The 2016 election brought the #CripTheVote movement into the forefront of American politics. However, the movement wasn’t just about that election. It’s about increasing the visibility of people with disabilities for all elections, and achieving better representation at all levels of government.
The #CripTheVote movement gained a lot of momentum after Donald Trump was called out for mocking a disabled reporter. Although he has continuously denied that he did that, it is clear that the incident happened. Ironically, although people active in the movement wanted disability and people with disabilities to take the spotlight in the election year, that’s not what they’d hoped for.
Thanks to ableist thinking, many people believe that disabled people are a very small minority both in the US and worldwide, but this is far from true. In fact, More than one in five adults in the US lived with a disability in 2010, according to a 2012 report from the US Census Bureau. That’s about 19 percent of the population, more than 56 million Americans—and a huge voting block.
As Chicago Tribune columnist Paul Sassone points out, the group grows all the time:
“And if you don’t have an impairment now, you might have one sometime in your life. Mine came after more than 60 years of pretty good health. It came – my back, surgery, therapy. Now, I use a walker to get around.”
True. And we are too large a group to go ignored, at least by traditional political standards. So why do we, so often?
#CripTheVote set forth its ongoing agenda after the election ended here as they emphasized that the movement was ongoing. (There is also a form on that page if you’re interested in getting involved.) It is a movement that isn’t out to endorse certain parties or politicians, or to raise money. It is out to expand and enhance the participation of people with disabilities in the political process at all levels of government.
As Sassone says, “You’ll be hearing more from them. From us.”