Disabled people are experts at finding new ways to do things when the old ways don’t work. We are a vast think tank right in plain sight. A bottomless well of ingenuity and creativity.

Riva Lehrer

Unfortunately, there are many people for whom the current way of doing things doesn’t work. No just people living with disabilities we can see, but also ones we can’t see. But also, people of colour, different genders, survivors of racism or sexual discrimination. And many more. This is true in communities, organisations, institutions, companies, and of course in aid.

What would happen if we listened to them? If we heard their stories. And what if we didn’t just listen to them, but we learned from them. Learned how they live beyond the current system that is. How they work around the system. And what if we went even further to not just consult and learn from them, what if we put them front and centre.

How would that influence our change processes? Would that shift mindsets (including ours)? What challenges would be solved? Which would remain? And what new challenges would present themselves?

Perhaps it’s time to give it a try. The choice is up to us.

Photo by Nathan Anderson


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