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#RepresentationMatters: Authentic Disability Cultural Representation
The hashtag #RepresentationMatters is used all over social media as a way to both call out lack of diversity and to recognize efforts and gains. The hashtag is used by communities of color to raise awareness and appreciation for creative work and meaningful representation of all types of people of color from varied backgrounds and experiences. It is used to celebrate LGBTQ accomplishments and to decry the use of cisgender actors to portray trans characters. AND, it is used among disability rights and disability justice activists on social media to call out the continued misrepresentation of the disability experience by able-bodied individuals, to signal the lack of inclusion in diversity conversations, and to celebrate disability-related successes.

This workshop will offer a panel of individuals with disabilities with intersecting marginalized identities engaging in interactive discussion providing context about how disability is typically portrayed and seen (as white, male and cisgender) and how this reinforces stereotypes and perpetuates the stigma surrounding the disabled body and the lived experience of individuals with disabilities with multiple, marginalized identities. We’ll examine how this portrayal fits into the general #RepresentationMatters movement and discuss the significance and need to increase the meaningful inclusion/participation of multiply marginalized individuals with disabilities in the media, in policy making, etc. and what that representation means to the disability community and how it plays a role in disability pride/empowerment. To generate an even deeper level of understanding of #RepresentationMatters, the workshop panel will illustrate authentic inclusive concepts related to disability and will focus on the critical importance of sustaining and growing the trend of authentic disability representation by ensuring the inclusion of all types of disabilities, particularly as experienced by those who have multiple intersecting identities


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