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Top 10 Disability Events Of 2016

2016 is coming to an end and in our annual look back, check out the Top Ten Disability Events in 2016. Share it today and find out if your personal disappointment for the past year made the list! [SPOiLIER ALERT: If it is Prince or Bowie - it did]

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As we prepare for the arrival of the baby New year and the (long awaited) departure of Old Man 2016, here are some of our top events affecting disability in 2016. We even made the numbers go backwards so you’d have something to look forward to in 2017.

10. Donald Trump Elected President -


Without a doubt the event that will have the most significant impact on the disability community is the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Individuals with disabilities have now had the experience of being mocked openly by the President Elect on national television.

9. Labor Overtime Rule

DoL has ruled that people with disabilities who have personal assistants must pay them overtime. For many, not being able to “afford” these services makes the difference of whether they can live independently at all.

8. #DisabilityTooWhite

Vilissa Thompson / Via

This year on Twitter and the Huffington Post, disability activists of color led by Vilissa Thompson (@RampYourVoice) demanded that real inclusion also include issues related to race and challenged disability leaders to truthfully practice intersectionality.

7. Cancer Moonshot

People with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, and less likely to have access to early screenings, therefore Cancer is a real issue. Because of this, President Obama’s Cancer Moonshot led by VPOTUS Biden is a significant marker in disability policy for 2016.

View this video on YouTube

6. Epi Pens

First some d-bag decided to raise the price of epi pens by 300%. People were mad. Hearings were held. It was decided that the pharmaceutical company was made of d-bags. A new cheaper epi pen was invented. People questions why the solution happened.

5. Speechless

Even in a year where the Paralympics were aired for the entire world, the disability television event of 2016 is without doubts the ABC television show, Speechless.

View this video on YouTube / Via ABC

View this video on YouTube / Via ABC

4. Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty

Texas decided to make a rule on if people with intellectual disabilites could be tried in court. The standard they used? An 80 year old work of fiction by a failed applicant to the CIA.

3. Education Loan Forgiveness and Disability

Last year, the President let young people pay off their educational loans and promoted a Student Aid Bill of Rights. One of the key parts of that was that students with permanent disabilities are eligible to have their student loans completely discharged.

2. The Killing of People with Disabilities in Japan

Forbes / Via

A caregiver at a group home for in Sagamihara, Japan went on a killing spree, July 26, 2016, slashing to death 19 people with various disabilities. Twenty-six people were wounded, 13 of them critically. The killer calmly turned himself in to police saying, “All the handicapped should disappear.” The lack of coverage from mainstream media (and social media), especially as compared to other mass killing events drew the attention and ire of the US disability community. The story stands as an example of the erasure of people with disabilities, even from their own deaths, and the ongoing ambivalence toward these kind of killings, and in truth most other violence targeting people with disabilities.

Honorable Mention

When House Democrats held a sit-in in June demanding votes on gun control following the mass shooting in Orlando, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth participated in the sit-in, getting out of her chair and on to the floor with everyone else. But what makes her particularly “badass” and gets her the honorable mention was the smuggling in of a cell phone…in her prosthetic leg!

1. In Memoriam

Chris Barker / Via Twitter: @christhebarker

Normally this is where we would list the important figures lost for the year that had a significant impact on disability, or espoused the values of the community. As 2016 has been incredibly harsh, we at the Lead On Update are reminded of the words of Carrie Fisher whom we also lost this year.

“No motive is pure. No one is good or bad, but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.”

Is there something you think should have been on the Disability Top 10? Visit the whole list at OR Let us know in the comments or Tweet us @leadonupdate!

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