This year, there’s so much to celebrate. I mean, we’ve finally made it to the White House! We have women like Kamala Harris, Tammy Duckworth, and Ayanna Pressley in central roles – women who reflect the diversity of the society they represent and advance an inclusive approach to policy-making. But there’s still much work to be done.
We need better healthcare initiatives that actively include women with disabilities. For example, women with disabilities, and especially women of color with disabilities, have higher rates of breast cancer because of the lack of accessibility. Most mammography machines are designed so that you have to stand, but this is just one of the barriers. Throughout the healthcare and medical industry, there needs to be wheelchair-accessible exam tables, buildings, transportation, and test machines. There’s also a lot of work to be done for parents with disabilities. Parents with disabilities need more protections under the law. The world should not assume people with disabilities cannot care for children.
One of the things the current climate has done has been to bring everyone together more and show us our humanity. We as a disability community have grown. There has been unity and divide, but there are more things that bring us together and more common ground. Education, healthcare, the vaccine…we’ve had to unite to make these things happen. There’s more that brings us together than tears us apart. Everyone can identify how quarantine has changed us due to the experience of isolation.
Some successful advocacy and unity – we as women can get it done! I look forward to the future because, the way things are shaping up, congress wants to hear more from us. We should never miss out on an opportunity to speak up!
A great way to join the conversation is to join Independence Now for our ninth Annual Women’s Tea – an event that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women within the disability community and throughout the world. This year’s theme is ‘Women of Courage and Determination.’ We’re excited to welcome as our keynote speaker Dr. Donna Walton, a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and founder of the Divas With Disabilities Project™. Dr. Walton is a very strong advocate and she’s someone who’s voice commands attention. I’ve watched Divas with Disabilities over years and it’s truly an organization that works to brings all of us together in solidarity regardless of race or disability.
Because of COVID, this year’s event will be virtual but no less impactful. Dr. Walton will be facilitating a panel of Independence Now consumers and we’ll be discussing a wide range of topics including self-advocacy, the suffrage movement, and how understanding our personal history and disability can help us to reflect on the past and encourage women of the future. Be sure to bring an awesome lunch, brew your favorite cup of tea, and rock your favorite hat!
Register for the Ninth Annual Women’s Tea: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqf-yuqDkpHtEKGUYNjB6BlHdwJ9Qp3P97
Or contact me, Rochelle Harrod, at firstname.lastname@example.org to register or request accommodations.