Liz Jackson, founder of The Disabled List, talks about the misconceptions around disability and shares practical tips on how to design with disability, not for it.

About the speaker

After becoming disabled in 2012, Liz Jackson began to wonder why her eyeglasses were fashionable when her cane was not. This question ultimately led Liz to found The Disabled List, a disability self advocacy organization that focuses on design. The Disabled List is a curated list of creative disabled people who are available to consult, collaborate and support brands that are interested in reaching their disabled consumers. The DL is shifting the disability narrative by ensuring disabled people are treated as the experts in disability. And through a program called WITH, The DL is creating new pathways into design for disabled people.

Liz Jackson has been a TED Resident, a Nantucket Project Scholar and SYPartners Fellow. Her TED Talk is called ‘Blitzing the Fashion Industry’. She has also spoken at 99U, The White House, Parsons, National Academy of Sciences, SXSW, Chicago Humanities Festival, The Nantucket Project and more. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, NPR, The Guardian, Buzzfeed and more.

The Disabled List (formerly Inclusive Fashion & Design Collective) debuted at the White House on September, 2016.

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So, how do you wink at disability? I'll first start with what not to do: Don't do anything for us, it's not gonna get anybody anywhere. Don't try and fix us. Don't resort to this inspiration porn cliche. — Liz Jackson

Inclusive design doesn't mean inclusive, not in the way I had intended, meaning a variety of approaches. Inclusive has become a way to talk around disability because nobody wants to say the word disability. — Liz Jackson

How do you wink at disability? You use your resources to elevate our voices—that's a wink. You work with us to reject the norm—that's a wink. But also you allow us to critique your systems because what I have learned is that when we're finally able to critique the systems that disable us, everybody involved stops seeing our bodies as the problem. — Liz Jackson

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