Disability Justice

in front of bus

[Accessibility activist comrades and I in front of a Montreal city bus, making clear our frustration with non-functional ramps and systemic discrimination in the STM (Montreal transit society). This was during an anti-austerity march that brought tens of thousands of people from various sectors of Quebec society to the streets to protest cuts to funding for public services in spring of 2015. Four wheelchair users and one walker are in a line in front of the bus, we’re smiling and laughing, one of us is giving the middle finger.]

I am a co-founding member of Accessibilize Montreal is a collective of activists and artists committed to making Montreal more accessible.

Our goal: Challenging mainstream perceptions of disability through direct action. Speaking out against transit and systemic discrimination. Access for all!

Transit accessibility has been a focus of the group since it’s inception. Access to cultural spaces in Montreal, such as venues, rehearsal spaces and pubs where a lot of artistic work takes place is another focus of the group. The Radical Accessibility Audit Project (RAAP), along with Cure Montreal, audit venues and public spaces for accessibility information and share it here:

See the RAAP website for more.

This video was produced by disability activist and scholar, Laurence Parent. This took place as part of an intervention in the Place des Arts metro station in Montreal on July 25, 2014, during the Just for Laughs comedy festival. In keeping with the spirit of the comedy festival, an ‘imaginary elevator’ was created with masking tape and homemade signs, and antics ensued as we asked passers by to find the elevator. Many people didn’t know only 7/ 68 stations in the subway system were wheelchair accessible. More is documented on access4mtl.tumblr.com.

stair block place des arts copy

[Five people using wheelchairs/ mobility scooters block the stairs at Place des Arts metro station in protest of inaccessible metro stations in Montreal. Walkers are coming down the stairs.]

To find out more: www.facebook.com/access4mtl

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