Congressperson Marc Molinaro (R) recently has been pushing the disability visibility group, Think Differently. He claims that he especially cares about disability rights because of a son on the autism spectrum.
Visibility matters. It takes us out of the closet of shame, helplessness, and personal problems. But as a congressperson he has the power to do a lot more. So I wrote him to make visible some of my experiences which I have excerpted below and I hope you can similarly push him to do better.
“Almost 2 decades ago I was hired at The Daily Star for a low-wage circulation manager position. On my first day when I asked for a simple accommodation of an inexpensive voice recognition program for my partial disability I was promptly ‘un-hired.’ At the time that newspaper which reported news in part of what is now your congressional district, was owned by Dow Jones. Fortuitously from a support group I knew that an employee at their Wall Street Journal with the same repetitive strain injury had won a related case against them. So when I wrote to the corporate head of ‘human services,’ about what happened I was immediately rehired and worked there for over 7 years until I became fully disabled in other ways. Then I was part of the 10% that applied and started receiving Social Security Disability Insurance. But now your party has been threatening to take that away and has refused to adequately fund it. Simply eliminating the cap on taxable income would ensure its future for a good while. I hope with your family exposure to some of the issues that disabled people face, that you could ‘think differently’ than your party does about adequately supporting disabled and elderly folks like myself.”
“...You have power with your House vote. You could defy your party and support the bills that would fairly and securely fully fund one of the best and most important programs that have long let us disabled people survive. Yes, ‘Think Differently.’”