Bush Administration and Disabled Community Cooperation

By JimBenson, published at 10 May 2007 - 8:12pm, last updated 10 years 21 weeks ago.

NPR this morning ran a piece describing the unlikely cooperation between the Bush Administration and a disabled community group that favored direct-action. The group, called ADAPT, seeks attendant care for severely disabled Americans.

The tone of the story is set by this quote.

That decision came because of a highly unlikely alliance between a group of disabled activists in wheelchairs who came to Washington trying to get themselves arrested at the White House gates -- and the Bush administration aide who ended up listening to them.

The cooperation formed between the administration and the group was a surprise to everyone involved. Not even the white house aide sent out to "deal with" the protesting group. To his credit, listening to the audio, one can hear the frustration and entrenchment of the group - a group assembled fully expecting to leave disappointed - and the calm responses of the white house aide. His main message (my words): "I can't say what we're going to do for you, because we've been ignoring you. But I'm not ignoring you now."

That kernel of honesty in their first encounter has led to some interesting cooperation.