Why 50 Disability Rights Activists Were Arrested In Front Of The White House

by Natasha Rodriguez

Over 50 disability rights activists were arrested this Monday for “blocking passage” outside the White House. These peaceful activists were part of ADAPT, a disability rights group who organized some 200 individuals to protest. The demonstrators were voicing their request for President Obama to address the “critical civil rights of persons with disabilities” ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this summer. ADAPT also called on the president to issue an executive order that would implement steps to end the institutionalization of people with disabilities.

People with disabilities living in the U.S. unfortunately have their civil rights questioned on a daily basis: Many of them are institutionalized without consent and are forced to live out their lives in nursing homes. Not many are given the option of community-based living as an alternative. In most countries—including the U.S.—females have higher rates of disability than males. Women and girls with disabilities are also particularly vulnerable to abuse.

Elaine Kolb, a well-known disability rights activist and artist who joined the movement long before ADAPT was ever founded, said: “Too many of our people with disabilities have lived and died without ever experiencing the rights and responsibilities of full citizenship and recognition of our common humanity.” White House officials did not specifically address the demonstrators’ demands, but told Disability Scoop that “President Obama works hard every day to ensure the fullest inclusion of all Americans, especially those with disabilities.”

 Image via: Disability Scoop


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