"Inspirational" Is Actually An Insult In Disguise

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Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society's habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”

Stella Young is a comedian, disability advocate and the editor of Ramp Up, an online space for news, discussion and opinion about disability in Australia.

Born in Stawell in Western Victoria, Australia, Stella Young cut her activist teeth at the age of 14 by conducting an access audit of shops on the local main street. It didn’t take long -- it was a pretty short street.

Since then she has been active in the disability community in a variety of roles, including membership of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council, Ministerial Advisory Council for the Department of Victorian communities and Women With Disabilities Victoria. Young was a two-time state finalist in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Raw Comedy competition; and has hosted eight seasons of Australia’s first disability culture program, No Limits, aired on Channel 31 and community stations across the country.

With a strong interest in issues facing women and young people with disabilities, Young has worked with the Youth Disability Advocacy Service to establish the LiveAccess project, advocating for better access to live music venues. She holds a degree in journalism from Deakin University and a Diploma of Secondary Education from the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining the ABC, Stella worked in Public Programs at Melbourne Museum, where she taught kids about bugs, dinosaurs and other weird and wonderful things. -- via stellayoung.com

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