Disability Working Group

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The Disability Working Group is committed to a democratic socialism that includes full participation for all people, regardless of ability or impairment, in all aspects of life. “From each according to their ability” is at the very heart of the socialist vision. We are building a world that values and actively promotes the contributions of all, regardless of impairment or difference. Therefore, we oppose ableism in all forms. Disability and ableism impacts everyone, and advancing toward the liberation and full inclusion of disabled people brings us closer to a truly just society for all.

The disabled comprise the most vulnerable segments of society and therefore suffer disproportionately from the effects of colonialism, war, poverty, and racism. Yet disabled people have historically been leading forces in movements for social change. A recognition and understanding of ableism and disability are requisite to any liberatory project, and we believe it is essential to move beyond the medical and social models of disability, using a class-based analysis of how human differences become disabilities under the conditions of oppression and exploitation inherent to capitalism. Therefore, we fight for disability justice in our demands for universal healthcare, accessible housing, ecosocialism, and autonomy over the conditions and choices that shape our lives.

We are abolitionists, and join with prison and police abolition efforts to reject incarceration and coercive use of control over people in any institution, recognizing that abolishing nursing facilities and psychiatric institutions are equally necessary.. We fight against the recurrence of eugenics and scientific racism, opposing any return to asylums, sheltered workshops, and institutionalization. We are internationalists and recognize that the fight to achieve disability justice, like the fight for socialism, requires international solidarity and opposition to imperialism.

We demand recognition of the value inherent in all our unique contributions to society. We demand the resources and accommodations needed for full inclusion in our communities, as a priority, beyond the narrow progress made by reforms such as the Americans With Disabilities Act. Fighting for Universal Design, we reject accessibility as an afterthought, and instead demand all environments be built for everyone.

We actively work for inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of DSA and all settings where DSA participates, including full accommodation of in-person and online meetings. This includes captioning, sign language interpretation, visual presentation design, welcoming diverse communication styles, trauma-informed organizing, accommodation of variable energy and capacity needs, as well as other accommodations following principles of healing justice. Within the constraints of an authoritarian capitalist social context widely hostile to both the disabled and the working class, we educate DSA organizers to meaningfully move towards universal access to DSA participation, through comradely advocacy and critique.

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