Advocacy is tedious, patient and lonely

But every once in a while you win: Ten tips to success

Freelance writer/editor

Instant gratification is a trait not often found in the souls of the good people who advocate for making the lives of people with disabilities better.

Fellow advocates, you know who you are.

All have embraced the hare-and-tortoise pace of change early in their disability civil-rights’ careers. And know that steady wins the race.

Advocacy is behind-the-scenes, unheralded, long-hours work that generally doesn’t get you on the evening news. It’s early morning trips to the state capitol or cramped flights to D.C. to meet with congressional leaders whose only goal is to get a picture with a person in a wheelchair. Continue reading

Earmarking the can to kick down the road

If I hear one more congressional numbskull refer to Wednesday night’s congressional approval to fund the federal government and avert a government default as “kicking the can down the road,” I’m going to scream.

Of all the elected officials from Kansas, only Sen. Jerry Moran and Second District Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins voted yes to re-open the government and increase the debt ceiling so the government wouldn’t default on its payments. Continue reading

‘Squeaky Wheel’ column makes its national debut

Together, grassroots disability advocates can make a difference

Freelance writer/editor

OVERLAND PARK, KAN. — Grease is the word.

But don’t mistake this for a 1978 ode to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as two 1950s high-school lovers, the highest-grossing musical to date in the United States.

This recurring column — the “Squeaky Wheel” — is dedicated to the free flow of information affecting the global disability community in our ongoing push for change — the “grease” to lubricate the gears of society to level the playing field and remove the physical and attitudinal barriers standing in our way.

For as we all know, it is the “Squeaky Wheel” — — that gets the grease. Case in point: Continue reading

Yoder’s bill to cut congressional pay is a pipedream

Whether 3rd District Congressman Kevin Yoder, D-Overland Park, Kan., actually thought his bill to lower congressional members’ pay and retirement options would ever make it to the floor for a vote or even had a chance of passing, you have to give him credit for actually introducing the bill.

He introduced House Resolution 150 on Jan. 3 and asked other elected officials from Kansas to get behind the legislation. Only fellow Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, signed on as the bill’s lone co-sponsor. Continue reading

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