The voices we need: the pros and cons to spokespeople

G’day friends and welcome to another week and another blog.

Have you ever gone to social media or events where there have been panelists speaking about super hot topics? Even the news there will be politicians or ‘experts’ speaking about their opinions on a wide range of topics. Have you ever sat there and thought ‘hm I don’t like what they are saying’ or even ‘yes 100% agree with you!’.

Each of these people is using their voice to try and improve society… Some do it well, and others, well, not so much.

Within the disability community, and probably every community, some people have a platform where they use their voices to advocate for social injustices. Whether that platform is because of their jobs through politics, entertainment or sport or because they are public speakers, you will always see someone having an opinion.

However, I believe that the people who are advocates for the community you are apart of will either make or break the message the community is trying to send.

So, I thought why not chat a little bit about this, and whether I believe that we should have spokespeople, and what voices we actually need!

Why do we even need spokespeople?

Me and three other people on a panel at the Pride in Law function earlier in the year. I am on the far right of the photo in my mobility scooter. there are banners behind me and the other three panelists. Each of us were given a voice during this panel and it was amazing
Flashback to the Pride in Law Panel this year!

Its safe to say there is a lot of debate and often a lot of hate through social media, especially when it comes to celebrities or athletes using their voice during a game or awards speech. A lot of people often say ‘your job is to entertain/ play sport, stay in your own lane’.

I honestly couldn’t disagree more.

Why should someones job define what they can and can’t speak about? If they have a platform they should use it however they see fit; especially when it comes to advocating for meaningful and positive change!!

Every spokesperson or advocate has the ability to impact the lives of so many people.

Without these humans, regardless of who they are, they play a vital role in creating noise that can lead to change.

Some people are natural born speakers and advocates, who are experts in an area of life and who believe things can be done better in society, so why silence those who want to do good?

However there is a catch to this. I know it may sound a bit silly of me, but hear me out.

The type of spokesperson, and how they lead conversation or voice their opinions can either make or break a movement.

In my panel discussion (which you can check out my blog post here!! ) I said that I ended up unfollowing a disability advocate because of their approach in their messaging.

I am a strong believer in if you lead from a place of anger in your messaging towards another community, you can actually do more harm than good.

This is because when your tone of voice is what is full of venom and you are yelling or just negative in general and hateful towards the people or situation that is an issue, people will hear that rather than the message itself.

When the disability community is on the back foot in terms of societal opinions, we need people who don’t add negative fuel to the fire.

The voices we actually need

a close up photo of round sound speakers
http://Photo by Anthony : ):

With all this in mind, I truly think we need people who speak from a place of love rather than hate.

If the disability community continue to lead with the ‘we vs them’ mentality, the community will always be on the back foot in my opinion.

Now don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that you can’t be angry and on the odd occasion have that come across in your messaging. But it needs to be constructive.

We need advocates and spokespeople that inspire other humans to come and join our fight for equity. Yes I said it, equity not equality.

As much as we want to be equal, it would be like asking a bird and a fish to sit on the tallest branch of a tree. The bird has wings to do it, but the fish doesn’t have anything to help. So something must be given to the fish to help it to reach the top.

And that is what we need to be looking at. for the moment at least.

We need society to change the mindset around disabled people, and every other community that is deemed as a ‘minority’.

We have made so much progress in terms of representation and equity in society, but there is a lot that still needs to be done; accessible air travel and better representation in media for example.

So we need people that will inspire people to stand up and say that although we have made positive progress, we still have a long way to go.

But we need to do it in a way that is peaceful, without hate. We all need to start seeing each other as humans. Because at the end of the day, that is what we all are, and we have lost sight of that. Whether or not you are disabled, every single human is unique in their own way, and that uniqueness should be celebrated, and not be forced to conform to what the general society wants us to be moulded into. If that happens, what makes the world vibrant goes away.

We need more people like Dylan Alcott, Dinesh Palipana, Emma Carey, and even Meryl Streep, Nyheim Hines, and even politicians, pretty much everyone and anyone who wants to help create a world where there is less hate and where everyone can be who they want to be without judgement.

Now doesn’t that sounds nice?

Till next time,


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