Don’t Get Lost In the Weeds: Grace Tame’s Legitimate Rage, and Our Government’s Ableism

Everyone should be talking about David Pocock. On August 2, SBS reported that this independent senator wanted his first maiden speech to be signed by Auslan translator, Amanda Dolejsi. This request was denied. Dolejsi was only allowed to be broadcasted on large screens inside of the chamber.

“I understand the difference between Mandy being there in the broadcasting studio and here on the floor of the chamber, is the difference between accessibility and inclusion,” stated Pocock. 

Everyone should be also talking about Jordon Steele-John. This Greens Senator was recently denied the opportunity to become Chair of the Joint Standing Committee of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Steele-John is the only person with a physical disability that’s in our Australian Parliament. This call was made by both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party

“Right now the NDIS is failing so many people in our community. Urgent, transformative change is required,” declared Steele-John. “The only pathway we will get this change right is centering lived experience, putting disabled at the helm of reviews, and we must ensure disabled people are taking on leadership roles.”

Related: Zoe Simmons — I’m Disabled, But Here’s Why I Now Don’t Think That’s a Bad Thing

Related: Dylan Alcott Calls Out Huge Discrepancy in Prize Money for Tennis Players With Disabilities

However, almost nobody was talking about these stoies. They didn’t shake Australia, they instead got lost in the always-moving news cycle. Moreover, these stories are now getting more attention solely because Grace Tame used some legitimate but colourful language to critique the current government’s decisions. Moreover, these facts are now being sandwiched into the middle of some other less important conversations. Pocock and Steele-John have been relegated to sidelines inside of their very own stories. 

The Tame Albanese Sandwich 

I’m hesitant to report on what exactly Tame said about the current government. Not because I’m a simp for Anthony Albanese or his crew. I just think that she would have wanted her words to highlight Pocock and Steele-John’s circumstances rather than be highlighted themselves. 

However, if I were in your shoes, I’d just Google this info if it weren’t here. So, when discussing the Pocock situation, Tame Instagrammed, “Must be such a slog for these poor old, elected, ableist toffs to breathe in there, for all the privilege stifling the parliament.” She then went on to write, “What a crock of wank. The general public apologises for making any attempt to try and increase engagement with your elitist circle jerking. We’ll happily go back to ignoring your echo chamber of whitewashed white noise, if that’s what you’d prefer.”

Now, is the fact that Tame has gone after Albanese’s government the most important part of this story? Does it matter that she has had prior positive interactions with him? Because the cultural conversation is centering on these topics. That’s what’s being discussed. Meanwhile, Pocock, Dolejsi, and Steele-John have been sandwiched between Tame and Albanese. Our citizens with disabilities, that face ableism on the daily, well, they are becoming lost in the weeds.

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