The New York Post ran a story yesterday on some wealthy folk from Manhattan that jump lines at places like Disney World by hiring someone with a disability to cut the line for them.
The story is here.
I’ve got to admit, I was not outraged when I read it. Like, at all.
Should I be? Hmm. I don’t know.
My knee jerk reaction was just that it’s all simply about economics, supply and demand. The rich people don’t want to wait in line and they see a good deal, one that costs a lot less than Disney’s deal. The person with a disability (PWD) wants to make some money and is using something they have.
Is it wrong to cut in line by pretending you are all together when you are really strangers?
Is it wrong for people with disabilities to be actively faced with stupendous discrimination in trying to find and keep a job?
And is it wrong for people with disabilities to have to choose between health benefits and a life of borderline poverty or the insecurity of a job and possible death if they leave it? (see Why I Burned My Book for more on this).
Yes, and yes.
Those being “yes” answers, a system is in place right now whereby PWD are not going to win, any which way you slice the cake.
I’m not bothered by a PWD being hired to pretend they are a family member. In fact, I’m glad someone got a job using something they have. I’m glad they get to make $1,000 a day, most likely in cash, and have some money to move beyond the poverty line (if they are on SSI). And if they aren’t, I’m still glad they are making some money! Moreover, I’m glad they get to ride fun rides all day, if they like that kind of thing!
This would be a different story though if it were someone impersonating a person with a disability, or if we had system that didn’t actually penalize a person with a disability for working, or an employment setting that didn’t make it almost impossible for some people to get a job in the first place.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.