• Dr. Danielle DeBlock, ND

Accessibility in Activist Writing: Persuasive Privilege

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

The topic of accessibility in activist writing came up during a recent NEST meeting. In the process of discussing our values and goals around accessibility, we realized that we had to take a step back and address the how. How do we decide which voices to prioritize? Especially in light of the current climate of activism, how does this maintain systems of oppression instead of dismantling them?

Whose Thoughts Are Worthy?

There has long been an expectation that to share thoughts and beliefs around social and/or environmental issues, one must do so in a certain way. This unwritten expectation seems to include being ‘informed’, ‘educated’, and ‘rational’. The presumption is that unless you have some formal education and are completely immersed in the ins and outs of whatever topic is at hand, your thoughts are unworthy of serious regard.

Even as I write this blog, I feel my brain searching for the most appropriate sentence structure and phrases, with the end goal of having my message accepted. This is not to say that we shouldn’t value certain forms of communication, and pay attention to ways in which expressing ourselves is more easily understood. At the same time, we should not discount expressions that fall outside of what has been conventionally expected and accepted.

Exclusionary Standards of Expression