Accessing stories

We’ve got a bit of an accessibility theme happening in this issue. When there are so many stories being pitched on a topic (decoding: pitch is news speak for proposing a story), especially from so many varied perspectives, it’s a clear sign that this is a necessary conversation that affects many people in our communities.

Our cover feature includes an overview of barriers to accessibility, and the steps that some organizations are taking to reduce these barriers. Campus reporter Skylar Smallacombe explores accommodations offered by Accessibility Services on campus, as well as work being done to address more invisible barriers to inclusion on campus.

Crystal Rondeau returns with her column, Crystal Clear, and offers a perspective on accessibility that’s closer to home. For holidays and family events, what does accessibility look like? And how might close friends or family members, despite their best intentions, create additional stress, strain or unnecessary hurdles for those around them?

In the city section, Braiden Pergis digs into the question of city sidewalk clearing. Impassable sidewalks may be a minor inconvenience to some, and could also be a huge hurdle – and even a danger – for Winnipeggers with mobility issues or disabilities.

And in the comments sections, Megan Linton questions how people’s value is linked to their productive potential and their bodies’ capabilities while living under capitalism. She questions the motives behind initiatives to care for people, or to support self-care: Are people cared for (by themselves and others) because they’re inherently worthy of care, or so that they can reach a higher level of productivity?

With a collection of talented writers exploring accessibility from many different angles, I hope this issue can work as a helpful introduction to current conversations about accessibility and inclusion.

– Anastasia Chipelski

Published in Volume 72, Number 21 of The Uniter (March 15, 2018)

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