Sheltering in Place During a Pandemic

From School Library Journal: How Sheltering in Place Shows Us a More Accessible World

In 2015, Lee & Low released its first Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS), establishing concrete statistics about the diversity of the publishing workforce by quantifying the racial, gender, sexual orientation, and ability makeup of the publishing industry’s employees. Producing the DBS has helped deepen Lee & Low’s knowledge about the varied aspects of diversity, while also revealing aspects of personal identity that are not as familiar to our lived experiences—areas that require us to listen and learn more. The latest iteration of the survey, DBS 2.0, which was made public at the beginning of 2020, was no exception.

A discussion on the shelter-in-place orders have been enacted; which restrictions present new obstacles that people with disabilities have to circumvent.

How Sheltering in Place Shows Us a More Accessible World

 Typically, after we drop the survey, we start to dissect specific parts of the data. With a publishing workforce reporting as 89% non-disabled, numbers like these indicate an acute lack of representation when it comes to people with disabilities. In order to learn more about the disability numbers included in the survey, I interviewed writer and disability rights consultant Ace Ratcliff, who vetted the choices for the disability question in DBS 2.0.

Some of the issues that Ace raised were completely new to me. Although I may know a thing or two about diversity when it comes to ethnicity, the kind of accessibility issues that people with disabilities face every day are ones that so many of us are becoming familiar with in our COVID-19–limited world. Below, we talk about the survey results, what the results reveal about people with disabilities in publishing, and the realities of a world that is often not as accessible as it should be.

Read on for the full article: How Sheltering in Place Shows Us a More Accessible World on School Library Journal.

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