Disability Rights: Still A Struggle

 In #zerobarriers, Miscellaneous, Why is this still a thing Wednesday
Ed Roberts, known as the father of disability rights, shown protesting back in the 60's.

Protesting for disability rights is nothing new. Unfortunately the need for protest continues to be a thing. Photo credit: Hawkhopesblog.wordpress.com

On Monday dozens of people; many of whom were in wheelchairs; were arrested near Capital Hill while protesting for the increase of more community-based services. This is not new.  The photo to the left is of Ed Roberts.  If you do not know who Ed Roberts is, he is known as a fierce advocate of disability rights and the father of the independent living movement.  In the 60’s Ed Roberts had to advocate for himself to be accepted into college at University of California in Berkeley.  Years later, he started the Physically Disabled Students Program and Center for Independent Living a program that advocated for inclusion and disability rights.  For more on Ed Roberts check out this article.

Advocates shift to activists

It should not come as a shock, that with constant proposed cuts to Medicaid, people are getting out and making sure that their voices are heard loud and clear. The group ADAPT , began it’s advocacy in 1978 and uses grass-roots community activists to form non-violent protests to get their message out. In 2017, dozens of protesters were arrested outside the office of Senator Rob Portman (R) of Ohio.  See it how it unfolded on the Hill.  The latest arrests come as members from ADAPT converge on Capital Hill demanding support for Medicaid funding as well as increased community services. Disability Scoop covered the latest protest in this article.  This all comes on the heels of Adapt’s latest efforts to pass the Disability Integration Act (HR.555).

It takes a village

With continued lack of empathy for people who rely on programs like Medicaid, groups like ADAPT continue to grow their support from all over the globe.  It is 2019 and people still have to fight for equal rights in the United States. It’s still a thing, and it’s getting old.  Anita Cameron continues to advocate for disability rights despite being arrested over 131 times for non-violent protests. For more on Anita Cameron check out this story on Quartz.

Leigh from Freedom Resource Center holds up a chalkboard with the word advocacy written on it.

We believe that advocacy is doing the right thing to promote independence and inclusion in all aspects of life. Photo credit: Freedom Resource Center



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