We should act for Americans with disabilities

30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26

disabilitiesThe 30th anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act is coming up on July 26. That is when President George H.W. Bush signed into law the act, “which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services.”

The law has allowed more people to contribute economically and intellectually to society. In 2019, 19.3 percent of persons with a disability were employed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

For whatever reason, this has been one of those issues that I’ve always had an interest in. When I was working as a librarian, I often took the ADA questions. In the main, the need to make “reasonable accommodations” has become easier with technological advances.

We need to be more accommodating

I am sure I’ve complained about how people make it difficult for those with handicapping conditions to get around, including in my neighborhood. The people who park their cars across the sidewalk, or block the crosswalk, for their own convenience tick me off. They make it difficult for people who are blind or are using wheelchairs, canes, or walkers to traverse.

A blind woman I know needed help doing her laundry recently. Usually, there are machines in the building, which she was quite capable of using. But the landlord is switching them out and the delivery of the new washers and dryers were delayed.

So I walked her pretty much kitty-corner from her house to the laundromat. The first thing I noticed was that drivers are not all that considerate of a woman walking across the street using a cane. On both legs of the trip, automobiles got WAY too close to us. She says it happens to her all of the time.

Then we go into the laundromat. I hadn’t been in one in years. back in the day, the washing machines had specific spaces for the quarters, so you can tell how much it cost. The downside happens when the laundromat owner wants to raise prices.

Now they just have slots for the quarters. But how many? The front loaders were $3.25 each, the top loaders $2.25, according to the digital display. But there would be no way for a sightless person to know that. The dryers were 25 cents for seven minutes, and the start button was whether you wanted the temperature to be high or low.

It’s good for me to experience the world in ways that help me understand what others go through.

March rambling #2: We are never Ivory Coast

Rob Ford died of a more respectable disease.

Stolen: We are all France. We are all Belgium. We are never Ivory Coast or Burkina Faso or Tunisia or Mali.

10 Safest Countries If WW3 Breaks Out
make America grate
There was no wave of compassion when addicts were hooked on crack.

From Scapegoating to Solidarity: 2016 Is the Year to Turn the Immigration Debate Around.

Weekly Sift: My racial blind spots.
Continue reading “March rambling #2: We are never Ivory Coast”

August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not

A reference to my piece about David Cassidy made it into the print version of the paper because “it was a good post, and filled with what we like: short, timely and to the point :)”

The New York Times’ prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA, which naturally leads to Glenn Greenwald killed the internet.

My Feelings About the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape in 10 GIFs.

Invisible Disabilities Day is October 24. I have this friend with rather constant neck pain, but she doesn’t LOOK sick, and therefore feels diminished by those who actually don’t believe her. Conversely, The Complexities of Giving: People with Disabilities as Help Objects.

Photos of the worldly goods of inmates at the Willard Asylum. I backed the Kickstarter for this and wrote about it a couple years ago.

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.” Often, America’s cover is quite, well – different. I had noticed this before. I don’t know that it’s “stunning,” but it IS telling.

The Peanuts gang meets The Smiths, in which This Charming Charlie masterfully blends Charles Schulz’ comics with lyrics by The Smiths. Continue reading “August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not”

The Disability QUESTION

Would it be illegal to make faux parking tickets?

The Americans with Disabilities Act turned 20 this week, as I wrote about. Let me tell you one of those disability things that really infuriated me, still infuriates me and it was five or six years ago.

A blind man was crossing the street heading for the local Bruegger’s bakery (at Madison and South Allen, for you locals). I had the sense that he’d made this trip a number of times before. But on this day, some yahoo decided to park his car across the crosswalk. I’m thinking that the driver figured that he’d “only be there a few minutes”. But the blind man was terribly disoriented walking into the car, and I was too far away from him to help. The kicker is that – lazy jerk! – there was a parking space three car lengths away.

I’ve seen other cars park there subsequently and it never fails to irritate. It’s particularly problematic when there is snow on the ground, and those folks with walkers and canes have to maneuver around these turkeys. Ditto to those people who park a second car so that it blocks the sidewalk.

I’ve actually given more than a passing thought of making up faux parking tickets to stick on their windshields, with a message, “Hey schmuck: If this were a real ticket, your inconsideration would cost you $50.”

Any of you have pet peeves regarding the way selfish folks make it more difficult for the disabled? (And the rest of us: damn car parked across the sidewalk in winter makes me slip/slide into the street!)