Understand ABBF: Why do allies have to pay?
Very often, we get asked the same questions from allies. “I am coming to help. Why should I pay to do so?” While our regular allies have gotten used to our model and understand our philosophy, this is a common source of confusion for people who are new to the ABBF experience.
The most straightforward answer to this question is that of logistics. Sighted or not, amputee or not, wheelchair user or not, the food you eat and resources you use cause the same amount of money. The refreshments for marathons, trainers for specialised sports, venues when applicable – all of these costs do not discriminate between the able-bodied and person with disability. And hence, everyone pays.
While this is true, the philosophy goes much deeper and matters much more. At ABBF, we do not believe you are here to “help” at all. We do not think able-bodied allies participate to “give an experience” to “less fortunate” individuals or any variation of such sympathetic, hierarchical explanations. Inclusive sport is an experience for all. Accessible adventure is a learning opportunity for all. By being an ally, your perspectives and points of view are just as likely to change as your partner’s is. It is for this experience, this shattering of stereotypes and breaking of barriers, that we ask everyone to pay.
At ABBF, our allowances are based not on an ableist lenses at all. Instead, we believe in focusing on economic privilege and financial ability. If our participant, able-bodied or with disability, is truly unable to afford the experience, we do what we can to make it happen. After all, the platform is about inclusivity. Yet perhaps the first opportunity to internalise this inclusivity is this – to remember that the experience costs the same for everyone.