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Author: Lily Coltoff

Dramatic Change in Disability Visibility in Politics as Disability on Display at the DNC

Washington, D.C., August 23 – The 2020 Democratic National Convention took place over the course of this week, and several speakers with disabilities were featured over the first-of-its-kind virtual event. By doing so, the event helped to normalize disability, showing individuals with a variety of disabilities speaking about topics from gun violence to healthcare – issues of importance to all people in America. This is a massive change in politics as people with disabilities are starting to be seen and heard. 

Indeed, after the 2012 DNC and RNC political conventions, The New York Times created a tool where people could put in a word to see how many times that word appeared from the convention stages during these major events. People with disabilities had been missing from both the stage and the conversation as the tool showed that the word was not even mentioned once per 25,000 words from the Republican convention and was mentioned .03 times per 25,000 times at the 2012 Democratic convention. 

The 2020 DNC convention, in contrast, featured both conversations about disability as well as speakers with disabilities. 

Biden and Trump campaigns release diversity data – but disability isn’t included

Washington, D.C., July 12 – After increased calls to disclose campaign staff diversity data, both the Biden and Trump campaigns released the diversity statistics of their teams, showing that less than half of their full-time and senior staffs are comprised of minorities. Noticeably absent from the data that has been…

Blind Michigan Supreme Court Justice unable to receive absentee ballot, turned away

BIRMINGHAM, Mich., July 9 – A blind Michigan Supreme Court Justice was turned away from a clerk’s office while trying to retrieve and fill out his absentee ballot last week because the workers did not know how to get him his ballot.

Justice Richard Bernstein, who was elected as the first blind justice to the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2015, told local reporters that “I think what I experienced was the fact they didn’t have any idea what the protocol was,” and that he has nothing bad to say of the workers in the office, only that they simply did not know what to do.