The year 2010 found people in America witnessing the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell in the armed forces, something hailed as a major civil rights victory. The year also found People with Disabilities experiencing molestation by TSA Agents, and a second year without a cost of living increase. The year 2010 found Black and Native-Americans being compensated for past wrongs to the tune of billions of dollars, another correction of social ills of the past. People with Disabilities in America, who have been institutionalized, the subject of medical experimentation, hidden in back rooms, bullied, beaten, denied employment based on our status, and more - received nothing.
We have witnessed the bailouts of major corporations as we experience a health care reform that has left doctors unable to understand what they are supposed to do with it; all while premiums rise. People with Disabilities still have the highest rate of unemployment in America despite these bailouts, and States in America are trying to figure out how not to go bankrupt due to changes in Medicaid. People with Disabilities did not even receive a passage of the Community Choice Act and are still being placed into institutions.
My first wish this Christmas Day is an end to the institutionalization of any Person with a Disability who does not desire it, and the establishment of a rock-solid national policy of in-home care provision.
The costs associated with forcing people into long-term care are not justifiable when the reality of providing the same care in a person's own home are presented; period. The costs of putting people with disabilities in long-term care facilities, mental health institutions, and other institutions are not only financial. People with disabilities are dying in these institutions; they are being abused, beaten, neglected, and mistreated. The continued institutionalization of people with disabilities is completely unacceptable.
My second wish this Christmas Day is for true Equal Rights Legislation for People with Disabilities in America.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not; for example, cover the very building I live in - it was built in a year prior to the ones covered by the ADA. There are steps in this building with open-backs; a lot of them. The elevator does not go to my floor. I have osteoarthritis in all of my lower joints. There are a great number of people with disabilities in similar situations, and even public buildings - twenty years after the signing of the ADA, present similar obstacles to people with disabilities in America.
There is no equality for people with disabilities in America - it doesn't exist. As I mentioned, our unemployment rate has always been the highest and still is today. One-fifth of the citizens in this nation experience a form of disability; it is well, well past time the United States Government fully recognized us for who we are and started treating us with some respect. We are America's largest minority population.
My third wish on this Christmas Day is for equal representation in government; we have none.
People with disabilities in America; this nation's largest minority population, do not have anywhere near the level of representation we should have in either Congress or the Senate. When these two government bodies meet, people stand. Where, oh where, are the representatives with disabilities? Where
From what I understand, taxation with representation is completely against everything this nation is about. We have little to no representation, and Kareem Dale is hidden in a closet; somewhere. If these representatives actually do exist, why do they not declare themselves to be People with Disabilities? Why? Until they do present themselves as Representatives with Disabilities, I can only assume I do not have any representation in the United States Government.
My fourth wish this Christmas Day is for the passage of anti-molestation legislation in relation to the Transportation Safety Administration and People with Disabilities.
The sticking of a TSA Agents hands down people's pants, touching of breasts, buttocks, and genitals, is Completely Unacceptable. Forcing a child with leg braces to remove them and attempt to somehow, 'walk,' through a pornographic body-scanner comprises felony molestation and child pornography. Making Disabled Veterans and People with Disabilities who use adaptive equipment endure molestation also comprises felony molestation, punishable by up to twenty years in prison anywhere else in society. I really don't want to hear any excuses from Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security, or the TSA. Congress, the Senate, and the President MUST sign legislation forbidding this kind of felony molestation - no excuses.
My fifth wish this Christmas Day is for legislation requiring an automatic cost of living adjustment for People with Disabilities on Social Security and VA incomes.
While inflation may not have fluctuated for two years running, the costs of food, gasoline, medical care, and much, much more have indeed gone up. What this means is that for two years, the costs of living in relation to people with disabilities have risen, despite what the supposed inflation index may say. I don't care what anyone else may tell you; it is more expensive to live. The increase in the cost of living MUST increase for people with disabilities and disabled veterans in America; period. It isn't like we are living at the Ritz Carlton.
The one question I have this Christmas Day is this:
Can the United States Government count to five? If so, America may become a better place for this nation's largest minority population. If not - the oppression of People with Disabilities and Disabled Veterans in America will continue. The 111th Congress and the Senate has expended considerable effort on seemingly every issue to include dinosaur eggs, tree frogs, and Cow Burps, while ignoring People with Disabilities. I can only wonder what the 112th Congress and the Senate will do.