“Supporting the Lives of Women with Disabilities Since 1998”
GimpGirl’s mission is to bring women with disabilities together in the spirit of support, positivity and inclusivity. The world of women with disabilities is a complex place, often with no easy answers. We encourage an attitude of self-advocacy and self-efficacy with all of our members and are radically inclusive of all women with disabilities. With the strength of our members and allies throughout the global disability and women’s worlds, we use the tools at our disposal to create a place for discourse, humor, art, research, resources, and most of all, community.
Who Are We?
GimpGirl Community was started in 1998 by Jennifer Cole and several other women with disabilities who didn’t feel like there was a community out there that understood them and their needs. Our smart, sassy, sexy members come together to collaborate and share their lives, experiences, problems and successes, in a safe space that focuses more on their commonality as women. Members are valued and respected because of who they are, and that has always included women with any disabilities of all shapes, sizes, colors, ages and sexual orientations. Friends, family, partners, academics and other colleagues are welcome to work with us in furthering our goals.
Now, you may be thinking, why “GimpGirl”? The name of our community has long been a subject of discussion and debate, and we know not everyone is comfortable with it. That’s just the nature of disability and the language around it, we think. The mother of one of our colleagues put it best when she said: “‘GimpGirl’ seems rude but when I think more on the term, it is upfront and confident and takes away any sense of pity.”
What Do We Do?
We have an ever-growing list of activities and information:
- We hold our on-line events in the virtual world Second Life and the screen reader friendly text chat room (IRC channel) on our website.
- Weekly support meetings on-line for women with disabilities only (peer counseling, advocacy and collaboration).
- Weekly hang outs on-line open to everyone (informal chat).
We believe it is important to engage the public to increase awareness of issues vital to our community through:
- Public on-line events, presentations and open discussions.
- On-line forums discussing relevant issues.
- Our monthly article in the Yahoo! Accessibility Blog.
- We travel to conferences to do outreach on various issues related to women with disabilities.