28 yrs ago today, disability advocates left their wheelchairs and climbed the inaccessible steps of the Capitol to fight for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I’ll continue to protect the #ADA and the civil rights it promises. #CapitolCrawl Said US Senate Democrat Bob Casey responding to a growing movement to contest AHA budget cuts that will hurt the disabled.
Trying to meet his campaign promises President Donald Trump started a storm among the handicapped communities nationwide.
Floyd, 23, is part of a new wave of activism by disabled Americans who want to change the way disability is viewed in the U.S. Responding to federal policies they feel are threatening their community on issues from healthcare to education to fundamental civil rights, more people with disabilities are getting politically involved. Others are trying to build a political movement to define disability—roughly one in five Americans has one, according to the Census Bureau—as a form of personal identity, much like race or sexual orientation.
The push to recognize disability rights is not new, but it’s no coincidence that this current of activism surged during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency. “It’s far more intense,” says Anita Cameron, a veteran disability activist who has been arrested more than 130 times with ADAPT, the grass-roots disability rights network. “We really feel our lives are stake.”
During his campaign, Trump promised not to touch entitlement programs. Since taking office, however, he and the GOP-controlled Congress have pursued an agenda that could have outsized consequences for disabled Americans. Each of the GOP’s proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act included cuts to Medicaid, the main health insurer for adults and children with disabilities. Medicaid covers services that other insurers typically do not, such as personal care assistants and lifts that allow people with disabilities to live in their own homes and communities. While the ACA repeal attempts failed, the Trump administration has now allowed states to enact work requirements for those who receive Medicaid—a policy change that experts say will likely result in many disabled people losing coverage.
Since disabled people often don’t have access to transportation and may not know others in their area who share their disability, many engage in activism through the Internet. Campaigns like #CripTheVote, started in 2016 by Beratan and activists Alice Wong and Andrew Pulrang, have encouraged disabled people to become politically active and sparked conversations about topics ranging from opioids and chronic pain to disability and identity under Trump.
Knowing this Senator Casey has taken his message to both Twitter and Facebook to get the attention of the 45,000 new handicap voters in the state who have raised 100% more in donations this year after staging Fie Ins and blocking the capital once again.