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At Grammys, Stevie Wonder calls for access for disabled

Depictions of people with disabilities on television are fairly rare. And when there are disabled people on TV, they are often portrayed stereotypically, as helpless or objects of humor. So it may have been refreshing for many of our readers to witness Stevie Wonder make a brief call for disability rights during the Grammy Awards recently.

As music fans know, the 58th Annual Grammys were broadcast on Feb. 15. As CBS reports, legendary soul singer Stevie Wonder was on hand, along with the a cappella group Pentatonix, to present the award for Song of the Year.

To accommodate Wonder, who is blind, the card announcing the winner was written in braille. Before announcing the winner, Wonder gently teased Pentatonix about it, singing, “You can’t read it, you can’t read braille.”

Then Wonder became serious. “I just want to say, before saying the winner,” he said. “That we need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability.”

The Americans with Disability Act is supposed to grant disabled Americans the same opportunities in employment and participation in public life as everyone else. And it has made a big impact. But, as most disabled people in Missouri know, there is still a long way to go until reasonable accommodations are available in all aspects of society.

Disabled Missourians want to take part in life to the best of their abilities. But some people are no longer able to work, whether due to a chronic condition or a long-term but curable illness. The government provides financial relief for those in this situation in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance.

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