What It Means To Be A Disability Advocate?

Hannah Diviney
Hannah Diviney

Writer and Disability Advocate

Feb 17, 2022

Writer. Disability advocate. Editor in chief. Media disruptor. And (possibly) a political agitator, depending on who you ask. These are my job descriptions at twenty-two, fresh out of uni, and at the moment they all intersect in this brilliantly chaotic life I am working to build every day. As cliché as it might sound, the core tenet of everything I do is ‘trying to make the world better than I found it’.

Hannah
Hannah Diviney

As a disability advocate, that means being loud about the fact that our representation in media and if we’re being honest, across all of society needs to be better. More nuanced. Bigger than the narratives of Paralympic excellence only seen every four years which are spun on the exhausting idea of ‘overcoming your disability’ or the tragedy of coming into disability through an accident, brought on by a careless split-second choice from someone on the road. In those scenarios, that person sees their life as over. How do we reconcile that narrative being digested by children whose lives are only just beginning, who deserve to imagine a rich and vibrant world for themselves. Beyond that, disabled people need to be allowed and to feel comfortable in rooms where decisions get made and money and power are at stake. That can’t happen if all the powerful people look the same.

That particular need for diversifying power and creating space for the inclusion and validation of lived experience also informs my work with Missing Perspectives. I’m the Editor in Chief at Missing Perspectives, a feminist, grass-roots youth-led newsroom that has a mission to publish the stories other media won’t touch. The ones that can be hard to look at from around the world but need to be read. It’s an honour to be trusted with those stories and to be trusted as someone who isn’t going to stop making noise until so many more people are given a seat at the table.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Hannah Diviney

Writer and Disability Advocate

At 22 years old, Hannah Diviney is a leading disability advocate and writer for TheCarousel.com. Her greatest achievements include her role as creator of the wildly successful Change.org petition which calls on Disney Studios to create a disabled Disney Princess, and her role as co-founder of the charity event Krazy Kosci Klimb, which sees young people with disabilities and their families conquer Mt Kosciuszko. She is also the Editor in Chief of the global publication platform, Missing Perspectives – a platform dedicated to addressing the marginalisation and under-representation of women and girls in news, media, democracy, and decision-making around the world. Hannah was also a finalist in the Australian Women’s Weekly Women of The Future Awards for 2021 and a nominee for the 2022 Young Australian of The Year.

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