I still believe that Obama is indeed the change we need to see in Washington, but I stand by my October comments towards his policies even more. I think he wants to do the right thing and on the general areas of policy that most politicians are familiar with, I believe he will do the right thing. But disability advocacy - for instance – is a subject too many politicians are unaware of, and a subject we all need to educate his cabinet, advisors, etc about. Of course I’m also aware that Obama isn’t the specific person who decided “hey let’s shut down access” but he sets the tone for access.
I went onto the inauguration page to read about accessibility issues and found the phone numbers for Congressional Special Services Staff (isn’t that name condescending!). Perhaps one of the ways to voice disapproval is to call these numbers and let folks know that the “special services” they’ve provided simply aren’t enough:
I realize that educating is tiring and shouldn’t have to be done, but that’s all the more reason why folks who identify as anti-ableist allies (I try to be one) should make sure to call these numbers, too. In my professional capacity as “trans-for-pay” I have often heard/seen folks assume that only a transgender person can respond to anti-transgender actions. While clearly a transgender position carries a lot of weight in such a circumstance, assuming a trans-only policy undermines the work of all our allies and family members. Often I find that my friends are just as enraged as I am, and in some circumstances even more enraged. So while we may not know what it would be like to face limited mobility at the inauguration we can still ally ourselves to the fact that no one’s ability to attend the inauguration should be made any more difficult.
*The website referred to the non-TTY phone as “voice”…should I change that to “hearing”? What are non-TTY phones referred to as? I’ve never differentiated before. I did a few Google searches and didn’t find anything. I appreciate anyone who can let me know!