Sunday, March 22, 2009

WIREDD: Towards Feminist Disability Rights Solidarity

Women with disabilities and Deaf women I have met acknowledge that creating positive change to our society is a really tough job. Furthermore, for some reason we have not been able to exert our power on a national level. It's like trying to strike at a factory...without a union.

If in fact nationwide unity can bolster our movement, I see no reason not to try cyberspace avenues. Women with disabilities and Deaf women participate actively on international disability rights listservs, so I thought someone, somewhere, would have already started a listserv for women living in the US. Even Pakistan has one. Lo and behold, we in the US have zippo. American women with disabilities have posted most cohesively perhaps on D-WILD, but that listserv is international intent. So my friend Robin Stephens and I decided to just get it done, and this month we started WIREDD. The idea for WIREDD also came out of discussions I'd had with Peg Nosek, Marsha Katz, and Rosemary Hughes.

Here's what WIREDD is about:

"The Women's Information and Resource Exchange on Disability and Deafness (WIREDD) is a listserv serving to unite and provide a voice for women with disabilities and Deaf women living in the United States. Listserv postings can be on advocacy, research, supports, media and organizing by and for women with disabilities and Deaf women. Topics covered range from health, violence, housing, sexuality and employment to the inclusion of our perspective in the disability and feminist movements. The list is open to women and non-male identified queer/trans/intersex people. We are inclusive of transmasculine trans-identified folks who wish to join. We encourage the voices of those of color.

"WIREDD addresses issues for women in both the disability and Deaf communities because some members work, live, and/or advocate in both communities."

WIREDD can be found at There is a button on the page to join. Click it, fill out the form, and then check your email to verify that you want to join.

We intend WIREDD to also be a gathering place of key women with disabilities and Deaf women who are movers and shakers in their own communities. In this way, we hope that WIREDD will be a rallying point for mobilizing on our issues. Please join us as we UNIFY!