As many of you know I consider myself to be a disABILITY rights advocate, and not many people would contest that statement. I feel as if I do a lot of things to promote disABILITY rights awareness on and off campus and I feel pretty good about what I do.
Well, the other day I was a pretty crappy advocate (pardon my French.) I was at my work- a hospital, and it was just me and one of my VERY superiors around and I heard him on the phone saying horrible awful things about someone with a developmental disability. In fact, he was even imitating her and making fun of her and it was making me absolutely sick to my stomach. I can't go into much more detail, just because of the line of work I am in, but take my word for it- the stuff my superior was saying was disgusting, mean, and hurtful, and I and the person he was on the phone with were the only people who heard it.
What did I do about it?
Nothing. Unless you count a dirty look, but in my opinion dirty looks don't count as advocacy.
Ever since work this past Friday I've felt horrible because I didn't say anything just because this man was my superior. I was afraid and I didn't want to cause "drama" in the work place.
I should have said something. I should have reported him, but I didn't.
However even though I didn't stand up to this person who was treating a person with a disability as if they didn't matter, it got me thinking a lot. From that point on I made a vow to myself, that even if I am eating lunch with the President of the United States and he makes a comment as offensive and sickening as my superior did, then I am going to say something about it.
Advocacy isn't something you just do when it's convenient and easy for you, but its something you need to do in every aspect of your life. I hope you all will take this vow with me- to advocate for disABILITY rights 100% of the time.