Our Story: Part Three “Who are we?”

The “Spokane Accessibility Project”, as it was known in November 2012, included a diverse group of volunteers dedicated to making Spokane and Spokane County more accessible and welcoming to people with all sorts of disabilities of all ages — particularly our local aging population.

The first three things we did were:

1) Decide how we were going to communicate with each other. This may seem like a no-brainer at first. However, every disability group and sub-group has different words they prefer to use when describing their own disability. It’s fundamental to how we see ourselves and how we relate to the world.

For instance, some people are passionate about ‘People First’ language, in which the person’s disability is considered secondary: “I am a person with autism”. On the other hand, some people prefer identity language: “I am autistic”.

After a lot of discussion we decided the best way to respect everyone involved, while encouraging spirited discussion, was to honor each person’s own language when describing themselves.

2) Create our own list of Ground Rules. One of these, for instance, is that we will be gentle with each other when mistakes are made — because mistakes will be made.

To read our Preamble and Ground Rules Click here

3) Come up with a name. After some more lively discussion, polls, and online surveys, we came up with the working name “Access 4 All Spokane” or “A4A” for short. That name stuck and we still use it today.

We represent people in Spokane County that experience one or more disabilities, either directly or as a friend or family member. We are united in our vision of finding positive, proactive solutions to improve accessibility and disability friendliness in our area.

If this sounds like you, we would love to meet you.

Access 4 All Spokane meets the 4th Thursday of every month from 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm. We meet in the conference room that is shared between Nexus Inland NW and Lilac Services for the Blind 1206 N. Howard Street, at the corner of West Boone and North Howard in Spokane, Washington.

We provide ASL interpreters upon request and use an amplifier/microphone system and hearing loop system for people who use hearing aids or cochlear implants. We can provide materials in large print or Braille upon request.

For more information, contact Access 4 All Spokane Coordinator, Dave Reynolds, at 509-216-2611 or email dave@access4allspokane.org

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