In my last blog post, I mentioned how disabled people are made to educate non disabled people about their disabilities and how non disabled people often use that information to make judgements about what disabled people’s needs are. This happens entirely too often to a lot of people, but rarely do these people have the power to actually affect the daily lives of a disabled person. Sometimes however, groups and governments make decisions that have a directly negative impact on disabled people. Often this happens, not out of outright malice, but because the disabled community is not considered or consulted before the decision is made. This happened most recently with the sweeping, mass ban of plastic disposable straws from several cities across the country.
Many in the disability community have spent the last several weeks going to great lengths to explain exactly how and why single use plastic straws are vital for disabled people’s independence and survival. A lot of talk is also being focused on the fact that alternatives to plastic straws are not adequate in meeting the needs of disabled people. In many instances these disabled people are being heard and having their needs understood. But in just as many instances, even stricter measures are going into effect. The fight continues for the needs of disabled people to be heard and cared about.
What’s more, this is far from the last fight disabled people are going to have to wage to have their needs met. Regardless of the outcome of this particular fight, there will undoubtedly be others. There will be further attacks on things that we rely on to survive. There will be more decisions made that exclude or forget about disabled people completely. This will continue until the entities making these decisions make an effort to consider and include disabled people in the decisions being made.