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Bird Collective x Birdability

October 12, 2021

As birders, we can appreciate diversity in nature—birds of every shape, size and color inhabit the world in different ways, each adapted to their own niche. Now, we’re celebrating the different ways people of different abilities bird through a new partnership with Birdability. Because, as founder Virginia Rose says, “there’s no wrong way to enjoy wild birds!”

Birdability strives to make birding communities and outdoor recreation welcoming, inclusive, safe and accessible for all. Headed by Rose, a manual wheelchair user of 48 years, and Freya McGregor, an occupational therapist, the small nonprofit has made a huge impact on birding culture. As they note, it is often the physical or social environment that is disabling, rather than the person who is disabled. Through education and advocacy, Birdability focuses on removing accessibility challenges and empowering people of all abilities and health concerns to experience the joys of birding. Their website provides a host of resources ranging from guidance documents on inclusive language and adaptive birding equipment to a crowd-sourced “Birdability Map” that describes in detail the accessibility features of birding locations all over the world.

For our Birdability Collection, we’re honored to work with feminist illustrator and chronic illness activist Ananya Rao-Middleton. Ananya uses her work to express herself post-brain injury and as someone living with multiple sclerosis. We love the vibrant, colorful, and powerfully affirmative artwork she’s created for this collection!