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Thursday, September 4, 2008

More on Politics and Disability

I have spent far too much time today reading various posts and news articles reacting to Palin's speech and selection as VP. It is clear the disability blogosphere is abuzz. I have posted comments on a few websites I like very much. As I grew increasingly guilty over not getting any lecture work done for my class that starts next week I realized I felt bad for being so critical of Palin. She simply has no experience with disability rights and gave birth to a child a few months ago. She cannot be expected to have a nuanced view of disability related issues. More generally, neither the Democrats or Republicans have embraced disability rights. This thought came to me when I read that both Obama and McCain websites are not accessible or usable to all Americans with disabilities. I have been critical of Obama in this regard in previous posts but the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet took all presidential websites to task.

The above led me to ask myself which party and candidate is the best choice for disabled Americans? To me, it all boils down to one thing: the Community Choice Act. The Community Choice Act would allow people with disabilities and older Americans to choose to live in their own homes and communities instead of being forced into a nursing home. Both Obama and his running mate Biden have signed their support of this legislation. McCain says he supports community based services but does not support the Community Choice Act. Typical double speak if you ask me. While I generally support Obama, or support a politician as much as a skeptic can, I will be fascinated to see what impact if any Palin will have on the Republican Party. Would she have the nerve to go against the views of McCain and the Republican Party and support the Community Choice Act? I sincerely doubt it but she would earn my respect if she did so.

For those readers who are civic minded I encourage you to support ADAPT. ADAPT plans to lay siege to Washington DC between September 13-18. Over 500 ADAPT activists are committed to getting the Community Choice Act passed into law. ADAPT members are front line soldiers, real bad asses, in the battle for disability rights. I admire their confrontational style, ability to take over buildings, shut down mass transit systems, and reek havoc where they go. ADAPT is the largest grassroots disability rights organization in the country and they make this bad cripple look like a wimp.


therextras said...

No one could make you look like a wimp.

Just did a quick google search of CCA, but could not easily find a copy of the legislation - just about the bills.

If you have the url for the senate and house bills easily available to post...would prevent me from feeling like a congresswoman who votes on legislation she has not read. Just sayin'.

Thanks, William. Barbara

FridaWrites said...

Barbara, see:

More info on the act also at ADAPT's website,

chronic chick said...

Your site is a wealth of information. I've had issues of certain places not being disabilty friendly.

Chronic Chick Talk

My Active Site

william Peace said...

Therextras, I admire ADAPT at many levels. I do not have the nerve to do what they do so well. Frida has provided the link about the Community Choise Act. The ADAPT website has a press release posted on its web site.
Chronic Chick, Thanks for the kind words. Disability friendly is what I aim for and much more. On my fridge I have a sticker Disabled and Proud. It reminds me to believe in myself and all others who have a physical deficit.

therextras said...

Okay, so you admit to less nerve for political expression and self-identify as a wimp based on that. As you wish, William.

Reading your well-used words to express political opinions I name you not-a-wimp. Can we agree to disagree on that?

Reading HR 1621 (Thanks, Frida!) I am inclined to think of the writers-of-law in the same way you think of DME dealers. They (WOL) appear to have a motivation other than meeting the needs of pwd. Their words are not used well in my opinion. Alas, what we see comes from a long tradition of words-abused for nepharious purposes.

What if I support the idea of Medicaid funding for attendant care in the community, but I don't agree with the whole bill?

I could support Title I of the bill, but not Title II. Most I know to do is to write my congress-person and make my opinion known.

And vote.

And if I needed more information in order to do that......Since the CCA bills were written in 07, where are they in committee or procedurally in the direction of passage? I mean, if these bills are tucked for non-passage anyway, then the concept is being used for political gain without real intent for implementation. -I'll go try to find that myself - not asking for you or Frida to do the research for me. My summary comment is that matters of supporting legislation to benefit pwd is not simple for me, and I understand the meaning of the services better than most of the population. (I don't think I overstated that.)

All the best, Barbara

william Peace said...

Therextras, I agree we can disagree about me being a wimp. In being active for disability rights I long ago drew a line I would not pass. I will not risk getting arrested. In the late 1970s I was drawn to the Dark Side and liked the NY Yankees. I think this short lived dalliance had more to do with Reggie Jackson than the Yankees. Regardless, during the World Series Yankee Stadium eliminated handicapped seating to make room for TV cameras. I was furious got in a heated exchange and knocked over a TV camera. The cops were called and I was escorted outside. The cops were clear on one thing--if I had not been disabled I would have spent a night in jail. I realized that day the limits to which I was willing to go. This is why I admire ADAPT so much--they lay it all on the line to empower other disabled people. I do this in my writing and personal life where I am quick to assert my civil rights.
As for the Community Choice Act, like other legislation written to protect the rights of disabled people, it is poorly written. The CCA is also a compromised piece of legislation. I struggle to read laws and other legal documents and am convinced a language other than English is involved. Thus I think the people who write the law are not legislators/lawyers but rather linguists that interpret the law so that others can understand them. When I look at the CCA I envision who it can help and think that an integrated setting for long term is best. Community based living will not allow many to be shunned and isolated. I think not of the abuses but of the 26 year old newly injured high level quad. This man has no education and is a laborer without a union or family support. I do not want this man to spend 50+ years in a nursing home. Of course this is easy for me to write and given your hands on work you come at this from an entirely different angle.