TPP 363: Emily Ladau on Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally

TILT Parenting: Raising Differently Wired Kids

Feb 27 2024 • 47 mins

A theme we often touch upon on this show is how the discourse surrounding neurodivergence and the language used when referring to neurodivergence is ever-evolving. I’ve observed on social media and in other spaces how conversations about terminology can be confusing, divisive, alienating, and complicated to navigate. Disability is one of those terms that can be uncomfortable for some people, including parents of neurodivergent kids, to embrace, but my hope is that this conversation will help you have a deeper understanding of what it means to be disabled, how ableism shows up and hurts all members of the disability community, including our kids, and how we can be better allies in the disability To talk about this, I invited disability rights activist and writer Emily Ladau onto the show. Emily wrote a wonderful book called Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally, and in today’s conversation, we explore some of the core ideas in her book. As always, we covered a lot of ground in this episode, including what it actually means to be disabled, why the euphemism “special needs” is problematic for many people, how ableism is normalized in our society, disability etiquette do’s and dont’s to keep in mind for future interactions, and so much more.   About Emily Ladau Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist, writer, storyteller, and digital communications consultant whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. Her writing has been published in outlets including The New York Times, CNN, Vice, and HuffPost and her first book, Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally, was published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in September 2021. Emily has spoken before numerous audiences, from the U.S. Department of Education to the United Nations. Central to all of Emily’s work is harnessing the power of storytelling to engage people in learning about disability.   Things you'll learn from this episode The difference between models of disability, including the medical, social, and charity model Why it’s critical that we recognize and address internalized ableism in order to promote inclusivity What intersectionality is and ways disability intersects with other marginalized identities What should be considered when looking at accommodations and accessibility when meeting the diverse needs of individuals Do’s, don’t’s and best practices when it comes to disability etiquette   Resources mentioned for Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally Emily Ladau’s website Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally by Emily Ladau The Accessible Stall (Emily’s podcast) Words I Wheel By (Emily’s Facebook page) Emily on Instagram Emily on LinkedIn Tyler Fedder (Illustrator) D’Arcee Neal The Platinum Rule   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices