Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the National ADA Symposium. The annual conference brings people working in the disability field together to learn from and network with each other. I really enjoyed the conference. I hope I get to go again next year. I came back from the conference energized and excited to use what I have learned.
I have student loans to pay back from law school. Recently, my loans were, without my knowledge, transferred to a new provider. When I went to create an account with the new provider, I discovered their website has a major accessibility issue. During the account creation process, you must elect an image as a part of their security features. There was no way for me to tell what the different images showed or for me to select an image. Unable to select an image, I was unable to create an account. Unable to create an account, I can’t make payments toward my loan.
The Perkins School for the Blind is out with a survey that attempts to figure out how Americans feel about blindness. America’s Blind Spot surveyed a thousand Americans from different segments of the population, different generations, and geographic regions of the country. I’m writing this post because my experience confirms many of the survey’s unfortunate findings.
Many people without disabilities feel the need to comment that people with disabilities aren’t more included in society because we don’t show up enough. This ableist, uninformed argument demonstrates how little many people without disabilities understand life for those of us with disabilities. You have no idea how badly I wish it was as simple as showing up more often.
The Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) allows people with qualifying disabilities to establish tax-free financial accounts. I’m going to answer the questions I had about ABLE accounts when I began researching them. When I discovered what I am going to share with you, I couldn’t wait to create my own ABLE account.
I will take the questions in the order I believe makes the most sense. If you have any comments about ABLE accounts, feel free to share.