Emily Ladau

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Episode Summary

Podcast: Everything You Know About Disability is Wrong

Episode: Episode 3

Welcome to Everything You Know About Disability is Wrong, a podcast by disabled people for disabled people. But, if you're not disabled, stick around! You might learn something new.

In today's episode, we speak with author and activist Emily Ladau. To kick off the conversation, Emily shares about her experience using dating apps. In her early 20s, she found herself using these apps quite a bit. By her mid-20s, she actually began dating someone she met on Tinder. 5 years later, she found herself back on the app, which she describes as “wading through a swamp hoping to find a gold coin at the bottom.” Then, she explains why she has never used dating apps specifically for disabled people. She then opens us the ethical questions about what guardrails should be put into place, especially on identity based dating apps.

Next, they share their thoughts on the idea of ignorance vs. ableism. This is an area in which context and intention matter so much. The line between these things, Emily believes, can be found in the question of whether the person knew better or not and in their response to being corrected about something they said. Now that Emily is older and has found herself dating someone mature and aligned with her own social justice values, she feels totally comfortable to speak up about her needs and beliefs. One characteristic of a healthy relationship is not feeling like you are constantly having to prove or explain yourself to the other person. The conversation shifts to discussing the importance of having disabled friendships in addition to romantic relationships. Our partners can not fill every single need that we have, so it's important to have friends outside of our relationship to speak to as well. Listeners are reminded that friends don't have to be in person relationships, but can be found online too. Finally, Emily shares about her favorite kind of recurring date night and emphasizes the extra expenses for disabled people.


  • 0:52 - Introducing today's guest, Emily Ladau.
  • 2:35 - Emily's dating app experience.
  • 10:03 - Sharing thoughts on ignorance vs. ableism.
  • 12:30 - The evolution of Emily's relationship communication.
  • 16:30 - Characteristics of healthy relationships.
  • 17:20 - The importance of having disabled friendships.
  • 27:00 - How employment and transportation affect dating.
  • 29:58 - Emily's favorite kind of date night.


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