When the Needs of the Few…

Shawn Jackson Deaf And Deaf Culture, Social Issues, Tourette Syndrome 0 Comments

…trump the needs of the many. This is a reversal and slight rewording of a common phrase used to remind the troops that the well-being of the citizens of a country weigh more than their own lives. It’s a rallying phrase that calls to mind the purpose of the Armed Forces to carry on with their gallantry and bravery to self-sacrifice, if need be, for those who sit unknowingly and perhaps worriedly, at home in relative safety. Their uniformed lives and deaths are meant to protect us all.

But what happens when the needs of the few, or the well-off, matter more than the needs of many?

Trouble looms large in this new administration. From the gutting of the Affordable Care Act and the proposal of a health care plan that doesn’t seem to help the citizens of this country to the proposed dismantling of the Department of Education, we are seriously in a time of dire straits.

Education is important in a large society, or any society, for the continuation of advancement of the populace. Advancement in areas of health, technology, awareness, infrastructure and education inevitably help lift us all out of poverty, sickness, ignorance, destitution and homelessness. It keeps us from feeding the beasts known as the prison industrial complex and the insurance cabal. But how are we to advance when health care is treated like a business meant to make the rich richer and the poor sicker? How are we to advance when education is treated like some small thing that should only be left to those of means?

Deaf individuals rely on both private and public education to become well-rounded people who can function in the hearing world as well as the deaf world. If education becomes less of a cornerstone of this country and more of a footnote, issues affecting deaf people will become even more disparate. Besides the already unequal education dollars and standards between deaf scholastic institutions and mainstream schools (re: hearing), technology may also suffer under a Trump run FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the rights that the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind had gained since the first President Bush was in office seem to already be in the throes of being stripped bare. Imagine having to now come out of pocket for a Video Relay device or service, especially when the Deaf are already unequal in income compared to our hearing counterparts. Or having to come out of pocket to have a sign language interpreter to accompany you to the doctor’s office or to the hospital where you’ll be at for perhaps more than a day. Not many in our community can afford that.

Everything from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to the Americans with Disabilities Act seem ripe for the culling. In fact, after President Trump took office, he had taken down all information for people with disabilities, including the deaf and blind, from the White House’s official website.

This also raises a specter for those of us who have Tourette Syndrome. With the proposed changes to health care, getting seen by a specialist, like a neurologist, will be expensive as all get out. Not to mention that those of us with TS also have comorbid disorders will find it even more difficult to be seen by a psychologist or therapist for OCD or any of the like. We will have to come even more out of pocket for both the insurance companies and the doctors’ visits and the pharmacies we rely on. Education comes into this at all levels: health, technology and the acquiring of special skills are all to be affected on a personal and national scale.

For those in the know, this is not news. This has been happening since before he won the Electoral College vote. His adverseness to people who are differently abled is well documented. For those who voted for him, I hope your conscience is clear. Especially if you are to be affected by any of this like we are. We… the many.


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