#CripTheVote sprang up during the election campaign of 2016 to make sure disabled people vote and to try to influence public policy on disability.
Founded by Alice Wong, Andrew Pulrang, and Gregg Beratan, it achieved considerable fanfare as the first organization aimed at making the disabled a national political force. And the momentum continues to this day.
Here are five reasons you should keep an eye on #CripTheVote, and maybe get involved:
- For disabled people, politics is often a matter of life or death. This has given #CripTheVote a sense of urgency you won’t find in most organizations trying to shape public policy. We don’t have the luxury of staying apathetic or uninvolved. Thanks to #CripTheVote, politicians and non-disabled voters are becoming more aware of our needs.
- #CripTheVote recognizes a broad spectrum of disabilities, both physical and mental. If you self–identify as disabled, you’ll be welcomed as part of the community. If you don’t, you’ll still be encouraged to get involved — as long as you remember that disabled people are the organization’s priority.
- While the focus of #CripTheVote is disability, its founders know the importance of the intersection between disability and other identities, such as class, race, gender, and sexual orientation. These other identities not only can interact with disability but also impact it.
- #CripTheVote is a global movement. Earlier this year, the American-founded organization spawned #CripTheVoteUK, a grassroots campaign “to make disability rights a key issue in British politics.”
- Although the 2016 and 2017 elections in the United States and Britain are over, #CripTheVote’s work is still gaining traction. Both countries’ branches are preparing the disabled community for what comes next, determined to keep increasing visibility on disability issues. Wong’s Disability Visibility Project, which works in tandem with #CripTheVote, summarizes its mission on its website this way: It is an organization that is creating, “sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.”
#CripTheVote hosts semi–regular Twitter chats, documented via livefyre’s Storify. It encourages people to engage in constructive discussion about disability through the hashtag #CripTheVote. To get involved, check out the hashtag on Twitter.
Note: SMA News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of SMA News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to spinal muscular atrophy.