Everyone has heard of the “Equal Opportunities” con, haven’t they??? You know the one – it is where people pay lipservice to the idea that everybody deserves an equal opportunity to be like everyone else but actually does very little to alter things.
There is a major difference between “Equal Opportunities” and true Equality – from my viewpoint at least.
You see – “Equal Opportunities” apparently relies on the able-bodied to make the decisions regarding the Disabled population and what kind of “reasonable adjustments” companies can afford to make in order to make people like me feel included.
True Equality involves taking people like me (or women, or LGBT people, or ethnic minorities, etc) seriously and really listening to us when we talk about our experience of living in your world. Involve us at the beginning of any project which involves designing something for everyone to use.
Most of all – true Equality means taking me and my experiences as seriously as you would take the opinion of someone like you. I may not look like the most intelligent human you have ever spoken to (and my CV doesn’t include a long list of qualifications) but my experience can make me see things in a different way.
True Equality isn’t about you trying to “help” me achieve the same as you in the same way as you. True Equality is about you helping me to achieve what I want in my own way.