Friday, January 20, 2017

The Future of Our Disabled Writers

Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos is either incredibly ignorant or downright vile.  She thinks equal education for disabled students should be a state issue, not a federal one.  This comes not long after the concern over remarks Jeff Sessions (Trump's Attorney General pick) made in the year 2000.
Here is another article on the DeVos issue.

The budget cuts Trump wants to make while in office are trickling into the light.  A few of the (many) things of note include The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and privatization of National Public Radio/PBS.  Arts and culture aren't important in this new age of coal plants and corporations, regardless of how little funding they consume when compared to the entire budget.
Funding is difficult enough to secure as an artist.

Other countries are providing their own turmoil and anxiety for their disabled/neurodivergent citizens (Brexit, for example).

If there is no going back (and if things are as bad as they seem), future generations of our disabled artists might not be properly educated, much less supported in their endeavors.  Some might even be pushed away from creating altogether, something that can literally save their lives.  Students with multiple marginalizations (our children of color, our QUILTBAG kids, our Muslims, etc.) will be at an even greater risk of being left behind.

Of course, it could be a wonderful four years, though I'm beyond extremely cynical at this point.
The future generation of disabled/neurodivergent artists will always need the current generation to guide them, support them, show them it is possible to limp, roll, or walk this path.  They might need us a lot more in the next four years (please, please not eight).  Engage aspiring disabled/neurodivergent artists in discussion, become a mentor, Tweet about your favorite disabled writers or post your drawings on Facebook, buy books or art by neurodivergent people, submit to magazines or help someone else do it, volunteer with art organizations or start an after-school group, pass on information for grants.

There are a plethora of ways to support our artists, present and future, no matter what your budget or experience/activity level.  No act is worthless.

We will make it through this to a better, creative horizon.

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