reflections related to disability advocacy, family and (needed) cultural change
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Obama and Accessibility: A Disturbing Trend
While the Obama campaign was the first to articulate a disability platform (Obama had one from April, the McCain campaign added theirs in October) when it comes to accessibility, the welcome mat for the disability community has not been out...
The Obama campaign stated to Bad Cripple way back in the spring that "they were doing the best they could on accessibility." Sadly, this did not mean they were ensuring that campaign sites were accessible--it meant that sites might or might not be accessible, and that was ok with the campaign.
With that attitude it is little wonder that my friend Roving Activist had this experience back on December 30. An Obama Transition Team meeting on Healthcare Reform that is NOT accessible??? How can this be? Now the building should certainly be compliant with the ADA (and apparently has changes underway to rectify that), but checking to see that venues are accessible should also be the responsibility of Obama's people...
And now Planet of the Blind shares that ABC in VA is reporting that people with disabilities are actively being discouraged from attending the innauguration.
What if this were happening to any other minority?? Of course, it has in the past, but I mean now, in 2009?
I understand that they feel that this is a safety issue, but this is a safety issue because they have a lack-of-planning issue.
And they feel it is fine that they haven't planned proactively to for the inclusion of people with disabilities. After all, they aren't turning people away because they don't LIKE them... Some of their best friends have disabilities, I'm sure....
Psssst,note to Obama and team: Failing to plan is planning to fail--and when you're not including, you're excluding. (And don't tell me it's too hard, we KNOW you can overcome obstacles!)
I am the mother of three, wife of one. I am a Partners in Policymaking graduate and a committed disability advocate. I want to catch up on my scrapbooking, learn more about art-journaling, get my house in order, read all the books I have set aside to read and change the world--not necessarily in that order. The opinions in this blog are my own and not those of any of employers.