On ADA Anniversary, Republican Lawmakers Mock Disability Accommodation – Disability Scoop

by Michelle Diament | July 28, 2022
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at an event in February at the White House. Republicans are criticizing her use of a visual description during a meeting with disability advocates this week. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
An effort by Vice President Kamala Harris to be accommodating toward people with disabilities is sparking backlash from Republicans.
The vice president began a meeting with disability advocates this week marking the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by describing herself.
“I am Kamala Harris. My pronouns are ‘she’ and ‘her.’ I am a woman sitting at the table wearing a blue suit,” she said.
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Visual descriptions of this nature are often employed as a way to include people who are blind or visually impaired. The introduction, however, was derided by multiple GOP lawmakers.
“Just when you think it can’t get any sillier,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “The American people are caring but not generally confused by the difference between a man and a woman. Political correctness is dominating the Biden Administration.”
“But what is a woman?” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
“If you ever wonder why the left still can’t win elections despite the insanity of Trumpism, save stuff like this for reference later,” tweeted Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. “You can get mad at me, but I’m not wrong.”
Video of Harris’s introduction was also shared on Twitter by a Republican National Committee account generating a flurry of replies.
But, the American Association of People with Disabilities applauded the broadening use of visual descriptions.
“Visual descriptions are an accessibility practice for blind and low-vision people. We do them to ensure that everyone can have context that sighted people may take in visually,” the group tweeted. “We are glad to see this accessibility practice expanded in government, and hope to see more government leaders give visual self-descriptions in the future!”
Harris made the comments during a meeting with five disability advocates on the 32nd anniversary of the ADA where the group discussed reproductive health care.
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