I have been interested in democratic socialism for a few years. I hadn’t officially joined the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), because I wasn’t sure I wanted to join an organization where I would have to lead the charge for accessibility. Recent events have convinced me that joining DSA is now a must.
I had no interest in DSA or democratic socialism until I started following Bernie Sanders in 2015. While I was proud to support Bernie during the 2016 campaign, I wasn’t convinced I should join an organization. I was concerned about accessibility, and I wasn’t sure I agree with everything DSA supports.
In the spring of 2019, I attended a local DSA meeting. I didn’t get the feeling of inclusion I was hoping to feel. Their website, especially the calendar, had accessibility issues. Many of the meetings would not be easy for me to reach on public transit. So, I didn’t go again.
In recent weeks, I have been thinking a lot more about DSA. The 2020 election is getting more real by the day. Bernie has a better chance than I imagined he would have. I have made four donations to his campaign. But I have to give more.
A few hours ago, I joined DSA. Since there registration process has accessibility issues, I didn’t join through the plan I wanted to join under. So, I had to write them and explain what I wanted. I also volunteered to see if I can help DSA be more accessible.
After joining, I went to the Portland chapter’s website. Sadly, the event calendar is still inaccessible. I have contacted the Portland chapter and offered to help.
At this point, I’m realizing that making the world accessible is going to be a part of my life in just about everything I do. If the primary way I help DSA and Bernie is to raise the profile of accessibility and help get others with disabilities involved, I will be glad for my contributions.
It’s true that I would love to someday join an organization and be able to use my skills to focus on something other than accessibility, but that’s not where things are now. I do enjoy the work of accessibility. I want the revolution to be inclusive of those of us with disabilities. I hope I can convince DSA to accept my offer of assistance.