Disability Rights Legislative Day

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How do you know you might be a hard core disability rights advocate? Here are 13 surefire signs, in no particular order.

  1. Your email inbox is always full of newsletters and action alerts and you actually respond to the alerts.
  2. Your nightstand has copies of “No Pity,” “Rules for Radicals,” “Organizing for Social Change” or some other disability or advocacy related tomes.
  3. Your twitter feed is mostly retweets from @AndyAUCD, @RealEconImpact, @NCILAdvocacy, @paraquad, @NASUAD1, @aneeman and @JayRuderman (or @Cathy__Brown)!
  4. You have Facebook “friends” who you’ve never met, but they share your passion for disability advocacy. (And you sort of like them better than your regular friends.)
  5. You know your legislators and they know you are the go-to person on disability issues.
  6. You’ve been actively involved in at least one systems advocacy effort in the last six months and have more planned.
  7. You’ve actually been to a board of aldermen or city council meeting and you know why attending is important.
  8. You are a member of a local community group affiliated with the Coalition for Truth in Independence.
  9. All of your friends understand people-first language — and use it!
  10. You work for a Center for Independent Living.
  11. You’ve used the phrase “the movement” at least once today and the people you said it to knew what you meant.
  12. Whether you use accessibility features or not, in the back of your mind you are constantly evaluating the accessibility of places you go.
  13. You just can’t believe what the new federal regs say.

Cathy Brown is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at Paraquad. She can be reached at cbrown@paraquad.org or on Twitter at @Cathy__Brown.

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