In 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act went into affect to begin to bridge the gap for decades of inequality towards individuals with disabilities. The idea that just because you’re disabled doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to live a regular life. Yet it’s 2018 and while many things have been made accessible and accommodations made when required the world we live in still doesn’t treat disabled as equals.
I’ve usually just rolled with the punches but the recent Nine Inch Nails Tour announcement set off a ticking time bomb I didn’t even know was ticking away in me. The idea that Nine Inch Nails tickets could only be purchased in person by waiting on line infuriated me because I and individuals with disabilities cannot wait on lines for a CHANCE to buy tickets. Disabled lives require planning and time based upon the severity of the disability of the individual.
After cooling my jets and proper logic took hold I remembered that the right thing to do was call the box office for my venue, in this case Radio City Music Hall in NYC, to find out how disabled tickets were being handled. Since Radio City Music Hall is owned by the group that owns Madison Square Garden I called The Garden’s disabled ticket sales box office for details. They informed me that disabled tickets for the show do not have to wait in line but call The Garden’s disabled ticket sales for tickets. Which I then shared on my social media outlets and that Nine Inch Nails fans with a disability should ciontact their venue for information on how disabled seating is being handle for their venue.
Then I began to think, how in 2018 can Nine Inch Nails make such an announcement without stating that disabled fans should contact their venue for details?
I’ll tell you how. Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act being in affect since 1990 the disabled are treated like second class citizens in 2018. And the only voices fighting for Disabled Equality are in fact disabled. This is absolutely absurd.
To give a further example I give you this to think about. How many individuals with disabilities do you seen in the working community? Almost none. Why you ask? Because for some reason disability is still a negative in society and a sign of weakness in businesses. The Equal Opportunity Employment (EOE) Act tries to help the situation but it just gives businesses an out by asking on every job application to select yes or no regarding whether you’re disabled or not. That just allows businesses to show the government that they ACCEPTED resumes from disabled as the EOE states. But what the “click yes if you’re disabled” should truly say is “click yes to admit that you agree that you won’t be getting the job because in fact you are disabled because it’s a bad visual”.
Then there’s the constant fight for medical needs. Whether it’s just medication to ease pain or the need for 24 hour care attendants, it’s always a fight. What agency takes what coverage? What regulations changed? How many doctors letters do I need?
I have literally gone to prove my disability for benefits or a parking permit and the moment I roll in with my wheelchair and the person says to me “why did they make you come here? Your medical file is huge and it’s obvious you’re disabled”. To which I shrug and realize another day wasted because disabled are still seen as second class citizens.
Sure we can blame the government because it’s their loopholes and cutbacks that allows countless businesses to be inaccessible due to steps outside a building that was built before 1990. Sure we can blame Ticketmaster for allowing non disabled people to buy tickets on their website when they shouldn’t and blame venues for not throwing people out for not being disabled in disabled sections as they say they’re supposed to. We can blame them all day but it’s not completely their fault. It’s society’s fault as well.
Every equal rights movement started when society as a collective demanded it happen and right now only disabled are fighting for their equality. Too much of society has a “I’m not disabled so it doesn’t matter mentality” but forget one thing – YOU CAN BECOME DISABLED!
Yes people are born disabled, I am, but disability can strike anyone at anytime. Disability doesn’t care how rich you are, what sex you are, what ethnicity you are, what religion you are, what your sexual preference is, or any other differentiation. When disability decides to strike it does and then it’s too late.
We need #DisabledEqualityNow and all of society needs to say it. The time has come for the masses to join the disabled community and bring true equality to all. Let’s get the wheels of change rolling.