Angela West is a self-advocate from Virginia.
With everything that is going on in our country right now, our voices are so important. I don’t know if you feel the way that I do, but sometimes I feel as though my single voice gets drowned out by the other voices. But then I remember that my story is different and that I can make an impact.
One of the things that I often forget is that policymakers (also called legislators) are people like you and me. They have hopes, dreams, and families at home that they are trying to support. They are elected by their supporters, and they need to do what is right for the people. And when they don’t, we have the right to speak up.
People with disabilities need to be a part of the conversation. I am not only talking about disability-related topics; we need to be talking about immigration, the economy, and education. Maybe these topics do not impact you directly, but you may have family members or friends that could be effected.
As Alexis Nichols, from Virginia writes:
Since we are members of society why wouldn’t we work with them?
Legislators aren’t going to know what goes on in our lives and
how to advocate for us if we don’t help them. The same as they
wouldn’t know about other issues either.
I urge you to share your story with policymakers so they can remember the people who they represent. It’s important for us to understand that they are just people. They may not do everything that we think is right, but we cannot just quit talking to them.