New Commentary Shows Trump Has a History of Disregarding Disabled People

People with disabilities have spoken out regarding Donald Trump’s treatment of disabled people as well as his use of insults like the R-word since Trump announced his intention to run for president. While some of these incidents may have seemed isolated, new commentary shows the President has a history of making ableist remarks that spans beyond his presidency.

In the ’80s, Trump reportedly told a Trump Tower architect to do away with the braille inside the building’s elevators, which were under construction.

Barbara Res, former vice president of construction for the Trump Organization, shared this anecdote in an op-ed for the New York Daily News. She said the architect told Trump removing the braille is against the law, to which Trump allegedly replied:

“Get rid of the (expletive) braille. No blind people are going to live in Trump Tower. Just do it.”

This retelling, which opens Res’ piece, adds to numerous other accounts that show a history of ignorant and discriminatory behavior from Trump.

On Tuesday, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward released a new book revealing the inner works of Trump’s White House with interviews from firsthand sources.

In an excerpt published by CNN, Woodward reported that Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded.” Trump responded to this on Twitter, accusing Woodward of making it up.

A video editor at The Washington Post tweeted videos of Trump using the R-word in the past after Trump said he’s “never used those terms on anyone.”

During his presidential campaign, Trump mocked disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski. Trump imitated his physical disability during a South Carolina rally, which was recorded. Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a joint condition that limits arm mobility.

Trump has also used the phrase “low IQ individual” multiple times in tweets. He used it to describe actor Robert De Niro after De Niro said “F— Trump” at the Tony Awards. Before that, he used it to insult California Representative Maxine Waters and reporters at The Washington Post.

During Trump’s candidacy, he was accused of calling Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin the R-word, according to the Daily Beast. Matlin, who is Deaf, responded to the claims on Twitter, calling the R-word “abhorrent” and that she’d make her voice heard by voting.

In April, Trump was criticized for ableist comments after he said the Paralympics were “tough to watch” while welcoming both Paralympians and Olympians to the White House.

“And what happened with the Paralympics was so incredible and so inspiring to me,” Trump said. “And I watched — it’s a little tough to watch too much, but I watched as much as I could. It was really fantastic, and I want to thank you.”

Photo via Twitter

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

Related to Disability

Rosie on the train in a disability reserved space.

When People Call Disability Accommodations 'Unfair'

It should be almost second nature for abled people in the U.K. There are signs and adverts; we know some spaces are meant for those of different ability levels. This could apply to any form of accessibility. I’ve had to fight for them all, only to have an able person demand they get it too. [...]
Tab Moura at the park with her children.

My Disability Isn't Your Motivational Tool

Over the last year as my health has diminished, I realized I would need a mobility aid to keep up with my life. Grocery shopping wore me out; long walks made my knees hurt and give out. Taking my kids to parks or play dates was an exhausting idea. I have three children 5 and [...]
Colfax the former service dog.

When I Tried to Train My Own Service Dog

My dog failed service dog training. There, I said it. This summer I put away my mini-goldendoodle’s “service dog in training” vest for the last time. It still stings to think about it. After over a year of training, my dog wasn’t progressing to the level of a mature service animal, or even a canine [...]
Sad girl with bird bringing hope.

Don't Forget People With Disabilities When You Talk About Suicide Prevention

It’s National Suicide Prevention Week, and everywhere people are bringing suicide out of the darkness and into the light. People are sharing stories of losing a loved one to suicide, or surviving a suicide attempt. Story by story, they are working to end the shame. That’s why it’s important to take this opportunity to talk about suicide [...]