The F*** Stairs campaign began as a simple exclamation, “F*** Stairs.” But born out of that exclamation was a vision for a new normal; one where the world came to greater understand how disabled people live and experience our social and built environments. One where barriers would be dismantled and where inclusion is understood as a human right.
In 2018, Lindsey Muszkiewicz and Ashley Cowan D’Ambrosio, disabled students from the University of Washington, created the first-ever F*** Stairs campaign. The campaign ranged from a few weeks, to a full month, where able-bodied people and disabled allies would pledge to use only accessible pathways in solidarity with wheelchair users and other people with mobility impairments. This challenge was meant to demonstrate just how inaccessible and unwelcoming physical spaces continue to be, even 30 years after the signing of the ADA.
Now, the students that built the F*** Stairs campaign have founded Crip Riot, a disabled-owned and led company committed to bringing expressions of disability pride to the world, through unapologetic clothing, media, education and activism. Crip Riot exists to honor the rich political history of riots and the punk movement which transcends the disability pride movement and incorporates the social rights of people of color, queer and trans people, women, and other communities impacted by systemic violence and oppression. Crip Riot envisions an intersectional, interconnected space to explore how our identities strengthen each other when embraced in full.
The F*** Stairs campaign is a vital part of our Crip Riot vision – creating a space for Disability Pride and Crip Pride to thrive, while bringing broader awareness to the world, so that our dream of accessible and inclusive futures can be realized.