Kamala Harris describes herself aloud for disabled people
The White House
There are many things which have left right-wing Americans angry and frustrated in recent weeks - not that that’s difficult to achieve.
There’s the concept of abortion, appropriate gun controls following the devastating mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and vice president Kamala Harris describing what clothes she’s wearing.
What was actually going on was that the Democrat was hosting a roundtable discussion about access to reproductive healthcare with disability rights advocates - 32 years to the day that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law.
Similar to the UK’s Equality Act, the ADA prohibits discrimination towards a disabled person in settings such as the workplace, healthcare, transport and state and local government.
Introducing herself to those in attendance, the vice president said: “I want to welcome these leaders for coming in to have this very important discussion about some of the most pressing issues of our time.
“I am Kamala Harris, my pronouns are she/her [and] I am a woman sitting at the table wearing a blue suit.”
While Vice President Harris giving her pronouns was to be inclusive for trans and non-binary people, the visual description was for the benefit of blind and visually impaired people – as disabled activists and commentators soon pointed out online:
\u201cYou know, the republicans attacking people for being accessible leaves a real taste in my mouth. \n\nIt\u2019s the 32nd anniversary of the ADA and this is a disgraceful show of disrespect for disabled people and our needs\u201d
— Dame Elsa, Order of the Bat (@Dame Elsa, Order of the Bat)
\u201cVice President Kamala Harris introduced herself with her pronouns and a physical description in an effort to accommodate the blind and visually impaired participating in today's roundtable with disability advocates-- a move the RNC is mocking her for: https://t.co/SG9UlEJHZb\u201d
\u201cThe people mocking Kamala Harris for that video clip in which she gives her pronouns and her visual description to a meeting being attended by blind and visually impaired people really are telling us much more about themselves than they are about Kamala Harris.\u201d
\u201cKamala Harris dares to be respectful and courteous by giving her pronounce and a description of her outfit to a group of disability leaders some of which include blind and visually impaired people\u2026 and the Right loses its mind.\u201d
\u201cOn the 32nd anniversary of the ADA, @GOP thought it was a good idea to mock @VP for providing a visual description for people who are blind or have low vision. Keeping it classy, as always. #ADA32\u201d
However, such a respectable gesture from the Democrat has upset the right and those for whom accuracy is unimportant.
Republican congresswoman Lauren Boebert tweeted: “This is what happens when your speechwriter quits and you hang around with Geriatric Joe too long.”
“I don’t understand why she’s saying this. Is this a new woke thing, or what,” asked Hunter Jackson Alford, a Republican candidate for Texas, in a TikTok video.
A third account concluded: “After today’s ‘blue suit’ comment, I have no doubt that Kamala is the most incompetent VP in American history. This administration is a case study in incompetence.”
No, we can’t believe what we’re reading either.
\u201cVisual self-description should briefly give others a sense of what you look like. At AAPD, when we do visual self-descriptions, we usually include our gender and race, hair, the color of one's clothing, and any distinguishing features (glasses, signature earrings, etc).\u201d
At the very least, we can hope that Vice President Harris’ visual description encourages others to be more inclusive of disabled people – the American Association of People with Disabilities wrote on Twitter that it was “glad to see this accessibility practice expanded in government”.
“[We] hope to see more government leaders give visual descriptions in the future,” it said.
We couldn’t agree more.
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.