Disability March

We marched online as a contingent of the Jan. 21, 2017 Women’s March on Washington.

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Center graphic by Rae Majka, and outer design by Alexis Greer Heidenberg

We began posting on December 21 with our first marcher, Karrie Higgins. Our first major contingent marched Jan. 20. As of 7 pm on Jan. 21, we had 1,654 entries published, and thousands more we could not process. By Jan. 29, we had posted our final total of 3,014 marchers. We received news coverage and participation from around the world. For links to stories, see the “Media Coverage” page. We will not be posting additional marchers, but we invite and encourage any activist organization to use this model to include disabled marchers who cannot come to marchers or rallies. This page will stay up as an archive of the event.

We need to be seen and heard and to LEAD.

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Many of us with a wide range of visible and invisible disabilities will be in Washington DC for the march, but many more cannot physically march or can’t spare the expense to travel to DC. Our health conditions make physical participation difficult. We invite ANYONE who identifies as disabled to march with us, regardless of your gender identity or sexual preference.

Mission of the march: “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families—recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country…The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us—women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear. In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

In the days since the election there have been reports of hate speech directed at the disabled. Trump has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which many disabled people and those with chronic healthcare conditions rely upon. One of the ACA’s popular elements protects the disabled against discrimination by prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions. The ACA’s expansion of Medicaid is also vital for disabled people; 10 million disabled people are covered by Medicaid, which also pays for most disability services.Disability includes those with chronic illnesses, and many with chronic health conditions are likewise in danger of losing medical support. One scenario for cutting Medicaid and replacing it with block grants would result in at least 14 million people losing their insurance or not gaining insurance in the future. Trump’s presidency and his discriminatory statements present a threat to ADA enforcement and raise serious concerns about continued police violence against the disabled. In all areas—housing, transportation, food assistance, education—the disabled are vulnerable in the current climate of intolerance, and disabled people of color face compounded obstacles.

Photo Credit:  Used with permission of photographer. ADAPT Protest 1974, Tom Olin, photographer. Image is of a large protest scene including two men holding a wheelchair aloft and a flag of the US with the stars configured in the symbol for a wheelchair user
(https://everybody.si.edu/media/737)
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50 Comments Add yours

  1. marianne sinatra says:

    will do. This is amazing as I use a walker and don’t think I can make march. But this I can do. Gladly.

    Like

    1. sonyahuber says:

      We are so glad to have you join us!

      Like

  2. Danette Joe says:

    This is a poor representation for Americans with disabilities. To subject us to such an unjustified, embarrassing event. What do Americans with disabilities have in common with these people who are full of anger, rage and hate? How is this event going to help Americans who are disabled? Do something positive instead of acting a fool. Utilize your time wisely. The hypocrisy among Americans is amazing! Have you ever once in your lifetime called someone a name? Talked about another human being? Sure you have! Your doing it now with Trump! Yet, if he does it you play God and condemn him. Hypocrites This disabled woman is for Trump!

    Like

    1. sonyahuber says:

      Many people disagree with you, and the right to disagree is what makes this country great.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. claude0327 says:

        Thank you for organizing this. I have the luck to be in an electric wheelchair, and cross my fingers I can do it all with my charge tomorrow in Boston. Any possibility to be with you too? I’d live Trump to know that we are more able than he is. Thank you.

        Like

      2. sonyahuber says:

        Sure, if you would like to email an entry please feel free!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Jennifer Loughrey says:

      Thank you for sharing how you feel and I am sure you can agree that this great country allows us to express difference of opinions and to peacefully protest. I want to assure you that I am not full of rage or hate. However, I do feel it is wrong for people in political power to exclude people in America by ridiculing them as Trump did ton disabled people, as he did to women, as he did to those for other reasons. Protesting helps remind those in government who they are public servants to and that helps everyone not just disabled people.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Beverly Sipos says:

      I have an idea that Joe is in a basement in Moscow – one of the paid trolls. The English is pretty choppy.

      Like

    4. Lindsay says:

      I am not full of hate, but I am definitely chock full of rage. I’m outraged that your furor openly mocked someone with a disability and denied it. I’m outraged that his discussion of sexually assaulting women emboldened men who already had a tendency to do this. I’m outraged that you seem to be so completely out of touch with a community to whom you belong. I’m outraged that his administration is working so hard to repeal the ACA with no other plan in place, especially when it made annual & lifetime limits illegal. If lifetime limits are reinstated, I will literally DIE. I’m 33 and most likely dangerously close to that limit. I’m outraged that people are so completely ignorant and don’t bother to do a frigging Google search in order to form their own opinions rather than blindly following the opinions of others. I’m outraged that DT wants to dismantle the EPA. I’m outraged that you’re not.

      Like

  3. Edna Shattuck says:

    With COPD and carrying an oxygen concentrator, marching is not possible for me. Thank you so very much for giving me an alternative opportunity to participate in this once in a lifetime event.
    May Saturday bring warmth and sunshine to all the marchers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sonyahuber says:

      Dear Edna, We look forward to putting your entry up online! Just email us details about you with a picture to disabilitymarch@gmail.com. Thank you for marching with us!

      Like

    2. claude0327 says:

      Edna, I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. I’m so glad -even though I have no part with the organization of this very smart event- to read people like you can benefit of it. Thanks for sharing. It is heartwarming.

      Like

  4. Amy says:

    My father recently suffered a stroke and is now unable to walk on his own. I suffer from chronic pain due to psoriatic arthritis. We will both participate and “stand” with all of you on Saturday and Sunday! Thank you for this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathy McLain says:

    Thank you so much. This means so much!

    Like

  6. I’m so thankful for this! I have several mental illnesses and a physical march would be way too overwhelming in regards to the amount of energy spent. I’m thankful for a virtual march where I can still make a stand! Thanks for organizing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laynie says:

    I want to be in DC, but since financial issues and my disabilities prohibit me from attending, I am absolutely delighted to find this option. I want my face seen in Washington, but more than that, I want my voice heard as part of this resistance. YES! I am absolutely in!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Heather Law says:

    I’m disabled and from the UK, I would like to ‘march’ with you in solidarity with my disabled friends in the USA. Am I welcome?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sonyahuber says:

      Yes, please! Send us an email with a photo to disabilitymarch@gmail.com! Thank you!

      Like

  9. Ronni Eloff says:

    This is so awesome. I was afraid I would be missing out because of my RA Flareup. THANK YOU

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mildred Boggs says:

    I would love to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jennifer says:

    I have debilitating arthritis in my back. Thank you so very much for creating a platform where I can protest. I mourn for our country. I am especially worried about the future my 22 year old son will face. Thank you again!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kathleen Halloran says:

    I march with all in solidarity for Peace and Wisdom and Freedom for all. We will RESIST this tyranny, remove him from office hopefully very soon and keep strong in our Hope and Vision and willingness to work for the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann B White says:

    Hi, I’m Ann. While I’m not disabled, I have a pulled tendon in my foot. I was told by my doctor (who IS marching!) to not march. I saw this site on HuffPo, and wanted to stand with those who will be impacted the most by the loss of the ACA. Goddess bless all of my sisters and brothers who are marching for our rights – both virtually and at the physical marches!

    Like

  14. Lana says:

    With you in spirit

    Like

  15. Three major lower back surgeries have made it hard for me to walk any distance, but I so do want to be a part of this mission. It’s important. I would be there if I could, believe me.

    Like

  16. Melissa says:

    Thank you for providing another way for folks to still feel they can be involved.

    Like

  17. Heidi Mcguigan says:

    Old enough to be a grandmother to many of you, i applaud your efforts to maintain and further promote the rights of women in our country. Thank you for carrying on the legacy that your. Older sisters have started. We all march in the spirit of equality for all humankind

    Like

  18. Illness-Splaining simplified via Sleepy American​’s Superpower…MY #Empizer which momentarily shocks my or another person’s life experiences, esp. chronic illness via mere touch. Shocking empathic understanding immediately followed by a stunned pained facial expression and multiple apologies for ever doubting you and your conditions. I virtually march with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy, Fibromyalgia, RA, Hepatic Adenomas, profound all limb severe peripheral diabetic neuropathy

    Like

    1. sonyahuber says:

      Thank you for being with us.

      Like

  19. Guadalupe Gouveia says:

    Last year I thought I was healthy and just gaining some weight because I’m over 50. After learning I was carrying a 20 lb malignant lipoma my world changed dramatically. I underwent radiation and had extensive surgery. I struggle with the aftermath now. I’m so glad you have this website. I wish to add my voice to the resistance. No where in our Constitution does it say we will support anyone who presents a danger to our citizens. I do not support Trump or his swamp of disconnected and avaricious sycophants.

    Like

    1. sonyahuber says:

      You are with us!!

      Like

  20. Lisa Devero says:

    It is 2:17 a.m. January 21, 2017. Why am I just hearing about the virtual Women’s March? I am a 55 year old disabled nurse who has been
    sexually assaulted as a child, abused by a spouse, a single mother who raised two incredible women, struggled financially to achieve a degree, first generation college graduate who relied on financial aide and student loans to achieve said degree.
    Nothing has been handed to me. I march so others like myself are seen and heard.

    Like

    1. sonyahuber says:

      Hi there. I am so sorry you are just now hearing about it, and you are with us! We are a small volunteer effort and will continue to work. We are also hoping to mobilize after the march!

      Like

  21. susanweinman says:

    I signed up but can’t find where to go or anything

    Like

    1. sonyahuber says:

      Hi there! This is a virtual march. We have instructions on the main page for how to participate today. Thank you!

      Like

  22. Heidi Jacobs says:

    I just now found out about this and I’m sad I can’t add my email entry to the inbox!

    I have several chronic physical and mental illnesses which have completely uprooted my life. I have been fighting in my home state for Medicaid expansions and better drug access but our legislators are just too conservative. How can I join if my email won’t get through?

    Like

    1. sonyahuber says:

      Hi there. We are unable to process anymore entries because we are all volunteer and inundated, but you can go to this link and sign up for our newsletter. Also please participate today by following the new instructions on the main page! http://eepurl.com/cywY_9

      Like

  23. pebert49 says:

    I cannot go to Washington but I am totally in support of the march! women’s rights are human rights!

    Like

  24. Phil Pressel says:

    I am there in spirt.

    Like

  25. Zuzana Leblova says:

    I would love to be there!

    Like

  26. Thank you for organizing this! I am recovering from pneumonia & have inflamed cartilage in my ribcage, so I’m not going much of anywhere right now. As a queer woman who works with primarily Hispanic, African-American, and immigrant communities, I am proud of how intersectional the Women’s March has proven to be. We are stronger together!

    Like

  27. Bishop Randy Brown says:

    No one can afford to just go along or “give.them a chance. ” We havr to resist from this moment on. Waiting just let’s them stick it to us before we even are prepared for the fight. RESIST!

    Like

  28. Juliet Hattersley says:

    I have CFS & spotty abilities as a result. So glad I can join in protesting. I want the new President and administration to stay out of my uterus, give paid leave to new mothers and fathers, keep their hands off Social Security, enforce equal rights for all people, & stop spreading hate.

    Like

  29. Kathy says:

    I don’t have the ability to walk distances or stand for long, but I want to join the march. And I want to continue protesting as long as it takes!

    Like

  30. How were you able to join the march? I wanted to, but didn’t see a way to do so.

    Like

  31. Roy Gathercoal says:

    We need to march for more than preventing bad things happening to people with disabilities. There is already much wrong with the way America relates to and includes disabilities. For all of history people with disabilities have been neglected, left to die, killed by family, driven from communities, locked away. We all want to believe those days are past. My challenge: PROVE THIS! We need a leader who will model respect and normalcy towards us, not a president who mocks us because we are different.

    Donald Trump may be president, but he is not leader.

    Like

  32. claude0327 says:

    Beautiful, thank you this so true. It is also true that we are way too silent. I do not know how many dis-abled people were at the march yesterday, but for the visible ones I could see, I could have counted them on the fingers of two hands. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful comments. Claude

    Like

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