Let Anita Cameron tell you about the Million Gimp March taking place in Washington, DC on October 14, 2016:
We are marching in the Million Gimp March to raise awareness of the fact that Americans with disabilities have, by far, the largest unemployment rate in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, 17.6 percent of persons with a disability were employed, compared to 64.0 percent of the non-disabled population. As a result, an astounding number of people with disabilities are living at or below the poverty line. Sadly, it is safe to say, we are among the poorest people in the nation.
We are marching in the Million Gimp March because the causes behind this drastically high unemployment rate, and thus the abject poverty that follows, are largely preventable. There is an incredibly stubborn disconnect between the writers behind employment/benefits legislation and policy and those that it affects. Despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act 25 years ago, discrimination is rampant, though less direct and more difficult to prove. Despite spend-downs, buy-ins and deferment plans, there is still an incredibly wide chasm between the highest dollar a person with a disability can earn and still retain the insurance that covers their all-important Personal Attendant Services and the lowest monthly income they would need in order to pay for all the services, supports, and subsidies they lose when they pass that earlier figure.
We are marching in the Million Gimp March to prove we can. It will not be easy for us to gather 1,000,000 people, nor will it be easy for a majority of them to get themselves together to get there. But we do difficult things every day, sort of proving we would be perfect for the labor force. We’re marching to show people and to demand the changes we deserve.