2020 and Disability Advocacy: What’s in Store, What’s Important, and How to Get Started
Dear Access Living friends and allies,
2020 is an important year for the disability community. It’s the 30th anniversary year of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 40th anniversary year of Access Living, a crucial election year, and in 2020 the United States will conduct a national census. It’s a good year to be active on disability issues! Here’s some information to help you get your 2020 year of disability advocacy started off well.
Now is a good time to check for Congressional and state 2020 legislative calendars
- The 2020 calendar for Congress can be viewed at this PDF link with more text-oriented version at this link.
- The National Conference of State Legislatures calendar at this link.
- For those of you from Illinois, this is the link for the Illinois State Senate 2020 calendars and the link for the Illinois State House 2020 calendars.
Voting is incredibly important this year
There are some great national nonpartisan resources on the disability vote:
- The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) voting toolkit for self advocates
- #CripTheVote keeps updated bipartisan info about presidential campaigns and hosts Twitter chats with candidates and community members
- The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) keeps an ASL Voter Hotline
- The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) runs the Rev UP! Voting campaign
In 2020, the U.S. Census matters
Every 10 years, the government counts how many people live in the United States. The data from this count determines many things, such as how many elected officials a state may send to Congress, how much federal funding different states get, and much more. It is essential for all of us to participate in the 2020 census.
- Frequently asked questions about the Census
- 2020 Census Disability Community Toolkit
- Census 2020 employment opportunities
In 2020, state disability networks matter
Voting and Census advocacy are important opportunities to bring our states’ advocates together to build power. Consider getting involved with state networks or chapters of groups you care about. Building relationships is part of building power. Take some time to reflect on how you can make the most of your 2020 as a disability advocate!