November 10, 2016
Like most of you, we did not foresee, and did not plan for the outcome of Tuesday's general election and the incredible challenges that came with the results. By Wednesday afternoon, we began coming to terms with its implications not only for disability rights, but also the rights of all disenfranchised groups. As the reality of the moment set in, we knew we had to intensify our commitment to our core values: civil rights, social justice, equality, and respect for all.
The messages we heard during the president–elect's campaign foreshadowed the likely actions of his Administration and the Congress. Many of the proposals will have a fearsome impact on people with disabilities, whether or not our new leaders have given any thought to their effects. But it will not be enough to simply rail against the threats ahead. As a community, we must be strategic and work together to find the best paths forward that will preserve and protect our cherished gains over the past decades. That course is not entirely evident yet, but what we do know is that it must include broader coalitions.
Disability is an intersectional issue—it crosses gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, race, ethnicity, income, immigration status, age, and religious belief. Disability crosses voting lines. Our strength lies in the alliances we have built and will build with these diverse communities that strengthen our voices and our collective causes.
You have our promise that DREDF will work in partnership with friends and allies to defend our hard won rights and fight with passion against proposals that exclude, segregate or discriminate against anyone.
We will continue our important and ongoing core policy and legal advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities:
- Advancing technology access
- Securing education rights for children with disabilities
- Improving access to healthcare and community-based services and supports
- Improving access to transportation and the built environment
Finally, at this historical moment, we also think it is helpful to remember that the United States President serves a four-year term. This fact alone offers hope and opportunity.
Thank you for your enduring support.