OER for Disability Pride Month

During Disability Pride Month, I chose to develop my own resource and chose to work with the AS and Neurodiversity Society. This resource felt incredibly important to me where throughout the university, as a student and within ISG staff, I saw an increasing range of disability awareness training sessions around neurodivergence.

I was already aware of this resource, which had been released prior to lockdown, and it was one to which I had wanted to add the sections on intersectionality, comorbidities and mental health. So, I worked with the President of the Neurodivergence Society, and the accredited members in the resource to review, add to and edit the existing document. We tried to consider other disabilities, how to make it an accessible format, and what we perceived to be key barriers and aspects of misinformation.


There are now so many fantastic thinkers, writers and creators who are discussing and addressing aspects of invisible disabilities and their intersections. In fact, in many anthologies, programmes and films, I have been surprised and hopeful to see the inclusion of these identities even beginning to appear hesitantly on the sidelines. When I encounter this by accident, I can begin to feel hopeful. It was these new developments and increasing awareness that we kept in mind as we produced the document. Publishing this as an Openly licensed document felt very significant in improving access and reducing the aforementioned barriers.


I was really excited to work on this, as disability and inclusion in the workplace were one of the most crucial parts provided in our ISG employee training. It’s an area that isn’t isolated but intersects and compounds other marginalised identities. There is a lot of overlap within different communities. Writing the part on intersectionality, it felt super important to acknowledge these areas. For example, the history of ABA, conversion therapy and how intertwined these multiple issues are with the LGTBQ+ community is often something which isn’t included in the conversation. Yet, ableism is often integrated into these systems of oppression which utilise these different modes of thought to target multiple marginalised groups on the basis of their identities as separate or mutually exclusive.


In this resource, I realise cannot hope to address all of the various aspects of disability, but hope to provide a starting point. It was very important for this resource to acknowledge that though it focuses on a specific disability (like the internet has been screaming into the void for some time) disabilities can and do intersect.


However, whilst I want to acknowledge the importance of these issues, there is also so much joy and so much to celebrate about disabled communities. There are many brilliant individuals who contributed to the creation of this resource, and those who wished to be accredited have been. They didn’t just write sections but criticised, and offered necessary and valuable solutions. Their perspectives were unique and important, and I hope that we all continue to realise and value this.


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We have tried our best to make this resource accessible in format, but this is unlikely to suit all disabled users. If you do require a different format, contact mwickett@ed.ac.uk so that we may provide you with one.



Header image: Sunflower by Veronika Pudilova, and edited with permission by Molly Wickett, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 licence.