The world's largest minority is speaking out. This is what they have to say.

World, meet disability Twitter.

Twitter has done some incredible things for diversity during the past few years.

It helped raise awareness for Black Lives Matter leaders like DeRay McKesson (who is now running for mayor in Baltimore). New feminist icons like Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer use Twitter as a tool to lend support to progressive movements, campaigns, and ideas.

Now, another minority group — the largest in the world, in fact — is raising their voice, too. World, meet disability Twitter.

1 in 5 people live with disabilities, but somehow the voices of disability advocacy still have yet to be heard around the world — mostly because folks aren't aware the community exists!


Photo courtesy of Hanna Agar, from "Life Is Like."

When you think about it, it’s easy to understand why folks with disabilities are frequently forgotten and ignored: Society teaches us certain rules about how to interact with folks who are disabled. Primarily, we’re taught from a young age that we’re not supposed to stare. And a reflex response to being told "don’t stare" is to look away.

Conversations about living with disability are important, especially because disability probably affects you or someone you know personally.

One way to join those conversations is to follow these nine folks — along with many others not mentioned here! — who are using Twitter to introduce you to disability rights in a really smart way.

1. Alice Wong — @SFdirewolf

Alice Wong is the founder of the Disability Visibility Project, a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to recording, amplifying, and sharing disability stories and culture. She's a co-partner in #CripTheVote, a nonpartisan social media campaign encouraging civic engagement of people with disabilities during the 2016 presidential election.

2. Andraea LaVant — @andraealavant

Andraea LaVant is an inclusion senior specialist for the Girl Scouts who spoke on behalf of women with disabilities as part of President Obama’s Disability Roundtable. On Twitter, she is a lifestyle and fashion blogger.

3. Dominick Evans— @dominickevans

Dominick Evans is a filmmaker and human rights activist with an interest in representations of disability and LGBT in the media.

4. David Perry— @lollardfish

David Perry is a journalist who focuses on disability rights. His work can be found in Al Jazeera, The New York Times, The Atlantic and others.

5. Gregg Beratan— @GreggBeratan

Gregg Beratan is a disability activist, frequently on the forefront of Twitter campaigns. His feed is currently filled with #CripTheVote, a hashtag that aims to bring disability to the forefront of the 2016 presidential conversation.

6. Rebecca Cokley— @RebeccaCokley

Rebecca Cokley is a second-generation disability rights activist and the executive director of the National Council on Disability.

7. Sara Hendren— @ablerism

Sara Hendren is an artist who teaches design to engineers. Her interest is in adaptive and assistive technologies. Sara is best known for the Accessible Icon Project, where she reimagined the International Symbol of Access.

8. Leroy Moore— @kriphopnation

Leroy Moore is the founder of Krip-Hop Nation, whose mission is to educate the public, the music industry, and the media about the talents, history, rights, and marketability of hip-hop artists and other musicians with disabilities. He is also a member of the National Black Disability Coalition and a writer for Poor Magazine.

9. Kim Sauder— @crippledscholar

Kim Sauder is a Ph.D. candidate in disability studies who is passionate about disability rights, activism advocacy, and scholarship with a focus on disability representation in the media.

While compiling this list, I realized something amazing: Nearly every person on this list follows every other person on it.

The disability community is tight-knit, supportive, and diverse. Each of us has different interests and passions, but one thing we all have in common is that we support one another, and we are dedicated to growing our visibility.


We’re still finding our voice, but we're well on our way.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

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Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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