Donna Meltzer, NACDD CEO
NACDD is proud and honored to join with millions across our nation today as we celebrate the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as president and Kamala Harris as Vice President of the United States. We hope that the day will be one of respect and safety as we honor an event that for hundreds of years has given us the opportunity to witness the “changing of the guard” and is representative of our democracy.
I have always found the pomp and circumstance of the events and activities of the inauguration thrilling and exciting regardless of the candidate or party they represent. It is a time to publicly watch democracy in action and to take stock of what Americans expect from their government leaders at all levels of service. It is a time when should all be thinking about what we ask of our government leaders to make sure that as people we have equal access to important services and systems such as education, employment, healthcare, housing, and transportation to name a few. Our government provides the backbone of this important work and every four or eight years we, the people of America, get to choose who we want to lead our government.
NACDD is proud that over the last year we worked hard to encourage more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to take part in their civic duty to vote. We hope that many more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will continue to work with their federal, state, and local governments to continue the hard work of ensuring that all systems push forward our goal of ensuring that all people have access to living their best life in the community regardless of race, religion, gender, age, cultural background, ability, or disability.
This year, of course, none of us will be in Washington, DC for in-person inaugural events. We will all watch from our homes. Hopefully, we will still be able to feel a sense of community, respect, and excitement as we watch the proceedings. Most of all I hope that as you watch, you will think about what you personally can do to continue to work toward equity for people with I/DD and how we can work collaboratively across the issues that may try to divide us, to continue to build communities that are truly accessible and welcoming to all. Enjoy your Inauguration Day!