Please Quit Using the Disabled Community in Your Political Campaign!

Stacy Warden by Stacy Warden Additional Needs

Stacy Warden

Stacy Warden

Author of Noah's Miracle blog. Noah had suffered "global damage" to his brain. As a result the prognosis was grim. They said Noah would mostly like...

Election years are nightmares. Simply nightmares.

My phone blows up with political calls that I cannot stop, demanding that I give each side my vote, you peruse through your social media contacts and friend lists reading their daily statements and proclamations on who they think will be the country's savior all the while trying not to let it change your perception of them.

You stare at televised convention speeches with your jaw open in both a combination of disbelief, shock and dismay that this is as good as it gets.

And then, just when you think it can't get any worse politicians throw in the disability card.

These days being unkind, unsupported or not going above and beyond the American with Disabilities Act, puts you in a light similar to that of kicking a puppy or abusing a child.

It automatically invokes an angered response of the disabled community is being taken advantage of, disparaged, humiliated or un-cared for.

Politicians have figured out this very important fact, and are now using it as a tool to gain votes, followers and let's not forget - most importantly to attack their opponent with during their political campaign.

Hillary Clinton is accused of parking illegally in a disabled parking spot and then laughing to reporters when asked "why?"

And it's reported that Clinton said "When are they going to get those f—ing ree-tards out of here?!” in reference to children with disabilities moving too slow to gather eggs at an Easter Egg hunt on the lawn of Arkansas governor's mansion in 1984.

Yet, we are then painted with a contradictory picture at the Democratic Convention which was televised for all of America to see in which she parades a young woman, Anastasia Somoza, now a disability advocate, onto stage to make the claims that Clinton began advocating for children, including her, with disabilities before Public Law 94-132 was passed allowing children with disabilities to have the right of inclusion in public schools.

Yet, reports indicate to the contrary that in 1973 New Bedford was already including children with disabilities in a public school setting and giving children school bus rides to school, way before her claimed intervention to improve the lives for children living with disabilities.

Clinton's campaign further drew from criticism aimed at her opponent in which is reported that Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter.

She wasted no time in putting together a condemning commercial aired at all times of the day of parents of a little girl living with spina bifida, proclaiming how appalled they were at Trump mocking a reporter with a disability.

Trump states that he was merely mimicking what a flustered reporter would look like when responding, and had no knowledge that the person he was referencing in any way had a disability.

Trump also has been subject to multiple lawsuits as a result of being out of compliance with ADA law. Yet the same is true for over half of American businesses and establishments that have not yet come up to ADA standards.

Note to politicians: we're all still changing our disabled children on filthy bathroom floors.

And while that certainly isn't yet included under ADA law, there is a lot missing from the disability conversation when it comes to politics.

Politicians know that Americans like and quite frankly crave "feel good" stories. We want to be moved. We want to feel that someone out there can rise to the occasion of being our dedicated and devoted hero. That we'll all be saved from our current circumstances because someone will come in and sweep up all the dirt and take it out with the trash and we'll all live happily ever after.

If you think you can make a vote for either party based on who you "think" treats those with disabilities better, then we're all feeding into the hands of either political campaign and voting with our emotions. Which is one of the worst things we can do.

I'm sitting here in a slue of Medicaid denials for my son, that keep rolling faster than punches a professional boxing match.

We're struggling financially to keep our heads above water, I'm currently pursuing food stamps and on government insurance.

Where is the conversation that discusses what is happening to families with disabilities?  How we're thrown into immediate poverty after a child with a disability joins the American family unit?

Where is the discussion of the countless programs that being cut to fund medical, therapy and equipment costs for children with disabilities?

What about adults with disabilities who are in dire conditions suffering in group homes or lacking provider benefits and safe environments and protections from abusive caregivers?

Someone parks in my son's parking space illegally everyday. Someone mocks my child with a disability everyday. So what?

Either I grow thicker skin or I'm going to be a walking heap of tears everywhere I go.

Long-term, where can either of these politicians take us when it comes to lifting us up from the very things our government is already doing to us?

Politicians and the American government is exactly why we are struggling as bad as we are in America when it comes to raising children with disabilities.

And we're supposed to just accept that if either political candidate tells us they'll be our saving grace when we all know that people will say whatever they need to in the moment whether they have intentions of ever acting on it or not just to receive your hard earned vote.

What our government is currently doing for us isn't working. It's a broken system.

It doesn't matter if you are mad at Hillary because she parked illegally in a disabled parking spot, or if you are livid with Donald because you believe he did intend to mock a reporter with a disability. Where is the action plan for changing our family’s lives?  And I mean really changing it for the better.

Inclusion - we already have it; ADA compliance - to a big degree we already have it.

What we don't have is financial security and help for our children to give them the qualify of life that they need and deserve.

What we really need is our politicians to quit using the disabled community to force us to vote with our emotions and completely ignore real issues at hand in the 2016 presidential election.



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