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ADA anniversary: Your comments

By Ed O'Keefe

Some of your responses to our question: Despite progress in the last two decades, what still needs to be done when it comes to accessibility for the disabled?

Has it been 20 years? So much progress has been made, and so much is left to be done. It's still not at all a simple matter for someone who uses a wheelchair to participate fully in community life, and it seems that the non-disabled still must make a serious effort to allow disabled persons to move about freely, to live where they wish, to work without barriers. There is still huge resentment at what is seen as special privilege afforded to disabled people. Services for disabled adults are not embedded but are subject to budget constraints, leaving their families and caregivers to provide services that they've been doing for years and are still not-equipped to perform. Most of all, wheel-chair access to housing is limited: new housing with wheelchair access frequently is badly designed and overpriced, as well as being located in isolated areas. There is no serious method for landlords to remodel and re-equip their properties to fit the needs of disabled persons, and no incentive for them to do so, certainly not in the marketplace. Still there are wonderful things out there, and compared to other developed democracies we can be very proud of what's been accomplished in twenty years. Many thanks also to all the parents who went before, and all the veterans whose sacrifices allowed later generations to benefit. -- jody43jody
With medicine on the verge of regeneration techniques, it may be smarter to figure out how to help people heal from their disabilities then spend money on fancy technology that would be difficult to maintain and a massive amount of money and energy to implement across the world. Alot of technology already exists for disabled such as voice recognition. They just need to buy the technology unless they are liberals and thing they should be given the technology. -- OptionJohn
It would be helpful if discussions concerning disabilities and individual rights also addressed people living on the autism spectrum and the protections and accomodations that they should be afforded. -- STTaylorDC
It seems obvious, but its still a big, big problem for wheel chair users...snow and ice removal. In Colorado, the rule is snow must be shoveled within 24 hours. I've seen my neighbors stuck in their homes because of unshoveled sidewalks, and poorly shoveled sidewalks. People do need to consider the disabled and remember to thoroughly clean off the snow and ice. -- AnnsThought

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 26, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
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Comments

I am an advocate of many and mother of son diagnosed with a disability over ten years ago. While I am grateful that the ADA exists, the enforcement of the ADA has been minimal at best. Most with disabilities fear retaliation and little is done to support those brave individuals that take a stand against the silent, yet relentless discrimination against thousands every day. I fear that our country doesn't take care of those that need it the most. I worry that many children being diagnosed with a disability will still face many hurdles and struggles in higher education and have a career, a future. While the ADA looks good on paper, there are millions of individuals with disabilities that have been unemployed,uneducated, AND underserved for years especially by many state and local agenices. People with disabilities are the largest forgotten minority in our country. Colleges and universities fail to provide accessible classes (in person or online) so individuals with disabilities are not given the opportunity to attend college or they make it so difficult for students, that they leave... no one calls you to find out why? Our county is missing out on the many gifts and talents that people with disabilities bring to higher education and to the workplace. We would all learn so much from working with individuals with disabilities as their standards and qualities are above the norm - hard working, dedicated, motivated, accepting and ready to give their all. Why haven't we done the same? The ADA must be rigorously enforced in the courts, especially when dealing with State and local agencies as they seem to get overlooked by the Federal government. ENFORCE the ADA today or it will go away.

Posted by: monica3 | July 26, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

It has been asserted on this site that wheelchair users are not wheelchair-bound. In that case, why can't they get up out of their wheelchairs and shovel snow like everyone else? Cut the negativity and start clearing your property!

Posted by: jiji1 | July 27, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

jiji1, you obviously don't know much about people who use wheelchairs, or else you'd know that there are plenty of such people who *do* clear their own properties -- using snowblowers or other appropriate equipment.

People with disabilities aren't "bound" by their wheelchairs, any more than you're "bound" by using your car to get around instead of walking, or your dishwasher to wash your dishes instead of doing them by hand, or your computer to type your thoughts to the Post instead of paper and crayon.

Posted by: LawyerDMS | July 27, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Jiji,

I use eyeglasses. I couldn't do my work at all without them. Would you call me "eyeglass-bound?"

If not, then I'm really not sure your snark is appropriate here.

Posted by: amm72 | July 28, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

amm72, yes in the absence of a better term, you are eyeglass-bound. "Bound" is slightly funny sounding here because you can (presumably) get up and walk around without your eyeglasses, but it is something that you are completely reliant on.

LawyerDMS, get out of your wheelchair and shovel snow like a normal person. Then you will no longer be wheel-chair bound. You will still, however, be illiterate. I can't help with that, but it would be nice if you could learn some basic reading comprehension before joining the War on Sensible Language.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 28, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

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