Tag Archives: disability rights

The Disability Rights Movement Needs Our Activism Now

At a September 2016 campaign stop in Orlando, Florida, Hillary Clinton delivered her Inclusive Economies speech, which unveiled a progressive pro-disability platform.  In her speech, Secretary Clinton painted a picture of an "inclusive economy that welcomes people with disabilities, values their work, and treats them with respect." By claiming progress for people with disabilities through the lens of employment and economic participation, she struck right at the heart of American inclusion. The quintessential goal of the disability advocacy movement is independent living: The opportunity to prepare for a career life, hold down a job and have agency over important decisions.  As the then leader of the Democratic Party, Clinton called on all Americans to focus our energy on making this nation a better place to live for people with disabilities.  Although the election results mean Clinton won't be implementing this platform, her call to action remains a priority for individuals, … Continue Reading ››

The Disability Rights Movement Must Be Pro-Choice

The hardest thing about the current framing of the abortion debate for disability justice advocates is that it forces us to choose between two of our core convictions: Inherent human worth and bodily autonomy. As a disabled person, an asexual non-binary person who was assigned female at birth, and an activist, I hate the ideas and circumstances that have put these principles in opposition to each other. Still, the choice is easy for me to make. My nearly absolute belief in bodily autonomy means nothing if I’d support forcing a person to remain pregnant and give birth against their will for any reason because of my own opposition to eugenics. There’s no question that I, as an autistic person with a cleft lip and palate (among other disabilities), am among the types of disabled people impacted by what’s often referred to as disability-selective abortion. There are ongoing attempts to find a … Continue Reading ››

The Disability Rights Movement Should Be Pro-Life

I was conceived, unplanned, in Soviet occupied Latvia. I am also disabled. When I was born, I was born prematurely. I had deformed feet called "club feet" and I was very small. I was also  born with developmental disabilities. Because I was unwanted I was sent to an institutional orphanage in Riga, the capital of Latvia. I lived there for 5 years, until my American family was able to adopt me. I have lived in America for 23 years now and I love it here! I think of my birth mother a lot. I am thankful she let me live. She did not see my life as a life not worth living. In America, I learned that this is not true for all unwanted and disabled babies. There are pre-natal tests people can take to figure out if they baby is disabled, so parents can make a decision whether to abort … Continue Reading ››