UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change

Bad TrumpThe last few months, I’ve read and watched more political news than I could stomach. As a result, shortcut rambling, and buzzwords on Twitter like ‘“tremendous,” “ban,” “wall” and “crooked” now linger in my own vocabulary when I sit down to write. Trying to wipe self-centered #TrumpSpeak from my mind seems futile, though, as each day brings more White House drama.

In contrast, Michelle Obama’s selfless message has always been, “Say something true,” rather than “What will make me sound smart, or witty, or powerful?” or “What does the audience want to hear?”

Instead, she would ask herself, “What is the deepest, most important truth I can tell at this particular moment?” Michelle Obama will, therefore, be remembered for always delivering an honest, frank, genuine message that stands out, has the power to move and inspire.

As blogger, writer, citizen journalist or whichever title society wants to stick to who I am and what I write these days, conceiving posts can only be done by communicating brutally honest messages. You cannot bring about transformation by using buzzwords that change meaning after a couple of weeks.

You guessed correctly, so, Donald Trump is not on my Christmas card list, and nor will he ever be. Unfairness, ignorance and baseless conjecture are my pet peeves, and it’s fair to say that we knew Trump’s language and politics would contain all of the above, but we didn’t expect it to be this bad.

As a result, I have never been so worn out by any politician in such a short time frame. More annoyingly, because I love psychology so much, I keep wanting to know more about Trump’s state of mind.

You can see the conundrum, so.

While I already have a diploma in counseling, my new pet project – studying cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) will teach me in a more detailed manner how people can change the way they feel by changing how they think. As the most researched, recognised, powerful form of psychotherapy, CBT, in fact, will help me face some of my own issues upfront like anxiety, stress, etc.

Speaking of stress, the last few months have been difficult on a personal, financial and wellbeing level. Aside from adding more trigeminal neuralgia to my daily MS symptoms over Christmas and New Year, stress found a way to my heart, literally. Result? Six medical appointments this month.

In short, I need a break from myself. The only thing that can and will lessen those stressors are advocating, focusing on others, reading, and writing. And I have done too little of everything.

disability-rightsDisability and MS advocacy is about patients’ rights, and as an expert-patient, you can bring valuable perceptions on healthcare and welfare policies to the table. In doing so, you can hold policy-makers accountable by pushing them for the realisation of policies, and not justification for delayed promises.

In my view, advocacy is also about morals, empowerment and about showing politicians that people with disabilities deserve dignity, empathy, and understanding instead of being mocked like Donald Trump did on his campaign trail.

Sadly, though, it is clear that the Irish government’s vision for people with disabilities doesn’t match its so-called need to show how perfect Ireland’s disability rights will be after the UNCRPD ratification are therefore shameful and abusive.

Once again, the UNCRPD ratification delay by Daíl Éireann’s is not OK. It is demeaning, humiliating and holding people with disabilities for ransom in a political agenda. Assuming that people will “just take” another ratification delay is abusive. We don’t need buzzwords or platitudes, we’ve had enough of them throughout the years. It is about a date, a date that will finally give people with disabilities the same rights as in other European countries.

Or, is that too much to ask?

Over the years, many extraordinary, inspiring people with disabilities have shown how they have rocked the world in their unique way. What the likes of Trump might regard as incompetence, I have seen extremely able, courageous people who have raised the bar not only for themselves but for others as well. They are living proof that having a disability is not the end of the road. There is, in fact, a whole world ahead of you.

So, while we continue to wait, it might be good to remember these strong words from Michelle Obama, “When they go low, we go high.”

We won’t give in to bullies on neither side of the fence, and we definitely won’t stoop to their level.

Ratification of the UNCRPD will happen, and when it does, we will go high.

Further reading

  1. Disability rights in Ireland, 3 years later
  2. Disability rights in Ireland
  3. Access to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  4. United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  5. The General Election- One MSer’s Perspective
  6. https://irelandms.com/2013/05/17/uncrpd/
  7. https://irelandms.com/2013/05/20/voices/

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