RyeACCESS is one of six Equity Service Centres of the Ryerson Students' Union.
RyeACCESS works with the Ryerson community to eliminate ableism and audism both on and off campus. We do this through education, advocacy initiatives, and campaigns. In addition, RyeACCESS holds social events throughout the year for students with disabilities and our allies.
RyeACCESS exists to promote the empowerment, autonomy and freedom of students with disabilities, and to combat ableism and audism that is pervasive throughout society and our campus.
RyeACCESS does not use language such as "impairment", "challenge", "limitations", "over-coming" etc. because we do not feel it is an adequate descriptor of the actual lived experience of students with disabilities. Instead, we use language that acknowledges the oppression and discrimination students experience, while also normalizing the lived experience of disability. It is important to remember that for students with disabilities, our reality, our bodies, and our experiences are normal to us.
Ableism: Any act of oppression, discrimination or prejudice against an individual or community that is perceived as experiencing disability.
Audism: Any act of oppression, discrimination or prejudice against a Deaf individual or the Deaf community as a whole.
Sanism: Any act of oppression, discrimination or prejudice against people who have, or who are labelled or perceived as having, a mental illness.
Self-Identification: When an individual decides how they wish to identify themselves within a social context.
Disability: There are many definitions of disability. Some are medically based, choosing to use language like "impairment" or "limitations". RyeACCESS chooses not to use such definitions of disability, rather we recognize that disability holds a different meaning for each individual who lives in what society perceives as a disabled body. For some, disability may be an embodied experience where people experience their own bodies as being the source of disability. For others, the disability may be within society, such as in the attitudes of others, or in the stairs that prevent them from entering a building. The experience of disability is a personal thing and as such we choose not to provide a single concrete definition of the word.