As an organization, we’ve been working on better understanding and articulating our core values. We want to make sure that our priorities are driven by our values, and we want to make sure that we are all on the same page about what’s most important. With this in mind, we’ve drafted a statement of our values as an organization.
1. Intrinsic Value: People with disabilities — whether visible or invisible, diagnosed or undiagnosed — have intrinsic value in society. Our worth is not tied to our productivity.
2. Self-Determination: We support the right of disabled individuals to live independently and make autonomous choices. We are the ones who are best equipped to make decisions about our own lives.
3. Respect: We believe individuals with disabilities deserve respect and support from the communities in which we reside. Each of us must define and communicate what respect and support look like for us. We deserve to be treated the way we ask to be treated.
4. Solidarity: We recognize the valuable contributions individuals with disabilities make in our communities, in every arena of social life. We join together to fight societal ableism, medical gatekeeping, and institutionalization.
5. Intersectionality: We affirm our community members as complex and multidimensional human beings who do not live single-issue lives. The ableism we experience because of our disabilities is complicated by many of our concurrent experiences of racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and other forms of structural oppression.
6. No One Left Behind: People with disabilities are consistently left behind and shut out from access to public life, social systems, and spaces of opportunity. We believe that fighting for our liberation is a shared responsibility that requires all of our voices to be heard.
7. Nothing About Us Without Us: Individually and collectively, we should be involved in every decision that has an impact on our well-being. This includes making decisions about our own lives and care, as well as having a seat at the table in relevant policy discussions.