New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
In 2017, disability activists stormed the Capitol and legislative offices to protest changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA - “ObamaCare”) and Medicaid provisions that would be harmful to people with disabilities. There’s also great concern about proposed changes that would weaken the ADA. So while some progress is achieved, nothing is permanent. Celebrations must be tempered by hyper-vigilance. The crusade continues...
Now consider other current movements. During these contentious times, it’s been heartening to see today’s level of activism on a variety of issues: LGBTQ, immigration, Dreamers/DACA, gun/school safety, voting rights (again), women’s issues (again), and more. In some cases, policies and/or laws have been changed; in others, the issues remain unresolved.
The difference between disability activism and the groups mentioned above is stark: these groups have been incredibly successful in gaining widespread support among the general population. Success has been achieved—in the past as well as today—when those who are not marginalized visibly support those who are. When white people support the civil rights of brown/black people. When “straight” people support the LGBTQ community. When empathetic people support humane immigration policies. When men support women’s issues, and so on. A fellowship is created!
Sadly, there are few signs that disability activism has similarly permeated the consciousness of the general public. Despite the thousands of disability-related non-profits, provider agencies, and/or similar entities, people with disabilities and their families often travel a lonely path. Click here to continue.
Our Activism Needs Allies
We can no longer allow people with disabilities to be the most patient people in the world, waiting, waiting, waiting to live the lives that most people take for granted. If we want change in our lifetimes—for everyone who is alive today and for those not yet born—we need to generate more allies and become more visible.