In a hurry to contact California co-sponsors to say #HandsOffTheADA? DREDF has contact info and scripts.
“Where, after all, do universal human disability rights begin? In too-small bathrooms, of necessity close to home – so close and so small that they still cannot be seen on any radar of Rep. Speier and way too many California representatives.”
It is profoundly demoralizing that Rep. Speier and other California members of Congress are cosponsoring
Imagine that you have a harasser. Imagine that never know whether he will block you from getting into the public bathroom you need — sometimes pretty badly! — or not.
Imagine hearing that your harasser deserves 6 months to make “reasonable progress” toward not-harassing you — as much. After you wait 6 months, maybe you’ll be allowed to say NO to your harasser. Maybe.
Imagine your Representative is championing your harasser’s excuse that it’s really hard to not harass you: “You have to understand that, yes, he knows what he’s doing has been against the law for almost 30 years but he needs more education.”
Access to a toilet is about dignity and safety whether the barrier is a harasser or a narrow door.
The ADA has been the law of the land for nearly 30 years and the only “reform” it needs is significantly greater enforcement. Disabled people in 2018 still can’t count on something as basic as a toilet in public spaces. If you don’t think there’s a cumulative effect of never knowing where your next pee can actually take place, you try holding it through 30 years of work-related business trips, restaurant meals, and meetings.
Pee Math, #PeeToo, and Hitting the Porcelain Ceiling
After 30 years as a proud, out disabled woman in the workforce, I wonder how many of us would be the bosses of today if the required schmoozing, travel, beverage-enjoying didn’t come with fear that we wouldn’t be able to #PeeToo.
Work doesn’t happen just at work. If you want to be in a decision-making position, you have to “show initiative” and “develop relationships.” In other words: You have to spend time in public spaces. Places that may or may not elect to follow the law and provide an accessible bathroom.
#HandsOffMyADA is fighting for the civil rights of disabled people to be at that networking event, take a client to a restaurant, attend that “optional” retreat without being distracted by #PeeMath at a crucial moment, or being so worn down that you let go of your ambition, which I call “hitting the porcelain ceiling.”
The ADA was passed not long after I graduated from college. I thought about what my life has been like for 30 years. Especially my work-life.
I’ve had to introduce myself in professional settings and almost immediately go public on some toilet access problem. In my case, I was a young white woman having to tell an older white man, who I didn’t know, intimate details about my bathroom needs. Imagine adding a racial element to that scenario.
I thought about the media advocacy training I flew 2,000 miles to in 2004, the one where I had prepped them re access and they forgot the only bathroom was down a long flight of stairs. While they talked oppression, I did
I thought about my first day on the job as a development and communications officer at a women’s rights advocacy organization where I had to have my boss take me to the bathroom and wait for me because it wasn’t accessible.
I thought of being at a civil rights grantees’ convening in 2006 – and knowing I was the advocate who was denied a bathroom I could use because Marriott said my confirmed ADA room wasn’t *really* confirmed.
But wait! There’s more — of what’s wrong with HR 620
D’Oh! HR 620 Will Hurt Ordinary Americans
Your 3-Point Take-Down of the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, or Why Your Representative Should Vote NO on HR 620
This #Crip Stays in the Picture: A Past Plaintiff on Opposing H.R. 620, the #ADA Notification Act