I took another look at the Reframed article I wrote for NEW MOBILITY in January 2020 where I talked about the prospect of change this year. Although the events that unfolded since then were not what I envisioned, I do see them as a catalyst for change. Our community has been faced with further isolation from a pandemic, struggles with in-home supports, and fear around the seemingly easy decision to go to a hospital or clinic for needed medical care. Those fears have been further complicated by racism, political divides, and difficult decisions about schools and workplaces reopening. It has taken a toll on our mental health and there’s no doubt it’s been difficult.
All these events have also exposed inequalities, injustice and areas where we are failing each other as a society and as citizens of the world. Yet, I continue to be hopeful that change is happening, as I have seen the disabled community come together, using our problem-solving skills and ability to adapt to form mutual aid groups, share our resources and supplies, and make space for voices that need to be heard.
As we near the end of 2020, I think we should take time to grieve the things and the people we’ve lost, but also reflect on the things we can be thankful for, including our support systems — family or chosen — and the changemakers who continue to push forward even when the fight gets hard, energy is depleted and spirits are exhausted. My hope is that we rest, recharge and refuel. I look forward to witnessing the birth of new disabled leaders and holding them up high so they can feel supported and shine!