I got ID’d a few weeks ago and I was really surprised.
It’s been more than 25 years since I became of age to drink alcohol legally but I wasn’t buying booze; I was getting my 14-year-old daughter off the school bus.
A little surprising right but also surprisingly comforting. My daughter doesn’t communicate verbally and since our move to the new house she started a new school. New bus drivers too. Her dad usually puts her on the bus in the morning since I’m driving her little sister to school so they didn’t know me.
At first I was taken back and a smidge pissed. I was heading back up to the house to get my ID and my husband came out so they willingly gave her to them.
They told me to make sure I bring my ID next time and I was still ruffled by the exchange.
Then I saw online the other day how a Ukrainian mother had taken a sharpie and wrote on her child’s back her name, birthdate and then two phone numbers in case they were separated. This was when they were sheltering while bombs were erupting all around them and then when they evacuated their city and then their country. She had written on a few index cards and put them in her clothes but realized if something happened those items would be removed and the information lost.
Parents of kids with disabilities constantly relive trauma regularly but I can’t even imagine living this life in a warzone.
Have I spent too much time on the phone with doctors or health insurance companies working to get something approved for my daughter? Yes, but have I had to upend my life and dodge bombed out buildings to escape to somewhere safe? No.
During the ramp up of the Omicron strain of COVID I had horrible and detailed dreams of a Zombie apocalypse and having to evacuate my family with all the supplies necessary for my daughter to survive. This dream came back probably three nights in a row and a few times I just didn’t go back to sleep because I could have fallen back into that nightmare again very easily. In my dream I made meticulous lists of supplies we need and how to pack. Then other things we needed to grab before the evacuation.
Life in the Ukraine is unimaginable to me, but for the people with disabilities still there, it’s even worse. Much of the infrastructure in Ukraine is inaccessible including bomb-shelters so people with disabilities are just staying in their homes and hoping for rescue.
The Arc, which is a disability rights organization in the United States, put out a statement that they are unified with people with disabilities in Ukraine. In the statement they explained it’s “estimated 2.7 million people with disabilities live in Ukraine, including thousands living in institutions and according to news reports, a care facility for people with disabilities was bombed, leaving residents without heat, water, and electricity.”
According to AccessAbility, 82,000 Ukrainian children with disabilities are segregated in institutions and are at risk of abandonment.
It has long been a complaint in the disability community that we are not included in Emergency Planning. Even with proper planning from the government and local officials I know having supplies and medication for my daughter will be all up to me. Her medication is so specialized I can’t even be guaranteed if she ends up in the hospital that they’ll have her prescriptions on hand. If I know we are heading to the emergency room and/or a hospital stay I pack her prescriptions and her tube feeding supplies.
Here are some resources for Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities:
- Ready.gov – Get Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit
- Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs
With all that in mind, I probably shouldn’t get too frustrated if showing my ID to get my kid off the bus is the most inconvenient thing I’ve had to deal with lately, it could be a lot worse.