Despite being lampooned by partisan critics as "idiotic," Harris' self-description was consistent with both a commitment to gender inclusivity and best practices for accommodating people who are visually impaired.
A video of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, making her own introduction at a gathering went viral in July 2022, prompting Republicans to mock her for appearing “idiotic.”
Harris stated at the meeting: “I am Kamala Harris. My pronouns are 'she' and 'her.' I am a woman sitting at the table wearing a blue suit.”
This video is accurate, though the mockery around it skirted the point of why she introduced herself like that in the first place. Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado tweeted:
Harris was speaking at a roundtable with disability advocates, who were discussing the impact of the Supreme Court's reversal of its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision concerning abortion rights on people with disabilities. According to the meeting transcripts, Harris said: “So, we know that all people with disabilities, of course, in the United States should have full access to reproductive care and the reproductive care they need. But these abortion restrictions that are being put in place around our country by extremist so-called leaders in various states will have a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities.”
The meeting took place on the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which enshrined the rights of people with disabilities into law.
Harris' self-description is considered a common practice to aid people who are visually impaired. According to the state-run Missouri School for the Blind, there are a number of points of etiquette that are recommended:
Introduce yourself using your name and/or position, especially if you are wearing a name badge containing this information.
Be precise and thorough when you describe people, places or things. Don't leave things out or change a description because you think it is unimportant or unpleasant.
Feel free to use visually descriptive language. Making reference to colors, patterns, designs, and shapes is perfectly acceptable.
A journalist with the 19th News pointed out that some people present at the meeting were visually impaired:
We have also previously reported on how the White House website contact form under the Biden administration uses gender-inclusive pronouns. Harris appeared to be promoting such inclusivity when she identified her own pronouns.
Harris’ introduction was thus in keeping both with a commitment to gender inclusivity and recommended methods for accommodating people with disabilities at gatherings.