If you want to understand accessibility, you need to understand disability. The best way to understand disability is by talking to disabled people.
You might know some disabled people, or even a lot of disabled people, but no two people are alike. The web is a good way to expose yourself to unique stories and viewpoints.
Today, I've published a new way you can find stories about lived experience of disability. The stories may not be true, some may even be trolls, but some of them are worth paying attention to.
I've published a Mastodon bot. It shares posts to the popular "Am I the Asshole" subreddit, which mention disability.
If my theory is correct, this might be a good way to learn about ableism, especially regarding areas of disability you don't have experience of.
What is "Am I the Asshole"?
It's a forum, on Reddit. People pose questions about things they (claim to) have experienced. Questions usually start or end "am I the asshole?".
About 800 stories are posted each day.
Other users discuss the morality of the situation and cast a judgement. Options include "not the asshole" and "you're the asshole".
There have been some excellent stories about disability before. They include:
- a wheelchair user whose brother's wedding reception would be in an inaccessible venue (and the subsequent update)
- the boyfriend hassling his girlfriend to remove her prosthetic leg around him
- the teenager being pressured to act as a sign language interpreter
With so many new posts every day, you can't hope to read them all. Follow @DisabilityOnAITA@botsin.space on Mastodon to get new posts that seem to be about disability.
The algorithm isn't perfect; I'll be fine-tuning it.
A few warnings, though. Stories may be false. They may be only tangentially about disability. They may be miscategorized completely. They may be 'not safe for work'. Since this is a bot, there's also no reliable way to add content warnings. Read and follow at your own risk.
Finally, while I hope this can make it easier to learn about ableism, some of the stories will involve disabled people being the assholes. The bot sharing a post just means "there's disability involved", not necessarily "there's ableism involved".