What it Means to Be an Adaptive Ally with WAS Student and Ambassador Elena

By Elena, WAS student and ambassador

Adaptive allyship to me is the willingness and readiness to adapt, learn, create access, and fight for the liberation of the disabled community. Allyship is working with disabled people to dismantle barriers and allowing us to take the lead. Dismantling barriers and creating access as an individual, community, or organization is much more than adding a ramp, or interpreter, or adaptive equipment. Access means leaving no one behind, it means being flexible and creative in order to meet everyone’s access needs; it means working collectively and interdependently, recognizing intersectionality, and understanding that you cannot assume ANYTHING. Accessibility isn’t just making an environment technically available to all body-minds, it is deconstructing the systems that have created those barriers in the first place.

Allyship is work, it is radical and it is loving. Allyship is not passive or done at a distance, it must be active and personal. I envision a future where we not only have the access to move together in the same spaces but where we radically care for one another. Allyship is a decision we can make every day; we can choose to think of one another, move together, fight for each other, and create space for change!

— Elena (she/her)