Accessibility, Ableism, and Accommodations

Reflections on the 2023 Creating Change Conference, part two

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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Selfie of Pax at the top of a steep outdoor staircase. They are wearing a blue denim cap, red-rimmed tinted glasses, and a purple jacket.

This post is part two of a series of reflections on the 2023 Creating Change Conference. For part one, see “Mixed-Race and Rootless”. For part three, see “Trans Athletes and Fairness to Women”. For part four, see Trans Takeover at Creating Change.

When deciding which sessions to attend at the Creating Change Conference, I didn’t prioritize transgender topics. I’ve lived in San Francisco for 20 years, so I’m around other openly trans and nonbinary people all of the time. I also worked at the San Francisco Office of Transgender Initiatives for two and a half years. I am what a former co-worker might call a “professional queer”.

Instead, I sought out sessions on subjects that I’m less knowledgeable about. One such subject is ableism and accessibility. I attended two sessions on this topic, the first entitled “Dismantling Ableism to Create Vibrant Accessibility in Queer Spaces”. The hosts were Brittanie Wilson, equity and justice director at The Arc Minnesota, and Jillian Nelson, Community Resource and Policy Advocate for the Autism Society of Minnesota.

When I entered the session room a few minutes before the scheduled start time, it was already crowded, filled with large round tables with little…

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Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their. funcrunch.org, patreon.com/funcrunch