If you have anxiety and you also are really concerned about the state of our country, this week was likely not a good week for you. I know it wasn’t for me. The cliffhanger experience of finding out who was going to lead our country into the future was excruciating.
Personally, I believe that there was really only ONE option this election for reasons I won’t get into here. But I will say that I have breathed a collective sigh of relief along with the other half of the country.
I felt the pride of being an American again after watching president-elect, Joe Biden, give his acceptance speech in front of the nation Saturday night. He repeatedly mentioned the mandate he felt to help the American people and the one thing that really struck a chord with me, that stood out most, was his promise to help the disabled community. We are often the most overlooked community. We severely lack sufficient advocacy in our government to create legislation that protects our rights and expands our potential as contributing members of society.
Many in our community are living on the poverty line. Disability checks, if you are lucky enough to make it through the extremely complicated and harrowing system of getting approved, barely cover the essentials of daily living. In many states, companies are not required to make special accommodations for people with disabilities under law — accommodations such as, working from home, working flexible hours and having access to resources in the workplace to help them do their jobs more efficiently. So many talented people fall through the cracks. So many who are just looking for a chance to shine, get overlooked. “That’s all they’re asking for,” Biden said. “A fair shot to succeed.” That’s all any of us are asking for – equal opportunity.
Disabled people also face exorbitant medical fees for things not covered under insurance. It’s not uncommon for many of us to live in debt. The Affordable Care Act has helped minimize this to an extent, but it is nowhere near a perfect system and desperately needs reform. I am looking forward to seeing what this new administration is going to do to help my community. I look forward in hope and trust, because I believe that we are entering a new era of compassion, honesty and integrity from our government.
Those of us who live with disabilities and chronic illnesses are Americans. We deserve dignity and respect and a fair shot.