. I don’t want to be ableist but, like, isn’t that just the way things are in the world? When I try to explain how hard everything is for us and how special his needs are, I keep saying the wrong thing and using the wrong words and that makes me not want to open my mouth at all.
I know how you feel. I spent a long time in grief and anger over my kiddo’s diagnosis. A really long time. I was deep in “special needs parenting” and then I met two disabled people who set me on the path to understanding that what I needed to do for my child was different than what I was doing for me.
I was mourning the death of a child I never had: a non-disabled child who would go on to live a life I’d imagined. But the truth was, that child had never existed. My daughter was exactly the same person she was the day before she was formally diagnosed. It was me who needed to change to be the right parent for the child I actually had.
But it didn’t happen overnight. It’s still happening. And it wasn’t some internal thing. I learned from disabled people. Now I have disabled friends. I read disabled people’s books. I listen to their speeches, enjoy their art. And I follow them on social media. So should you. And you’ll learn more, too.
Here’s a list of people you should be following on social media right now if you aren’t already. This is a two-part post. First, we will look at Instagram. In my next post, we’ll look at Twitter.
Once you’ve followed these folks for a while and poked around their highlights where they save content for nondisabled people to come back to and refer to, and you’ve followed some of the people they follow or who interact with their content a lot, you may not need to have notifications on for them. They may just show up in your feed anyway. But having the notifications on makes sure that you see their content and they don’t just disappear into the void of social media. These are people whose content you actually do want to see.
Now, here are 7 people you need to be following on Instagram:
1. Sonya Rio-Glick. Sonya describes herself as queer and disabled and striving for a more caring world. She is a dancer and a disabled activist and she is someone everyone should know and listen to.
2. Bianca Riedmann. She has ALS and raises awareness not only about ALS but about degenerative disease and the increasing need for accessibility. A lot of her content is in German but much of it is translated and all of it is worthwhile.
3. Erin Clark. Erin is a Canadian writer and performer. She is super sexy and outspoken. Just follow her now, okay?
4. Andrew Gurza. He describes himself as a disabled awareness consultant and disabled content creator. He talks openly about his body and about the desexualization of disabled people, an important topic that people
5. Melissa Blake is one amazing human who turned responding to nasty comments online into being a viral social media influencer and now she’s got herself a book deal. She is a disability activist, blogger, and writer.
6. Nina Tame is a disability advocate, writer, and content creator. She talks about life as a disabled person and as the parent of a disabled child.
7. Rebekah Taussig is a writer who posts, as she puts it, mini memoirs and photographs narrating life from her ordinary, resilient, disabled body. She wrote a book, too, called Sitting Pretty. It’s a great read.
Don’t take my word for it. Let these folks speak for themselves.
Next time, we’ll look at Twitter.
Aimee Christian is a freelance writer published in The New York Times and The Washington Post, on Romper.com, and on Popsugar Family. Currently hard at work on a middle-grade novel about am 11-year-old girl with an unusual disability who is faced with a difficult choice.