My Resilience Will Not Be An Ableist Apocalypse
5 Ideas For Making Permaculture Design More Accessible
When I was five or six years old, I remember finding my mom asleep in bed with her shoes on. Not ten minutes before, we’d been getting ready to walk to the bus stop together. I tried to ask her what she was doing, but she didn’t respond. She didn’t say anything. She curled deeper into the bed and waved me away.
About an hour later, the phone rang. When I didn’t answer, it rang again a few minutes later. Finally, I picked up and it was my dad who was shocked to learn I was still at home. Over the next twenty or so minutes, he walked me through begging my mom to drink a soda. It was my first real understanding of what it meant for mom to be diabetic.
Creating Healing Massage Spaces for Diabetics
Permaculture challenges us to care not only for the planet but for people too. I know that as an individual actor in my ecosystem, permaculture offers an innovative way of relating to the planet which I believe will serve us well through weathering climate change. I also know that as a disabled person, the ways we teach and design permaculture projects can sometimes be unintentionally inaccessible to disabled folks.
One of my aspirations in permaculture is to open up the way we teach and design for future resiliency to make this work more accessible to disabled folks like me who are passionate about the planet. Whether permaculture can be a source for medical treatment of disabilities is another question entirely, but today I’m focusing just on how permaculture can challenge the disabling ways our world is often designed.
Single-Use Plastics & Fighting Climate Change as individuals
In the United States alone, more than 29 million people have diabetes, and I'm one of them. Specifically I have type 2 diabetes, which was once also considered 'adult-onset' diabetes, but in today's world, people of all ages are experiencing this condition.
It's true that as individuals we have little power on society beyond our immediate impact on the commons. But as a movement of many individuals, we do have power. The idea of affecting institutional or industrial change is based on this power. Critically, these vectors of solutions are not exclusive to one another.