Tag Archives: Insensitivity

Alternative Facts

Alternative Facts

Alternative Facts

Welcome To Our World

Earlier this week

Earlier this week


In the blog Andyticipation I wrote Andy comes to northern New York because it is much “easier” for him to travel than it is for me. The word “EASIER” was in quotation marks because it is a relative term. At 6′ 4″ 260 pounds, it is usually a disaster when I travel, but it is far from “easy” for most individuals with disabilities to travel any distance.

Andy left here August 24th around noon to return to Utah. He flew from Watertown to Philadelphia, Philadelphia to Phoenix and then finally to Salt Lake City. When he got to Phoenix there was a weather delay, so his flight was canceled until Thursday. I’m sure if you stop and think a minute it’s fairly easy to realize the tremendous inconvenience this would be for a man with quadriplegia. The airline decided to put him up in a hotel in Phoenix. Andy got into a taxi and headed for the hotel. He told me the taxi driver was going like a bat out of hell. When arriving at the hotel the taxi driver slammed on the brakes and Andy was thrown out of his chair breaking his leg. He was pretty sure his leg was broken, but it wasn’t until Thursday afternoon he was able to get to a hospital in Salt Lake City where they put on a soft cast. The cast will stay on from 4 to 6 weeks. Imagine what it will be like to be in a manual wheelchair with one leg straight out in front of you for that length of time. How do you get close to anything? Andy, however, is approaching it with his usual determination to make the best out of a bad situation.

Welcome to our world.

“Poor guy, you oughta see this guy…”

The title of this blog is a direct quote from Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday, November 24 in South Carolina which he followed with flailing arms and gestures. Below you can see the gestures of Trump as he imitated the New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s disability. Mr. Kovaleski has a chronic condition called arthrogryposis which limits the movement of his arms. If Mr Trump was unaware of the reporter’s disability, why would he say ” …you oughta SEE this guy?

As a member of the disabled community I am appalled by Mr. Trump’s callus and insensitive behavior. The lives of people with disabilities are hard enough without having a physical disability ridiculed in front of an audience of millions. In the last 25 years this country has made tremendous strides in its attitude toward individuals who are disabled. I have found in the 17 years since becoming a quadriplegic the general public’s understanding, caring and sensitivity to our situation improved dramatically. To have an individual of Mr. Trump’s status openly ridicule an individual who has a disability is a step backwards for all to see.

Rather than admit he made a mistake, which seems hard for Mr. Trump to do, a statement was posted Thanksgiving day on his Twitter account which said Trump doesn’t know the reporter personally or what he looks like and was only mocking his journalism. The New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski, “should stop using his disability to grandstand,” the statement quoted Trump as saying.

Regardless of your political views, Mr. Trump should be held accountable for his callus and arrogant behavior. At the very least Mr. Trump should apologize for his insensitivity to Mr Kovaleski specifically, the disabled community and the American public.

Serge Kovaleski

Serge Kovaleski