Meet The Woman Fighting For More Disability Representation In The U.K. – Hannah-Rose Yee. A Real Woman Is Whatever She Wants To Be Shirt! By the time Shani Dhanda was just 14 years old her legs had broken six times. No trauma, no incident, just the steady disintegration of her bones courtesy of, the rare genetic condition osteogenesis imperfecta, which is characterized by bones that break easily and small stature. Today, Dhanda is the brains behind the Diversability Card, the first discount card for people in the UK with disabilities, launching soon with major retailers on board.
She’s also the founder of The Asian Woman Festival, the UK’s first event for cultural and political coverage aimed at Asian women, slated to be held in March next year. A Real Woman Is Whatever She Wants To Be Shirt! I don’t think of living with a condition or impairment as a barrier, I’m not disabled by my condition, Dhanda explains. I’m disabled by barriers made by societal or attitudinal bias… Living with an impairment or condition is just another characteristic of me. Like I am a woman, I’m Asian, and yes I live with a condition. To me, that’s how simple it is. But other people don’t see it that way.
Both the Diversability Card and the Asian Woman Festival arose out of one of the many conversations Dhanda has had about the importance of representation in making real change. A Real Woman Is Whatever She Wants To Be Shirt! Though she has noticed more representation of disabled women in pop culture, in particular, the employment of disabled models in magazines, Dhanda wants more. Representation, she explains, will help open up avenues of dialogue around disability that is simply not happening currently in the UK. We have a society of people who don’t know how to talk to disabled people, she explains.