Before long, some newly disabled people will be trying to navigate the streets in our cities and towns. In these days soon after the Boston Marathon bombings, everyone in the public sphere, and many of us privately, profess heartfelt support for the injured and maimed. It is what we say to each other now. But I’d like to know what our public officials will propose to do, and what the public will support, in the months and years ahead. I’m talking about our willingness to use our tax dollars, not our charitable dollars, to collectively support the right of people with disabilities to participate as fully as possible in this life.
When we need to raise funds for transportation, will we choose again to double the cost of The Ride? When Republicans carry on about “entitlements” and Democrats cave to their intransigence, will we look away as disability payments to the poorest among us are cut?
Maybe the faces of the newly disabled from the Marathon bombings will be enough to stir our empathy for everyone who depends on disability services for a decent quality of life.