Disabilities Website –MIA—Another Trump Atrocity
Q: What happened to the White House website with information on federal policies about people with disabilities?
A: It was erased within moments of Trump’s inauguration.
According to a Washington Post last week, the URL for disabilities information—https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/disabilities—now says: “You are not authorized to use this page.”(!) In addition, the Obama website page labeled “Contact the Disabilities Outreach Team/The White House” has vanished. All previous information on Obama’s White House fact sheet about expanding opportunities for people with disabilities is also history. To make matters worse (if that’s even possible!), our new president’s crackerjack website team failed to replace the disabilities information they were deleting BEFORE inauguration day.
Even if you’re soulless enough to disregard the needs of the disabled, all Americans should be worried about the implications of replacing Obamacare BEFORE there’s a plan in place to service the 20,000,000 people who will lose their health care. Meanwhile, the rest of us are forced to pay skyrocketing insurance premiums to offset the medical costs of the uninsured.
As the mother of a young adult daughter with autism struggling to find support services, I’m so outraged by Trump’s treatment of disabled people that words ALMOST fail me. Seriously, maybe disabled people and their families need to organize protest marches across the country and park an army of wheelchairs outside the White House. (Hey! That’s not a bad idea!) Or maybe a class action suit on behalf of people with disabilities will hold the White House accountable for being out of compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act. If someone other than Trump had publicly mocked a reporter with disabilities, would that behavior have been considered a hate crime? Ordinary citizens do not get away with mocking a handicapped New York Times reporter on camera before our nation and the whole world.
Instead of spending US tax dollars to deport immigrants and restrict refugees from Muslim countries, why not use that money to improve education and provide services and job training for Americans with disabilities? Answer: The White House prefers to direct funds toward a nuclear arms race, a possible flight to Mars, and building a billion-dollar wall between our country and Mexico (to “keep out all the drug dealers and rapists”). Despite campaign promises that Mexico would pay for the border wall, US federal funds are now being earmarked for this xenophobic mission.
As the parent of a young adult with ASD, I had naively hoped (at least for a few minutes) that maybe, just maybe, the federal government would have some compassion toward families like mine. (Or at the very least Trump’s focus and energies would be directed toward something else first). But compassion is not part of our current president’s moral make up. President Trump (how I gag on those two words) can afford to be in total denial if he has a child with a disability. Private schools, tutors and therapists are costly, but that doesn’t matter to Trump. (Insurance coverage is also irrelevant.) As for finding a safe, affordable apartment and living on his own, well of course that’s a slam dunk for any Trump progeny.
What should considerably less affluent families with disabled children do? From the look of the new federal government website, Trump’s answer amounts to: “Let them eat cake.”