To Donald Trump, From a First-Time Voter With a Disability

Dear Mr. Trump,

I want to first take the time to introduce myself, and to give you a little background on where I’m coming from. My name is Brooks Fitts, and I’m a 19-year-old from Raleigh, North Carolina.

North Carolina is shaping up to be a battleground state this year, and its electoral votes could make or break a candidate. This upcoming presidential election will be my first time voting, and as I cast my ballot, I will have one very distinct image on my mind. The image of you mocking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski for his disability, and then refusing to apologize for it.

I was born with cerebral palsy, a disability which makes my hamstrings tight, and causes me to walk with a slight limp. Growing up with cerebral palsy was hard, as I often felt like the outsider and was frequently cast aside because of my differences.

However, I’ve grown to be thankful for my cerebral palsy. Not because it has made it harder to walk, but because it’s helped build my character. In a world where emphasis is too often placed on the physical, my cerebral palsy has taught me it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters.

So when you were up on stage and mocked Mr. Kovaleski for his disability, you mocked me. You not only mocked me, you mocked the nearly 53 million Americans who live with a disability. Americans who make contributions, Americans who love their country, and Americans who will show up to the polls this November.

I am writing this letter to you on behalf of every American who lives with a disability, and requesting an apology. Regardless of whether you apologize for what you did or not, I hope you at least recognize that your actions were wrong. You are running to be the President of every American — those with disabilities, and those without.

I would encourage you to spend a day with someone who lives with a disability. You might just learn something about character, grit, and true determination. More than anything though, it might just make you think twice before you go up on stage and mock us for something we have no control over.

Brooks Fitts

This article originally appeared on

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Disability

Restroom sign.

When I Overheard a Stranger Say 'Let's Pretend I'm Disabled'

To the woman next to me in line, First, I want to apologize to you, only a little bit, for my mother bluntly asking you if you had been rude to me. She saw my face of shock and anger, so “Mama Bear” came out. No, you weren’t rude to me directly. In fact you [...]
Woman in a wheelchair using a computer.

How the Internet Has Helped Me as a Person With a Disability

It’s no secret that the Internet has enabled our society to be more plugged in and connected with people than ever before. We may know what our friends, family, and significant others are doing at all times, and we can easily reach them in a number of ways should we need to: Facebook, text messages, [...]
Girl holding food tray in school cafeteria.

7 Things I Wish Students Understood About Their Peers in Special Education

With summer coming to an end and department stores filling up with back-to-school supplies, I can’t help but feel a little bit of “Fall Fever.” Working in special education, each new school year is a complete mystery. However, there are a few things that never seem to change — even though I wish they would. [...]
Vote button.

In Case You Forgot: People With Disabilities Have the Right to Vote

I work in a field that can best be described as social work for adults with developmental disabilities, although I am not a fully-fledged social worker.  Still, it’s the easiest explanation I can give when somebody asks me what I do for a living. My responsibilities range from making referrals to direct support agencies, to quality assurance [...]