Happy Disability Pride Month!
Hello, Uncharted subscribers! Thanks for your patience during our unplanned newsletter hiatus. We’ve been busy, and we have lots of good news to report!
Book Progress: Sloan Grant + Illustrator Search
We were both swamped during the spring semester, so we’ve received an extension on our book manuscript. That said, we are editing second drafts from many contributors, so we are getting closer to a finished book every day!
We are extremely excited to announce that we received a grant from the Sloan Foundation to 1) increase our contributors’ compensation for their chapters and 2) add black and white illustrations of each contributor to the book! That means that we are in search of an illustrator to work with - we would prefer to support an illustrator who is disabled, neurodivergent, chronically ill, D/deaf, or otherwise part of this incredible community. Please reply to us if you have any suggestions!
July is Disability Pride Month - yay! As we close out LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we have been reflecting on the many parallels between the coming out experience as a queer person and a disabled person, especially for scientists who are often expected to leave their identities outside the lab.
“I’ve lived my whole life outside of the status quo on almost every level. I am a queer, disabled, woman of color, half Asian and half Latina. Though I have lots of intersectionalities, people by far respond most to my disability, and sadly, disabled people are often considered to be either asexual, or it's thought they shouldn't be having sex. Our desires and need for connections with others to build families and strong social networks are just as strong as those without disabilities. I look at each day as a chance to break down barriers and stereotypes that people hold about us.” —Dana Bolles, Spaceflight Engineer and Science Communicator (she/her), via @500queerscientists
Given that there are people with access needs in every single community you can think of, we would love to see more accessibility in future LGBTQ+ Pride marches, celebrations, and protests. We created this list of a few ways to make all kinds of celebrations more accessible:
Provide certified sign language interpreters during speeches and musical performances. Reserve seating or standing room in front of the interpreters.
Establish quiet, low-light, fragrance-free areas with comfortable seating. If the main event is outside, this could be a tent, but an indoor room with climate control would also be helpful.
Create substance-free activities and provide good non-alcoholic drink options any time alcohol is present. Water is great, but it doesn’t count as an equally appealing alternative.
Provide free water fountains or bottles, especially in the summer.
Avoid strobe lights or flashing graphics, or provide clear warnings ahead of time if they are unavoidable.
Even if the event is held in person, provide an option to attend virtually and participate fully. A live stream is a good option if two-way participation is not possible.
Ask participants and guests what they need to participate fully!
Let us know if this is helpful, or what other tips you would add.