A Member’s Perspective on Activism

I joined the Civics League for Disability Rights in January, 2017 because I needed an outlet that would add meaning to my life. The monthly meetings brought me in contact with members of my community to address issues that are unique to disabled people. I’d had enough of allowing others to advocate on my behalf.

There are so many issues that affect the disabled community. Accessibility in and around NYC is an important one, as it is our right to be able to participate fully in the community by going to restaurants and other businesses.

At last week’s Civics League meeting, Vicki Sell, a representative from NYC Council Member Brad Lander’s office, came to speak to us about measures the council member has taken to inform businesses about accessibility issues and help them become more accessible. The council member has worked with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and the Small Business Services Administration to make this a citywide program.

Many things are overlooked without the input of our community and those who have our interests at heart. I believe there are things we can each do every day in our communities to further the level of access for all disabled people. It’s important that when we encounter obstacles, we register our grievances with the city. Problems with curb cuts or sidewalks that are impassable? Call 311 and let them know. In this way, we can all be part of the solution.

Another thing we discussed during the December Civics League meeting were actions members participated in last month. Members of Wheeling Forward, Disabled in Action and the Civics League came together to hold was a three hour protest outside of Trump Tower. The purpose of this action was to highlight how the Republican tax bill will harm people with disabilities. You can watch a video about the protest on the Civics League Facebook page, where you can also learn, post and comment about upcoming actions and important issues.

Taking action together reminds us that we’re stronger together. If we join forces with other groups from our community, we can make a greater impact. I encourage everyone to consider getting involved with the Civics League for Disability Rights. It has brought me great pleasure joining forces with others as we raise our voices and demand to be heard. I want to spread the message far and wide: DISABILITY RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!

Civics League Meetings and Action Committee Meetings are open to all. For information visit the Civics League on Facebook or email CivicsLeague@gmail.com.

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