I started 1AC-CESSIBILITY in the summer of 2021 to advocate for more equitable treatment of disabled participants in high school speech and debate. I secured a grant from Georgetown University's Social Innovation Public Service Fund to fund this organization. I have been successful in convincing the National Speech and Debate Association to amend their best practices recommendations to include accommodations for disabled participants and build in accommodations facilitation into their tournament hosting software.
1AC-CESSIBILITY (pronounced “one-accessibility” or “one-AC” for short) is dedicated to making the American high school activity of speech and debate more accessible for its disabled participants, especially those who also experience marginalization based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, country of origin, immigration status, language(s) spoken, and/or history of incarceration.
We recognize that speech and debate is a valuable experience while also being deeply inequitable. This means it is all the more important that governing bodies step up and make this extracurricular more inclusive so that a greater number of students can benefit from the education, life skills, and experiences it has to offer.
1AC-CESSIBILITY is firmly committed to incorporating the needs, opinions, and desires of the greater disabled speech and debate community in our advocacy. To create change, this organization will directly approach speech and debate governing bodies with detailed feedback on how we believe this activity could change and be more accessible. We will also be running an online campaign across social media and our website to raise awareness for our work.
We believe that innovative ideas have the power to push this activity forward. Therefore, we invite discourse about even the most basic norms within the activity.
Thus, we stand in the strongest affirmation of the 1AC.