Some say the lack of equal rights for people with disabilities is not a civil rights issue. Not seeing the lack of equal rights as a civil rights issue is like getting caught in the rain and claiming your predicament has nothing to do with the weather. It is a civil rights issue, very much so. Anytime anyone is being denied equal rights it is a civil rights issue, and I would gladly debate this publicly with all comers as long as the debate is on the record.
While I can’t define the all of what drives this misguided view, some of it is no doubt rooted in the centuries-old belief that a person with a disability is merely an abbreviation of a human being, not the real thing. In fact, the real disability rests in the hearts and minds of those who are unable to see that the humanity in someone with a disability is whole. Managing this disability is one of the major challenges facing a movement that from here on out I will no longer refer to as The Disability Rights Movement. Instead, I will unfurl the banner to its full length and call it what it truly is, The Disability Civil Rights Movement.
I am urging everyone to grow the phrase on the banner from disability rights to disability civil rights and to do so as soon as soon as possible. After all, if the task is to help others discover people with disabilities are whole people, the least we can do is let them see the whole banner.