A Conversation about Accessibility Advocacy with Shane and Hannah Burcaw


A Conversation about Accessibility Advocacy with Shane and Hannah Burcaw


We spoke to relationship vloggers Shane and Hannah Burcaw about how we can create a society that is accessible for all ages and abilities to live safely and independently in their communities. This is a two-part interview series. First, check out our conversation with Shane and Hannah about the state of accessibility in the U.S. and identifying and confronting ableism: 

Earlier this year, Shane and Hannah were invited to help develop messaging for the song "Spaces" by James Ian. Here's what they had to say about their first time collaborating on (and appearing in!) a music video:

Caregiving.com: How did you get involved with the Spaces music video?

Shane and Hannah: Genentech came to us with the idea of creating a song that was led and executed entirely by members of the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) community. At first, we thought it was a joke, because we’ve never been very musically-talented, but as they explained their vision we became wildly excited about the idea. Our involvement was much more about steering the themes and messages of the lyrics and helping with promotion — rather than having us actually sing or play an instrument. Thankfully, there were much more talented people with SMA to fill those artistic roles.

Caregiving.com: With James Ian having SMA, how did that affect your outlook on this project?

Shane and Hannah: We loved and respected the fact that this project was being created by people living with SMA. James is extremely talented, and we feel lucky to have his involvement.

Caregiving.com: Had you ever written songs or been involved in a musical production before?

Shane and Hannah: This was our first-ever collaboration on a song, and we loved it. We feel honored to have been part of such a groundbreaking project.

Caregiving.com: What was the experience like — being a part of a music video and seeing other people leading independent lives just like you?

Shane and Hannah: Honestly, we know that millions of disabled people are out here in the world living their lives and occupying all the same spaces as non-disabled people, so we loved that the music video captured that fact because it’s one society often ignores or forgets.

Caregiving.com: How do we create a disability-friendly society?

Shane and Hannah: To create a disability-friendly society we need to learn (or remember) that disabled people are worthy of all the same life achievements as non-disabled people — love, success, adventure, and more. We are here, and we are more than what you bargained for. It’s time to accept us as equals and create a society that reflects that.

Caregiving.com: How can music function as an advocacy tool?

Shane and Hannah: Music brings people together because the first thing we all do when finding a new song we love is share it with others. When a song contains a particular message, such as the disability-positive message of SPACES, that message is amplified as people share and enjoy it together.

View the SPACES music video below, and join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #CreateSpaces

To learn more about Shane and Hannah, check out their interview with the How We Got Here podcast.

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