TED talks are always fascinating and great at helping you to see things from a new perspective. There are hundreds of thought-provoking talks online given by people from all over the world. Here are a number of great TED talks given by disabled people which I find particularly thought-provoking.
1. Deep sea diving… in a wheelchair
Sue Austin creates at which helps to express the sense of joy and freedom she feels when using her powerchair. She created an underwater wheelchair which allows her to glide effortlessly past coral reefs and schools of fish. I would love to try something like that!
2. I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much
Comedienne and journalist Stella Young talks about how society often sees disabled people as “inspiring” just for getting out of bed in the morning. Inspiration porn objectifies disabled people and makes it seem like our only purpose is to inspire able-bodied people. Stella explains why this is wrong in this funny talk.
3. When we design for disability, we all benefit
Elise Roy is a former disability rights lawyer and is now a design thinker. In this talk she discusses how people with disabilities see the world from a different perspective, and this perspective allows them to solve problems in ways that other people wouldn’t have thought of. She says: “When we design for disability first, you often stumble upon solutions that are better than those when we design for the norm.”
4. Our fight for disability rights – and why we’re not done yet
Judith Heumann talks about her personal role in the fight for disability rights in America. She highlights how far disabled access has come in the last 50 years, but also how far we have still yet to go.
5. We Are All Designers
John Hockenberry, a journalist, talks about how living a life of intent can help us to make our lives our own. We can take what we are given in life, such as our disabilities, and put our own spin on it such that our lives are not defined by our disabilities. We can create a new story to cover up the old one. Something better.