Monday, July 26, 2010

Attitudes

Amazing success fueled by act of discrimination

(Thanks to D for sending me this link.)

I read this story on CNN today, and thought it would be good to share it. I was, of course, appalled by the people that would not help Talbot right after his accident -- and then appalled by some of the treatment he received once he started navigating his world in a wheelchair.

The a number of the comments underneath the story were even more appalling. Why on earth do people with visible disabilities make others so vitriolic? I am always torn on the answer. Is it because we remind them of their own frailty? Is it due to the perception that access is a zero-sum game, and if society makes so-called "special accommodations" then others are somehow being left out?

Disabilities debate rages 20 years later

Comments here confused me too. Why must someone have a visible disability to use a handicapped parking spot? I was very hesitant to get my parking tag because I do not use my wheelchair or cane every day, but I am challenged by fatigue and pain every single day. A long walk through a parking lot can very well mean the difference between being able to go out at all or stay home. My tag is between me and the BMV, and my qualifications for that tag are between me and my doctor. I keep the receipt for my tag in my wallet in case I ever have to prove to some authority figure that the tag is actually mine.

I think the ADA needs significant improvement -- it was a hell of a good start.