Monday, January 1, 2018

An Approach for 2018

Happy 2018!

The possibility exists that 2018 could be a good year, a smart year, if those of us with disabilities and our allies get back to basics. It is good for us that God DOES NOT offer the disability experience to individuals or families OF ONE POLITICAL PERSUASION. The disability experience shows up everywhere, any where, and any time. People, who have a disability experience, have a common bond, a common mission -- ensure participation, promote independence, expand accessibility, and offer opportunities to contribute. Where we may differ is HOW we go about accomplishing these things. But guess what? That is OK. Strong, credible solutions come out of robust discussions.

Here are things we need to do early in 2018:

Find out who in Congress has had a disability experience and arrange some conversations with Chairs of the Task Forces of the Coalition for Disabilities. We need to build new relationships and reinforce old ones. These conversations could lead to shared agenda items.

Review all the statistics we can find and determine the trends in the statistics. How might the good trends be reinforced and the bad ones stopped or reversed? Write up what we find and think, and publicize it widely.

Develop profiles in success that show what individual with disabilities have accomplished, because of or in spite of public programs. Publicize these widely.

Look for innovations in approaches and technology that have or could change lives if widely known, accessible, and adopted. Publicize them widely.

Develop a 2-year agenda and strategies for carrying it out.

Here are things we need to do mid-way through the year:

Give EVERY POLITICIAN the three things we want to happen; the three things we don't want to happen; and the one thing we will help them with as the fall election approaches. Once a month check in with them.

Develop a platform for the fall political elections which reflects assumptions, operating principles, and goals for the next Congress.

In November 2018 remember:

We need allies who know us.

We must offer to do things for as well as expect things from our elected officials.

America is stronger if everyone is engaged, listens well, seeks consensus-driven solutions, and invests time and energy in implementation of such solutions.

Social media can help us become a strong voice in 2018, a smart voice, and clear voice. Let's use it together to make 2018 a great year for everyone.

What's a powerful hash tag to get us started? Let me know, please.

Thank you.
Common Grounder