Episode 44: Jason Clymo

Chris and Jill are joined by Disabled model and advocate Jason Clymo from Australia in this My Dearest Friends Project podcast episode.

Interview Date | April 23, 2020

JILL: Welcome to the DisTopia podcast, where we look at disability from the inside out. [peaceful music fades in] My name is Jill Vyn, and I’m the cohost of this podcast with my friend and colleague, Chris Smit. 

What you are listening to now is the first of two interrelated components of our My Dearest Friends project, both of which have been generously underwritten by the Ford Foundation. The My Dearest Friends podcast, which is produced by DisTopia, is a series of recorded conversations with disabled people about their individual experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the personal, cultural, and political alterations it has triggered. These informal conversations give our guests the opportunity to share personal experiences of sheltering in place and to engage in conversations around deeper questions raised about the value of disabled people, the core values of the disability culture, as well as our hopes, fears, and strategies for living an authentic and pride-filled disabled life.

The second component of the My Dearest Friends project is created in partnership with disabled artist Oaklee Thiele, who is creating black and white illustrations that represent our collective response to our new and uncertain realities as a disabled community. Designed as an open invitation to the disabled community around the world, we invite all of you to participate. More information can be found on Instagram @MyDearestFriendsProject, Facebook, and on our website, DisArtNow.org.

As is true for many of you, our desire for this project is to share our experiences as a disabled community, to disrupt ableist beliefs, to celebrate a culture whose lived experience of disability necessitates flexibility and creativity, and to validate disabled voices and perspectives in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

[peaceful music slowly fades into a mellow, but cheery music]

JASON: My dearest friends, I’m not sorry that I’m disabled, and I don’t want anyone else to feel sorry for me either. If there’s anything you should be sorry about, it’s systemic discrimination of people with disability. And if you’re truly sorry about that, you’ll start taking actions to dismantle ableism. I don’t need your pity. I need you to learn, embrace, and become more inclusive of me and all other people with disability.

My name’s Jason Clymo. I’m a 25-year-old person with disability. I’m a model, activist, work in marketing and tourism at the moment as well. I’m passionate about the representation of people with disability in the fashion industry, but also all creative industries. Those industries have such a huge power to inform people’s subconscious biases, which basically just means like your unconscious perceptions of other people. So, when people with Disability aren’t represented in the media and in fashion and in TV and movies and things like that, or even like the music industry, and you don’t see or hear our stories or see our stories in a genuine way, you don’t feel that we need to be represented anywhere else or included anywhere else. It’s a subconscious thing. You don’t have to have a malicious personality to believe this or to be holding this bias. It just happens ‘cause you’re just being informed by the media. So, when that happens, employment rates for people with Disability are low. We have segregated education. We have healthcare systems that don’t cater to our actual needs, so to people with Disability’s needs. So, what I’m trying to say is these creative industries that inform your unconscious biases have very real power in the real world in terms of accessibility, inclusion, healthcare, employment, education. That’s rant, one. [laughs]

CHRIS: Well, no, it’s a beautiful introduction, I think, to some of the things that you care about. And it’s obvious that we share some of those concerns as well. And so, it’s great to hear them from you. What was your entree into your disability and fashion? Because, of course, that’s becoming a real hot topic over the last three years, particularly.

JASON: For sure. So, prior to acquiring my impairment, I was already interested in modeling, probably in more of a, I guess, [chuckles] I don’t wanna say superficial, but probably a superficial way in terms of, you know, thought it would be a bit of fun, good way to make money, good way to travel the world type of job. Then acquired my impairment, and after that, I still was sort of interested. And then it took a family friend who’s in the industry in Melbourne to sort of push me to go, “Look, just give it a go. I’ve got some contacts.” Reached out to a few contacts and then was signed with an agency, a modeling agency in Melbourne. At that point, they didn’t even realize how big of a deal that was. I think I was one of the first, if not the first, person with disability to be signed to a modeling agency in Australia, which, and that was like not even four years ago or three years ago. And I’m just like, that’s just ridiculous [chuckles] that it took up until that time for someone to be signed. But then at the same time, obviously, amazing that WINK Models, which is my agency, was just so open to the idea. ‘Cause it was just like they weren’t even fazed. They were just like, yep. Let’s go. This is awesome. We love what this is about.

So, that point, I had my blinders on completely in terms of like I wasn’t even thinking about activism, really. I was just like, oh, yeah. I’ll give this a go. Like, why shouldn’t we be represented? And then, once I was signed, starting with Julius, which is an organization I do a fair bit of work with, reached out to me. And their founders basically have molded me and taught me everything I now know about activism in terms of representation of people with disability. So, [laughs] I am very much like have learned from everyone else, as most people do in terms of activism. But yeah, that’s how I got into it, and that’s how I’ve become who I am now and how, I guess my modeling and my activism has come together.

JILL: Can you tell us more about Julius?

JASON: There are smaller organization in Australia, and they’re all about better and greater representation of people with disability. And so, it’s like seeing more representation that is genuine representation. So, not telling pity stories all the time, representing us as like sexual beings and people who have very fulfilled lives and things like that. So, they focus mostly on media and fashion and TV, I think. They taught me about what kind of language I should be using ‘cause, you know, just being thrown into this world basically six years ago, whatever it was, and then being signed to an agency and then sort of being like, oh, yeah. I’m a model. I’m gonna represent people with disability and obviously had no idea how to talk about it. So, a lot of the language I was using was super problematic.

So, you know, one of my first interviews ever with media, I was still calling myself— And people can call themselves whatever. But [chuckles] I have now learned that I don’t wanna call myself wheelchair bound. So, I was still using that type of terminology, ‘cause I didn’t know how to talk about myself, basically.

CHRIS: This is fascinating. I love that you just said, “I don’t wanna call myself that,” but that it took friendship and this growing community to sort of invite you into a new version of you! It’s really dynamic. That’s really interesting.

JASON: When I look back at it, I’m like, the way that I was using “wheelchair bound,” I didn’t even know what I was basically referring to myself as, ‘cause I’m like, in a literal sense, it just doesn’t even make sense either, ‘cause I’m not stuck in the wheelchair. I can get him to my bed and on the couch and stuff like that, so! [chuckles] Yeah.

[mellow, but cheery music break]

JILL: So, language is something that we care a lot about and word choices, and we notice that you use person-first.

JASON: Yeah.

JILL: In our language and our writing, we use “disabled people” versus “people with disabilities.” Can you talk about that nuance and that difference for you?

JASON: Yeah, for sure. So, person-first is when you say, “people with disability” or “person with disability.” And I try to use that when talking about the community as a whole. And I specifically choose “people with disability” because that seems to be—and I’ve been taught this—that seems to be the most inclusive of most people’s language about themselves. I understand that some people do want to be referred as a person with disability rather than a disabled person, I’ll use people with disability ‘cause it seems less exclusive. When I’m talking about myself, I interchange between them all the time. I don’t mind being referred to as a disabled person. I call myself disabled all the time. But then I also sometimes, you know, I’ll say things like, “I’m a model with disability.” Like I said, I was using language four, five years ago that now when I look back at it, I’m like, I didn’t even mean to use that language. I didn’t mean what that was meaning. But yeah, it still meant that! [laughs]

CHRIS: Yeah.

JASON: I just was ignorant, basically, and wasn’t educated, so.

CHRIS: Yeah. I love hearing you talk about language and talk about how important it is. You know, for us it’s all about disabled culture and disabled community, and that disabled culture with a capital D, it’s just simply a way to nod to the collective community and culture, right, of disability.

JASON: Yeah.

CHRIS: And so, but to be honest with you, I like that there is tension and some back and forth about that, because it gets us talking about really important stuff, right?

JASON: It does. Yeah. It makes you dig deeper and hear other people’s perspectives on things. So, I think it’s important. I guess that’s what I’ve chosen to use as well. Like, you know, I don’t call myself a cripple, but heaps of people that I love their activism do. And I’m like, that’s because you can call yourself whatever you want. But if they called me a cripple, I’d be like, “Please don’t.” I find, I believe that it’s all about you can call yourself whatever you want, ‘cause reclamation is also a thing. But I haven’t really reclaimed any terms, and I pretty much interchange when talking about myself between people with disability and disabled person. So, yeah.

JILL: I’m very interested in hearing about your entree into the disabled world. It’s very interesting to hear you talk about, I think this is probably a shared experience with many people who acquire disability, is that now you have to know how to speak about disability.

JASON: Yeah.

JILL: I’ve heard that from other people who acquire disability. And then people ask them questions that they were then expected to know or understand about disability as a whole experience.

JASON: Yeah. So, I guess the main thing is that prior to acquiring my impairment, I don’t know if you want me to swear or not on this, but I was ableist as fuck. Like—

CHRIS: You can fucking swear.

JASON: [laughs] Good. Yeah. Prior to acquiring my impairments it was about, almost six years ago, five and a half years ago, I was super ableist. I was in med school for two years, and I remember learning about paraplegia and quadriplegia or learning about spinal cord injuries. I have a spinal cord injury, and I’m paraplegic. And I remember literally thinking to myself like, that sounds too hard. I couldn’t do that. I’d rather die. I’ve spoken about this on my platform. So, you know. One, I was totally wrong. Two, that’s ableist as fuck, I have now learned. And just like three, how can you even decide that if you have no idea? That’s probably a whole another tangent on itself. But I guess where I’m getting at with the language and how to talk about it is I didn’t know how a talk about it, because I wasn’t trying to be an ally to people with disability until I became a disabled person.

So, you know, when I am being an activist out there, I can totally understand why people would potentially be ignorant, because I was really ignorant. I then try and get those people and teach them and educate them and tell them that it’s not OK to be ignorant even though I was. ‘Cause I look at that time, and I’m like, that wasn’t OK. I wasn’t really an ally to anyone, and I was super, super privileged. And I still am super privileged. So, yeah, I guess that’s why I didn’t know how to talk about it before. And when I acquired my impairment was because I wasn’t valuing other disability activists, and I wasn’t listening. And I wasn’t even really registering that it was a thing.

JILL: Well, what chances did you have? When were you exposed? You were in medical school where you would think that this could be a great opportunity to talk about the lived experience of disability, and you’re saying it didn’t exist.

JASON: Basically, the medical model was just entrenched in me further by going through med school. So, yeah, there’s a lot that needs to happen in the medical field. And one of those things is when people are going through university—I mean, we should be going from when people are born—but especially people are going to be entering into the medical field, when they’re going to university, there needs to be things around teaching them social model of disability, how to be respectful, inclusive language, that kind of stuff. But didn’t happen when I was there [chuckling] so.

CHRIS: Yeah, it didn’t happen when I was there either. And I don’t think it happened for Jill either. I mean, for any of us, you know, to get an awareness of disability history or culture. We’re having a bit of this awakening moment because of Crip Camp here in the States. And that’s been a real nice moment to watch as that consciousness begins to blossom, but it’s only just now beginning to blossom in a way that may actually lead to really good stuff.

[mellow, but cheery music break]

JILL: I love how you do your video interviews.

JASON: I toyed with it for such a long time about the exact way to go about it and then how to make it as engaging and interesting for as many people without, destroying my life in the process. Because it’s just so hard to make things accessible, obviously, as you guys would know. So, then yeah, I just decided I was like, if there’s some sort of video element with it, then hopefully, it’s a bit more interesting. I don’t know. And I wanted it on Instagram and Facebook as the primary platform, ‘cause that’s what people are just scrolling anyway. So, yeah, anyway.

JILL: Yeah.

JASON: It’s going pretty well. I’m happy with how they come out, so.

JILL: Well, and I like that you do it in bites. [chuckles] Like the first part and the second part, so.

JASON: I found that that was one, ‘cause you can only upload up to 10 minutes on IGTV. So, I knew that I’d have way more than 10 minutes with each person that I’d wanna actually put out into the world. Reason two was it gives me like a full week’s of content for just one person, so! [laughs] It’s like a fortnight really, ‘cause then, I do Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday, and then wait till the next Sunday to do the next person. Otherwise, I was like, I’m going to be turning out interviews and videos so quickly, and then it will take over my life. So, yeah, but so far, it seems to be working! [laughs]

JILL: Yeah! Well, I think it looks great. And how are you finding the people that you’re interviewing?

JASON: I started off with people that I already knew and had worked with before. So, that’s just through other advocacy and activism stuff and modeling stuff and fashion stuff. And then I did a bit of a callout on my Instagram and probably only got like, you know, between 5 and 10 people from that, which is pretty good. And then it’s just been like word of mouth sort of stuff as well. Or if I come across a new account, and I’m like, oh, this person’s really interesting. They’ve probably got an interesting story to tell or, you know, they’ve got like a intersectionality that I haven’t represented before—or, you know, I’ve only had like five interviews come out, but— intersectionality that’s not on my list of people yet, if that makes sense, then I’ll contact them and be like, “If you’re interested, I would love to have you on.” But it’s good.

JILL: Oh, that’s fantastic. 

JASON: Thank you.

JILL: So, well, that’s what we did to connect with you. So, it works.

JASON: Yeah! That’s what’s so good about Instagram sometimes is, obviously there’s a lot of fake crap out there and people using it for the wrong reasons, but there’s a lot of people using it for the right reasons too, so.

CHRIS: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I wanted to talk to you about activism being inherent in what you do, ‘cause a lot of disabled people, including myself, are activists who actually do active political work. But we’re also always asked to be folks that represent disability, right? And so, it’s hard to know when activism starts and when it ends for disabled people. I’m really curious about how you decide what is activism and what is your art, right, of the modeling that you do and the work that you do. In other words, do you feel like those two are permanently attached to one another?

JASON: I think people have to make a conscious choice about where they think their art and activism starts and ends, ‘cause some people don’t want to be activists at all. And that is totally fine, obviously. You know, unfortunately, if you are putting yourself out there and you are bringing more representation to a marginalized group, whether or not you wanna be an activist, that actual process is a form of activism. So, for me, pretty much everything I do is activism. So, I find that even in the mundane, boring things throughout my life, there’s still activism. Like, you know, if I go and try and find a park, and I can’t get one because a non-disabled person’s parked in an accessible bay, it’s like I’m going to go and talk to that person. [laughs] For me, that is activism. For someone else, that might not be. It might just be, I want that fucking park. Get out.

But for me, I’ll take it as an opportunity to educate them and be like, “Well, you know what? One in five people in Australia, or roughly that, are people with disability.” And I think it’s something ridiculous, like 1 in 20 parks in my shire or my local council are accessible bays or not even. It’s more than that. So, I’m like, “Think about that and think about how all these people are stuck at home. And then some of us can actually get out because the world is accessible enough to us. And then someone like you parks in one park that I can get to in this whole area.” And then they’re like, “Oh…OK.” [laughs] But yeah, that’s again, another rant. So, you’re telling me I can go on rants, and I’m definitely gonna go on them. [laughs]

And I think I only really came to this realization through one of my own interviews, because one of the people that I interviewed, Ruby Allegra, they’re amazing, told me basically that they are constantly an activist. Because they pointed out that those moments, those small moments, even just getting into their wheelchair or going out or taking the bus or something, for them, that’s activism. And I was kind of like, yeah, actually, you know. ‘Cause you’re representing people with disability in the community as well. Being out there and just showing non-disabled people that we do use the bus, for some people, that’s activism, so.

CHRIS: The flipside of that is that you always have to be on.

JASON: Yeah.

CHRIS: That you always have to be performative, and you always have to carry the weight of a culture’s imagination. That can really take it out of people, right? But I do like that. What counts as activism? I think there’s a lot to learn there.

JASON: Yeah. And I think as well, with the weight on your shoulders type of situation, yes, definitely. For me personally, I obviously have spaces where I feel like I’m just safe and don’t have to be on. ‘Cause that is so true. In the community, it often feels like you have to be on. And like you can’t make a mistake or like every opportunity has to be an educational moment or you always have to be representing or putting your best foot forward, all of that crap. But I also like to be very real on my own platforms about the fact that it’s like, I’m not perfect. I constantly am having thoughts where I’m like, well, that was fucked. That was super discriminatory towards myself, like internalized, or someone else. And it’s like, I’m not perfect. And it’s more about not acting on those thoughts. And then when you have those thoughts, having the introspection to go, well, that’s not right. I need to take it to the root of where my belief system is and go, do I actually agree with that? Or was it just like a random thing that just came up in my head because I was angry or upset or whatever? So, I think the other main things for me is about you’re not perfect, but as long as you’re not actually taking action on those discriminatory thoughts and you’re willing to break it down and question yourself, then they’re are the main things for me.

JILL: So, have you always been that introspective?

JASON: No. [laughs]

JILL: [chuckles]

JASON: This is one of the main things that I’ve probably learned from my experience of being a person with disability is to learn from myself and from other people so much more. And just very humbling experience being an activist, I find, because there’s no way you can ever know it all, and there’s no way that you’ll ever be a perfect activist. It’s like, why would you wanna be a perfect activist? If you don’t make mistakes and you’re just like this beacon of perfection, it’s not relatable for anyone anyway. I think as an activist, we need to be relatable on some level so that people wanna learn from us.

[mellow, but cheery music break]

CHRIS: How’s life living through this COVID pandemic? How’s that going? What happens to activism in this climate? ‘Cause I think, you know, activism feels like one thing, and then after COVID-19, right, then it means something different, right? And that the world’s changed, right?

JASON: Yeah. I stood down from a job last week, at the start of this week, actually. So, I guess in terms of that, that impacted me. Like my day job, I’ve now decided I’m starting my own business, though! [laughs] So, ‘cause I do a lot of marketing and social media and content creation and stuff, so. And I was in tourism, but we’re under local government. So, basically the local government have decided because the museum’s closed, everyone that works there should be stood down and shouldn’t be doing their jobs. I don’t agree with that. But that’s OK. That’s on a whole nother tangent. So, now I’m going to go and start my own business, working with people from afar, creating content for them, that sort of thing. So, that’s how that’s kind of impacted me in terms of the tangible stuff.

In terms of activism, I guess a lot of my stuff before COVID was already on Instagram and Facebook and online already, so that has remained unchanged, I guess. I feel like I’m possibly doing a bit more, ‘cause I might have a bit more time on my hands to do a bit more like posts and stuff. But obviously, modeling has just come to a crashing halt. [laughs] Like very, very little is happening in the fashion industry right now. And afterwards, it will probably be quite tricky to get those types of industries that’ve suffered to be thinking about anything other than just recovering. So, I’m actually in the process of doing an online campaign around speaking directly to the fashion industry, around representing people with disability. But it will be interesting to see how they respond because, you know, normally, the response is, I wouldn’t say, really good, because [chuckles] we’re obviously still not seeing a lot of representation. But personally and normally, there’s a decent response from at least a few different labels or a few different key people in the industry. But it’ll be really interesting to see after COVID if anything’s really coming back at all, or if they kind of just like can’t even think about that just yet. We’re just trying to make money again, or we’re just trying to open all of our stores again. Or we’re you recruiting all these people. So, it will be interesting [sighs] for sure. I have no idea. I wish I had a crystal ball sometimes so I knew. [chuckles] But, you know, no one has that.

JILL: Yeah, it is gonna be a wait and see.

JASON: Yeah, so for me, I think I’m gonna try and launch this campaign when all of the labels are starting to do their creative processes around when they’re gonna need to do all their reshoots or their new campaigns and stuff. So, obviously, they’re still all gonna have to have campaigns and things like that and look books and things like that and catalogs. So, that’s when I’ll probably try that. And also even maybe even going out with that catered message that, you know, I understand that you’re trying to rebuild. And if you represent people with disability, you’re increasing your marketplace by 20% or whatever. So, that’s usually what I try to educate them on anyway. You know, there’s the doing the right thing part, and then there’s also like this is smart business part. Some people have coined the term disabled dollar. I quite like that. I think just ‘cause it’s alliteration! But yeah, definitely been super undervalued, I mean, in every way. So, it doesn’t really surprise me that they undervalue our economic contribution as well.

But that’s one thing that I do try and really push and balance out in all of my kind of direct conversations with labels or people in the fashion industry is, it is partly that you should just be representing everyone because of all of those things that I’ve already detailed around representation and why it’s important and the real effects it has in the real world. But also, you’re gonna make more money if you do this, especially if you’re one of the first as well. Like, it’s a very untapped market as well. So, if you’re representing us now, when not many other of your competitors are, then you’re going to be leveraging off that in the best way possible.

CHRIS: Yeah, and you’re in the right business to really start chipping away at some of those impressions of disability that’ve been so harmful. On a more theoretical level, it’s been really interesting to watch the disabled body get into fashion, not literally, but also figuratively, right? There’s this real way in which the body and needs of disabled people are beginning to make more sense to people in fashion.

JASON: Yeah.

CHRIS: Yeah.

JASON: Thanks. And, yeah, I think it’s almost like a two-tiered thing that feeds into each other as well in terms of some people really focus on, I guess some people call it adaptive fashion, or universally designed fashion, I prefer to use. But I think representation also feeds into that. So, if you’re representing people, then that person’s body shape or type is then being valued enough to cater to it. That’s why I focus on representation, mostly. I do obviously get people who come to me for advice on design things, but I don’t claim to be a guru on that at all. I basically can only give them from my personal experience.

[mellow, but cheery music break ]

JILL: So, what is it like for disabled people in Australia? We have the ADA, the Americans with Disability Act, and that’s supposedly designed to make places accessible. We still talk a lot, the same things that you’re talking about in terms of perception and actually inclusion of people. But I’m curious what it’s like and what the healthcare system is and how, I mean, anything you can share about your experiences.

JASON: This is for everyone and probably all marginalized communities: the fact that we have Medicare and that healthcare is free for us essentially is definitely an advantage. I guess it’s a positive thing for us in terms of that. But there’s still discrimination throughout the healthcare industry massively. So, the majority of them are just coming from medical model and seeing you as a diagnosis or, you know, a problem that needs to be fixed. And it is just the way that they’re taught. ‘Cause that’s exactly how you’re taught, from my experience through the medical system is that everything is just a problem to be fixed, basically. It’s not, they sort of try and harp on about the holistic approach to medicine a bit, but it basically comes down to like, get this person in, you’ve got 15 minutes, fix them, go, in terms of like a consult. So, when you’re thinking about that, it’s like, how’s that possible to actually see people the way they wanna be seen or even have that conversation around social model of disability and things like that. But I guess other than that, I would think that Australia is quite similar in terms of our representation’s very poor in most of our industries. There’s probably people who have political experts that would be able to point out the differences, but our employment rates our low, education rates are low. I mean, there’s the Royal Commission that’s been going on. And there’s horrific stories that are coming out of that of abuse from people that should be actually caring for people with disability. So, yeah, I would think that it’s still pretty poor in Australia, really.

JILL: And do you have limits in how much you can earn and keep benefits?

JASON: Yeah. Sorry, we have Centrelink, which is basically the system that’s set up for anyone who needs government assistance in terms of financial assistance. And there’s a Disability Support Pension. I don’t qualify for it because I already earn too much. So, I think pretty much as soon as you earn minimum wage here, you’re not supported by that. We then also have the NDIS, so the National Disability Insurance Scheme. And that’s how we all get all of our equipment and things like that. So, the whole point of the NDIS was pitched that people with disability shouldn’t be financially disadvantaged because of their impairment or their experience of disability. So, that’s true to some extent. Even now, what they’ve actually implemented, it’s true to some extent that they’ve stuck to that, but also not completely. Because, you know, I can’t get everything that I need. So, there is still some sort of financial disadvantage there, but they’re getting a lot better.

[laughs] I’m not a huge fan of NDIS at the moment because, from a political perspective, it was just underfunded from the start, which meant that they were understaffed, and most of the staff were undertrained. So, you know, people were applying for things where it was very reasonable that they would be applying for that piece of equipment or for that amount of care hours or something like that, and being knocked back or being told that, mm, this is gonna be the maximum that you get because of X, Y, Z. And it’s like, this isn’t working for me then. So, they are getting a lot better. [laughs] They have trained their staff a lot more. But it was stressful for a couple years there, because yeah, it was really, really hard and really slow to get the things that people needed. But in saying that, we are quite a lucky country in terms of having those things set up in our healthcare system, so.

CHRIS: It’s all degrees, right? I mean, it’s all differences.

JASON: I spoke about this as well recently in terms of, you know, talking about marginalization, but also recognizing your privilege. So, I guess it’s a balance for me. And I said in that post that it all exists together. It’s all very interwoven: that my privilege and marginalization is all interwoven, and I experience it all at the same time. The fact that I live in Australia, and we’re privileged compared to other countries doesn’t discredit the fact that people with disability are still marginalized in Australia. So, making that very clear as well to people can be quite interesting when you’re doing activism work or just literally out in the community talking about yourself. That can be tricky, because people like, “Oh, well, have you seen what’s happening over here to people with disability?” And it’s like, yeah. And I’m very lucky to be in Australia, but also compared to non-disabled people, still very marginalized, so. Yeah. [laughs]

JILL: Yeah, it’s always good to get different perspectives and share those and to be aware. You’re very aware, like with your language. You’re very careful to understand how to make sense of that as you move about your life.

JASON: Yeah.

[mellow, but cheery music plays through the next few lines]

CHRIS: Well, and it’s really great for people to hear that in action. So, it’s really, that’s great. We’re so happy to have had the opportunity to talk with you. This is great. This is really great.

JASON: Thank you.

CHRIS: Yeah.

JILL: Great to talk to you.

CHRIS: All right. See you, Jason. Thanks, man.

JILL: Thanks for listening. Be well, keep your distance, send us your comments, questions, and your submissions for Oaklee Thiele to hello@DisArtNow.org. Please make sure to follow the My Dearest Friends project on Instagram, Facebook, and DisArtNow.org. And thanks again to the Ford Foundation for their support of this work and to cat enthusiast Cheryl Green for the transcription of this podcast episode.Music: “Ghost Byzantine” by Blue Dot Sessions. (Source: freemusicarchive.org. Licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License.)