Search This Blog

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump v. the Disability Community

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the issue's role in presidential politics.   A number of posts have discussed Trump's support for the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  He also has a bad record on disability issues more generally.

According to organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, people with disabilities will be participating in droves, with a number expected to shatter any previous records of past rallies for people with disabilities.
“This is going to be massive,” Ted Jackson, the logistics team accessibility lead at the Women’s March, told Vox on Thursday. “Estimates are that [there] are at least 45,000 people with disabilities showing up, which should be the largest assembly of people with disabilities in US history.” He said this would exceed some of the most significant demonstrations on record, like the one organized by disability advocates after the Senate passed the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which garnered around 8,500 protestors.
 Valerie Strauss reports at The Washington Post:
During the Obama administration, there was a page on the White House website that had information about federal policy regarding people with disabilities. Its URL was Not under the Trump administration. The Trump-run White House website — which went live moments after Friday’s inauguration of President Trump — says: “You are not authorized to access this page.”

The Obama White House website page labeled “Contact the Disability Issues Outreach Team | The White House” isn’t there any longer either. Click on it and it now says: “The requested page/disability-issues-contact could not be found.” And the Obama White House website’s fact sheet about expanding opportunities for people with disabilities is gone too. (You can see the former disabilities page here.)
Archiving website pages from past administrations is common practice, and restructuring websites from administration to administration is, too. What is interesting here is that the website team didn’t find the time to make sure there were replacements for the disabilities information they were taking down before Inauguration Day.