Disability

This Is What Disability-Led Looks Like

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This is about NMD United – Neuro Muscular Disabilities United, and their peer-based disability-led social media project, #IndependTips.

This is primarily a vlog, a video interview between Brooklyn (of NMD United) and I about their project. The vlog is captioned.

Somehow I started following NMD United on Instagram.

I really don’t know how it happened – I know I had never heard of them before, and since I don’t have a neuro-muscular disability, I really had no reason to know of them.

But somehow I started following them, and really enjoyed all of their posts.

I enjoyed them so much so, that I reached out and asked them if we could chat about their organization and about their social media campaign. They were gracious and awesome and we sat down together, Brooklyn in Canada and me (in Hawaii). You gotta love the internet.

Here’s our conversation.

The takeaways that I have from what they are doing are:

  1. Disability-led organizations are best: by us, for us.
  2. You don’t need money to get stuff done
  3. But you do need synergistic collaboration and skillz!
  4. And money can help
  5. You can do things virtually very efficiently and effectively with a small staff, around the world

Nothing About Us Without Us

Nothing About Us Without Us is the beacon, hope, yearning and demand that lies in the marrow of the disability community.

That is one of the the things that most draws me to what NMD United is doing: it is by and for their community. It is peer-to-peer, a harnessing and sharing of their collective wisdom.

Moreover, they are volunteer-based.

This is what they do with no money, spread all over the world; can you imagine what they they could do if they had money?! (hint, nudge; the link to donate is at the end of this post!)

To me, this is deeply inspiring and the #IndependTips project is one that I’d love to see replicated across the disability spectrum. That is, have something similar in the Down syndrome community, in which adults with Down syndrome give advice to others with Down syndrome, or the d/Deaf community, and so forth.

This Body is Worthy

Now, I have to say something that I thought was funny: I didn’t realize that I heard about This Body is Worthy from NMD United!

And then, when I went to their website after I had the great chat with Brooklyn, the first photo I saw was my friend Rachel and her wife!

That was pretty cool. And so was getting to know NMD United through Brooklyn a little better.

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Meriah
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor, teacher and blogger. Single mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E), she is also a cat-loving Trekkie who likes her coffee hot and black.
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