5 min read

Accessibility is Everyone’s Job; Care More.

The jobs of the future are already here, and they require one thing: caring. Caring is not easy labor, but it's invaluable. And, it's the only work that matters.
Accessibility is Everyone’s Job; Care More.
Photo by Ari He / Unsplash

Are you a futurist? Do you dream of a better world with less violence and more safety? Are you on a mission to change something or do something BIG? A strategist with big plans for the Future of Work? Maybe you’re a consultant or an urban planner?

Maybe you work for…

an airline 

a school

a grocery store

a factory

a University

a civic body

a federal government agency

a state agency

a city office or town hall

a police department

a music or clothing store

a museum, boutique

a spa, nail salon, or barber

a restaurant 

a florist 

a supplies store (medical, office, school, baking, art, garden)

a nursery

an architecture firm

a studio 

an advertising agency 

a tech company

a manufacturer

a builder

an athletic shoe giant

a gym, pool, or a dance studio

a library, bookstore, or archive

a hospital or medical office or...

Maybe, like me and a rapidly increasing population, you work for yourself. If you work online or from home, you may rarely have to interact with people irl (in real life). If you’re a creator, an influencer, a fine artist, a muralist, musician, producer, photographer, philosopher or animator, most of your work is digital. 

Maybe you’re "just" a parent or caregiver.

I have news for you (and the Big 3 who claim our jobs are all disappearing). Whatever your job is, you’re job is a job of the future. 

Your job, right now, is a climate job. And a tech job. 

It’s a job that requires access, skilled work and knowledge and creativity. 

Every single job needs people like you solving problems and making magic that only you can create.

In every role, at every stage, we have a chance to innovate. AI can’t solve all the problems you can. It sure AF can't solve our biggest problem: Caring. 

We have a care crisis on many levels, and it's not getting any better.

Per the World Economic Forum, "The $6 trillion US care economy comprises both paid and unpaid services provided to populations who are unable to independently support themselves."

The irony is that care work isn't isolated to healthcare or one industry. EVERYONE is a caregiver, even if you just care for yourself. We are all stewards of this planet, too, if we are willing to accept the charge.

We can solve the care crisis that The Powers That Be have failed to figure out for centuries. Why? Because we already know how to care for each other. Every single job, no matter where or who you are, or what you do…you have the power to remove barriers for SOMEONE and to make someone feel seen and heard.

AI doesn’t know what to ask. How can it identify the "right" questions? It can't even identify the truth. It can't anticipate the needs of other humans. It does not care, and neither do most politicians, regardless of their latest "messaging."

I would argue that $6 Trillion is low, because the way that economists view care work is all wrong. Regardless of the math, the crisis is undeniable. We all feel it.

As the WEF goes on to say, "With historic labour shortages and economic challenges, US growth is at risk unless business and government leaders address the growing care crisis."

It's also incredibly evident that The Powers That Be are not investing in the care crisis. Like Melania's jacket, they tell us over and over what they care about, and it's not us. 1 million women left the workforce in September 2020, and they still haven't passed any kind of universal childcare or child tax credit. Are we shocked? Nope, but we are disappointed.

The real question we need to start asking of our leaders and ourselves is "Do you give a shit? Really?" If the answer is yes, the rest is the actions we take to give people access to the resources they need to thrive.

Access is a human right. So yeah, you’re also an activist and advocate.

You can change the future of work and the course of everything with small steps. Start by ensuring everyone can engage with you safely, effectively, equitable, and equally. If you prioritize dignity, honor, and respect for every single BODY on this planet, there is no limit to what can be solved. But you have to care, and then take action.

Tech doesn’t make something accessible. You do. You work in a job of the future, in accessibility. Your work demands that you consider different bodies and brains when you do that job, no matter what it is. You are “in” disability justice work. Yes, you.

Didn’t know that before reading this? Ok. Now you know. So, what are you doing tomorrow to remove a barrier for someone? What are you doing first, to make the future you want to see accessible to everyone? Justice isn't about doing it perfectly. It's about taking steps towards a more equal world, and repairing past harms.

Clearly, The Powers That Be remain careless about the things we care about. They don't care about our work, or care work, or accessibility, climate change, equity, diversity, safety, reproductive health... and the list goes on.

We can’t talk about the Future of Work without being real about the future we’re headed towards, and the need to end the compounding destruction. We need to stop killing people. PERIOD.

We have to start caring about Mother Earth the way she cares for us. This planet can’t continue to bear the brunt of patriarchal violence and capitalism. Neither can caregivers. Stop bombing people and the planet. There is no do over. Just STOP already.

We, however, don’t need to stop. But, we do need to rest. The Powers That Be want us all to wear out, to stop caring. We need to care more than the current leaders. Keep speaking up. Tell your story.

Don't wait for the right time to say your peace, or do the work.

They don't care about humanity as much as they care about The Market. The Market is not The Economy. The economy is you and me working together. Our economy is based in solidarity and social justice. Our goal is to provide as much access as we can to resources, tools, ideas, and connection. Whether it's the Knowledge, Creator, or Care Economy, it's our system of helping others.

And we sure AF don't need to wait for permission or instructions to help people. Mutual aid is the only thing working right now, because it's the only thing giving people access to what they actually need. It's why The Powers That Be so graciously abdicated health care coverage, leaving people to resort to Go Fund Me campaigns. Mutualism works. They know We the People would never leave other people suffering, broke, houseless, or in a war zone. Caring is not easy labor.

You do not have to do this alone. To make work or the world more accessible, remember it's okay to ask for help. Because needing help doesn’t mean your broken. People with disabilities aren't broken; the world we live in is.

Wanting people to care isn't a weakness. It means you’re human. As hard as it is, you have a job to do. Humanity actually needs you to care more.