Whew! It has been quite a week around here. It all started with the post I did about Trump, and it sorta snowballed from there. Snowballed as in, several deleted threads in the Facebook group and so on. But then it actually cooled down into a reasonable discussion about politics. And you can thank the group admin Cheryl-Lynn for this post, she gave me the idea. Because during the discussion she mentioned NAMI and the information that they are putting out there in regards to the election. Right as she said that, another member asked, “So how do I find out what politicians think about disabilities?”
Great question! I had this idea–instead of me just saying why I disagree with Trump and the GOP platform, why don’t I give my readers a list of resources they can use?
Election Resources for Special Needs Families
- Candidates’ Websites: This is a great place to start. Look at the website of the candidates. Hillary Clinton has many things posted on her site about plans for people with disabilities. That is the link to her autism page, but on YouTube she has other speeches where she’s talked about IDEA and both kids and adults with disabilities, not just autism. And here is Trump’s page. No mention of disabilities if you hover over the drop down bar (at least at the time of this writing). Don’t forget to research all your down-ballot candidates too! In 2016, just in Pennsylvania we have 441 different people running for something, and the other positions can be just as or more important.
- AAPD: The AAPD is the American Association for People with Disabilities. They are one of the go-to or gold standard groups when it comes to elections. Every election, they send out a questionnaire to candidates. They even put some of the answers in side-by-side format for easy comparison. You can click that link to see the questionnaires.
- RespectAbility: RespectAbility USA also puts out information about the candidates. Their 2016 information is right here.
- NAMI: NAMI is the National Alliance for Mental Illness. They have an advocacy/legislative section on their website. They also publish a political platform of issues and where they stand on those issues. Here is the link where they have compared the two presidential candidates’ platforms against the NAMI platform.
- Your State’s P&A group: Every state has an official Protection and Advocacy group for disabilities. Find the one for your state and see what they say about the campaigns. They often have a legislative section.
I’m going to stop there. That is five or six great places to start and I don’t want to overwhelm people. You can also look up the group that supports yours or your child’s condition and see if they have information on their site. Please let me know if the links don’t work, as of right now they are all working fine for me.
Lastly, several times this week I heard “there is no place for politics on this blog/facebook group/special needs etc.” I couldn’t possibly disagree with you more. Just one generation ago, our children were legally allowed to be kept out of schools and denied an education. It took a Federal law to change that. Same with ADA. And section 504 and Title IX and, and, and…..
Politics has everything to do with our kids and if we don’t speak up for them, who will?
And with that, I’m just going to leave this famous quote right here.