We spent one day learning about political issues that will impact those with spinal cord injuries and the next day discussing these issues with Minnesota representatives from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. In the latest issue of United Spinal’s Life in Action, I wrote a short blurb about one of my Capitol Hill visits. My article is below. To read more about The Roll on Capital see the full advocacy issue of United Spinal’s, Life in Action.
Roll on Capital Hill- A Thin Scratch
Before The Roll on Capitol Hill, I thought people with disabilities that protested and lobbied were just plain weird. I thought that I couldn’t change anything, so why bother trying.
My thoughts on the subject changed when my appointment in Rep. Michelle Bachman’s office began. Before the meeting started, I was summoned through a narrow passage to a meeting room. I slowly and carefully tried to squeeze through the passage, but my wheels rubbed, my chair twisted, and I was stuck. I backed up and tried to fit through the passage again. I failed.
On my third try, I made it through the skinny hallway and left a thin scratch on the side of the wall.
This tiny experience got me thinking—If our representatives aren’t considering wheelchair users when they set up their offices, then they probably aren’t thinking of us when they are doing legislation.
How do we make them think of us? We need to show our faces, tell our stories, and let them know that cutting programs that matter to us hurts. Roll on Capital Hill gave me a voice and hopefully left more than a thin scratch in policy makers’ ears.