A disablism update

In these strange and unsettling times, we hope all F-Word readers are safe and well. We’re going to keep blogging as much as we can. To give you all something to read and us something to do! Look after yourselves and each other.

Back in 2018 The F-Word added a policy to the site about disablism and access, and as part of that policy we promised to be open and transparent about how we were doing against two key metrics:

  • Making sure the incidence of disablist language (saying people must be ‘blind’ to not see something obvious for example) was as close to zero as possible.
  • Making sure we were using images of disabled people in our posts regularly.

Just after Christmas I took another look at the site to see how we have been doing.

I searched all the posts between October 2016 and November 2019 and found 10 instances of clear negative use of a disablist word from a list of 22, which is a rate of 0.01 per post. This isn’t zero, but it is very close. We’ve now removed or clarified those instances.

I looked at all the posts between July 2018 and November 2019 and found there were 177 posts that included images of people, but only eight of these included images of people with visible impairments. This is about 5% of the images when about 20% of the UK population is disabled, so it’s no where near a fair representation. We need to do more to address this.

We will keep working on the images issue, and will keep monitoring how we’re doing. You can read more about the background to this process here and here. If you’ve got any questions or comments about this, please feel free to comment below or email me. Thanks.

The feature image is from by Olesia Bilkei / Shutterstock.com and shows four people outside smiling at the camera, three of who would seem to have learning disabilities.