Election Day in the United States came and went, but Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 participants in the weekly cerebral palsy Twitter chat #CPChatNow maintained focus on issues. To tell you more I am #CPChatNow co-host Zachary Fenell. Like always, I will do that via your weekly recap.
Voting accessibility arose in conversation when I asked participants what their accessibility needs for voting are.
As my co-host Devin Axtman pointed out, accessibility at polling places is a huge problem. This left our own “Positivity Princess” Linds to ask if there were assistance signs outside where you can call for help. Devin answered yes, but still noted the problematic nature. Too many polling places are located in non-accessible buildings. You cannot help someone unable to enter the building.
Devin’s comments left me wondering how such buildings could be chosen as voting locations. Swiftly the dialogue transitioned to another important subject.
Using a single hashtag Linds summarized the problem, #ThingsNoOneThinksAbout. Devin furthered her point, giving a real life example he recently experienced. His apartment built a new sidewalk out to the train station, but without a curb cut.
In my opinion Devin and Linds’ comments emphasizes the importance of representation. The decision making process needs to feature diverse voices. Such voices will ensure items like curb cuts no longer go overlooked.
Meanwhile on an encouraging note long-time chat regular Hannah gave a glowing review for her polling place.
Hannah stated her polling place’s accessibility genuinely impressed her. What about your voting experience? Keep the conversation going! Answer for the week’s extend-the-conversation question, “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Leave your response in the “Comments” section.
Maybe concerns over your polling place’s accessibility led you to speak out, teaching you to advocate for yourself. Similar learning moments highlighted our chat November 6th.
Moments when participants learned to advocate for themselves varied. Both Devin and long-time chat regular Blemi recalled their first real self-advocacy moments happening in high school. Linds remembered connecting with someone locally from Easter Seals and realizing she was already advocating for herself. Elsewhere Hannah learned to advocate for herself quite young, needing to persist that her bus driver drop her off at her house, not the end of the street.
If the highlights above intrigued you, consider joining the conversation live. Our Twitter chat takes place every Wednesday, starting at 8pm ET. Simply include the hashtag “#CPChatNow” in your tweets. Anyone not on Twitter can enjoy our community by following our Facebook fan page and/or answering the weekly extend-the-conversation question. Again, this week’s question asks “How is the accessibility at your polling place?” Comment below with your answer.
Until next time, remember. Don’t blend in. Blend out!