Saturday, March 31, 2018

This is Not a Time to be Quiet

I was blessed to have my parents and sister come to Washington D.C. with me to advocate for Dystonia. We expressed to elected officials how crucial it is for dystonia to be funded by the National Institute of Health, the Department of Defense, and the CDC. We just heard that Dystonia did make the Department of Defense funding list. This is terrific news and it makes me excited that a cure is in reach. This is great but there is something going on in DC that terrifies me among several things, but this gets personal.

The Washington Examiner states, "The bill, the ADA Education and Reform Act, would change the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act to give businesses accused of being inaccessible a grace period to fix structural problems with their facilities before they can be sued. Under the law, businesses must abide by specific regulations so that people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs or walkers or have other impairments, are able to enter buildings and use various facilities" (washingtonexaminer.com).

This all sounds warm and fuzzy, doesn't it? It isn't. The ACLU states, "The bottom line is that people who use wheelchairs or who have other needs deserve the same right to visit local businesses as any other individual. Forcing people with disabilities to wait months to visit a supermarket or bookstore is precisely the kind of discrimination the ADA was designed to prevent. Businesses have had more than enough “notification” to comply with disability rights law. People with disabilities deserve equal access today — civil rights should not be delayed or tied up in bureaucratic red tape" (aclu.org).

I don't want to wait six to twelve months to enter a business place. This is putting profit over people. 

If you wish to know more, please research it. I believe the Washington Examiner and the ACLU are trustworthy sources. I purposely didn't cite articles from organizations advocating for disability rights since they all have rightfully slammed this bill. Senator Tammy Duckworth is doing everything she can to stop this bill from being voted on by the senate. 

If you want to make your voice heard, you can sign these petitions: 

https://www.change.org/p/u-s-senate-stop-hr620-hands-off-my-ada
https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/the-ada-education-and

This post was not a break from real life and I feel bad about that because I like telling my stories to you, but this is not a time to be quiet. Pope Francis said it on Palm Sunday and I echo him. This is not a time to be quiet. 

Make Your Voices Heard, 
Hannah! 

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