1. Access is a fundamental human right.

    Technology and structures that are designed with
    universal access in mind is inherently more productive. When designers include access as part of their functionality equation, everyone benefits. For example, curb cuts are beneficial for all pedestrians, not just those who use wheelchairs.

  2. Dignity must be preserved in all circumstances.

    While there are times where an individual
    may not be able to exercise complete control over their environment, intervention and assistance should never lead to dehumanization. We denounce all forms of abuse, including any attempt to make an individual feel unworthy due to requiring support or assistance.

  3. We are not broken.

    Regardless of whether our bodies continue to function within “normal
    limits”, our personhood remains intact. Each individual should be viewed and embraced as a whole person, placing the emphasis on our strengths and potential instead of our perceived maladies.

  4. Dialogue can erase misconceptions.

    Many of the functional differences that we are led to believe create a chasm in ability and are mostly perceptual in nature. Our communal discussion of “alternative techniques” fails to realize that people generally have a unique approach to completing tasks. If we understand that individualized approaches are the norm, then techniques that de-emphasize the use of particular body parts, senses, or other traits is simply the expansion of an already well-established spectrum.

  5. The nature of disability.

    Many of the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities are
    structural or societal in nature. Addressing the stigma associated with status as a disabled person, as well as removing artificial roadblocks, serves to unleash the full potential of all individuals. In doing so, we will not create a world where everyone’s the same. Rather, we create a world in which individuality is normative, and differences in physical/mental attributes are not the sole basis for measuring someone’s potential.

  6. Defining disability.

    We define disability as any significant sensory impairment, physical
    difference, or chronic illness/condition either physical or mental in nature. This expansive definition provides a more accurate scope of the diversity in human experience than is often understood. Our collective experience has been defined by low expectations and mischaracterizations regarding our abilities, but that paradigm can be shifted through sustained collaborative effort.

  7. The basis of hope.

    Erasing the despair often associated with diagnosis of a disability leads
    to freedom and power. That is not to say that facing the challenges of disability are easy under present conditions, but that the doom and gloom often forced upon us is misplaced. Even the effects of chronic pain and other challenges that disproportionately affect our population, while still quite real, can be lessened through efforts that lift spirits through emphasizing purpose and potential.

  8. Universal Benefit

    The effects of supporting our movement are not confined to the disabled population. Rather, unleashing our potential will greatly enhance the lived experience of the general population. Increased diversity is often associated with innovation, equity, and increased general welfare for an entire population. Full inclusion of individuals with disabilities is no exception to this rule.