Sometimes I come across a post that is too important for me to change any of it. This is such a post. Please read it and make your own decision. I am saddened by what has happened in our great country of America, where everybody is promised a chance at an education if they so choose, or their parents choose for them if they are too young to make the choice. I copied the whole thing word for word.
Someone posted this in a group, and I think it’s too important not to share. Of course, it’s anecdotal, and it’s just one opinion, but it’s just one great example of why many are upset and bewildered about today’s education news.
The Senate Republicans and Vice President Pence have spoken today and I heard their message loud and clear; my child’s education is not important and my heart is broken.
Meet my daughter Alice, who at 3 years old was accepted into a state funded special needs preschool on Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Her acceptance into this school has meant so many things to us; she learned how to be a peer, she learned how to cope with the stresses of school, and most importantly, she learned how to learn. In Betsy DeVos’ America, these programs are wasteful spending of our taxpayer dollars.
In Betsy DeVos’ America, the IDEA Laws that now governor her IEP in the 1st Grade are useless because she does not believe children with special needs deserve or have a right to public education.
My heart is broken for every child who is going to have to go without under Betsy DeVos.
My heart is broken for every child who is going to lose their aid and support team under Betsy DeVos.
My heart is broken for every child who’s education isn’t a priority to Betsy DeVos.
My heart is broken for my daughter, because the Senate Republicans and VP Pence spoke today, and they have declared unequivocally that her right to an education is not as important as her sister’s.
Education is not a partisan issue—it is an issue that effects every child of every color and every ethnicity and every political side. But Senate Republicans and VP Pence have decided that our kids don’t matter, MY Alice doesn’t matter.
The fight has just begun, and I know that it is so hard, but please, please don’t forget these children. Don’t forget about Alice and those like her who can’t fight for themselves; they need us, ALL of us to get through these next 4 years.
This picture was taken when Alice was 3 years old as she waited to go to class. Autism has many faces and hers is one of them.
Ashleigh KastnerI hate to sound super ignorant and uninformed, but all I can find are biased media reports that differ greatly from each side. Is there a link of actual facts that anyone knows of that I can read her plans on education?
Elisa WilloughbyWe had a meeting with Logan’s teacher today. He’s excelling in every area except reading, where he is at a level 4 when he’s “supposed” to be at a level 12 right now. He makes strides and seems to master something, then back slides for no apparent reas…See More
Brandi Jackson StiffHaving Jack, I researched her. Unfortunately she really bungled her interview with Senator Kaine. That said, I don’t think SPED kids are the ones that should be worried. We selected our house based on schools for Jack. I know there are lots of families…See More
Bonnie Jean HernOh my dear God please be with all of the special needs children that are going to be left out because of this uneducated woman that is now in the office of controlling our children’s education and she is not even qualified to do so. She herself does not have the education necessary to make these decisions. Please dear gracious God do not let our children suffer beyond which they cannot recover after this woman can no longer make decisions on what type of education they should have. I guess she wants our children to be as ill prepared for life as she is for the job that she has been entrusted. Only time will tell how much damage this woman is going to do to our children, who will be our leaders of tomorrow, because of her own lack of education.
You may be wondering what “Respect The Stripes” is all about. You may even be asking “What stripes?” The stripes I’m referring to are the stripes that are beside a parking space reserved for handicap vehicles.
There are way too many people that think that the stripes don’t matter. They are very wrong. These stripes designate where the ramp is that will allow a wheelchair, a scooter, or a walker to be able to come into a building where there is a sidewalk with a curb at the entrance to the building.
Most handicap equipped vehicles have a side entrance for the wheelchair ramp or the lift, whichever the case may be. Whenever a vehicle parks in the striped area, the handicapped person, that has a side loading vehicle, is not able to park in the handicapped spot. This is because they know that they cannot lower their ramp or lift to get their wheelchair or scooter out.
Even worse is if the handicapped person is already in the building. Say they stopped in to get a cola and a sandwich before they went to an appointment. They come out and find that they cannot even get back into their car. They are stranded so to speak. Now they are going to be late, at best, for their appointment, if they even make the appointment at all.
This is especially true if the owner, of the wrongly parked car, happens to be in a strip mall with several businesses. It’s anybody’s guess as to where the owner of the car went. The handicapped person could call the police, to come and ticket the wrongly parked car and have the car towed away. But chances are that that would take too long. So the only thing that they can do is wait for the owner of the wrongly parked car to return and move it.
Watch the video below to see what I mean. Maybe after watching the video, you can pass the word to family and friends not to park on the stripped spaces beside a handicapped parking spot. Even if it is “only for a minute”, that is 60 seconds too long for the handicapped person to have to wait.
I can give you an example of that happening in real life. Some people might say that the video was just a cartoon. Yes it was in a cartoon format, but its’ message is very real.
Yesterday my friends experienced this firsthand. They had gone to one appointment and had time (about 30 minutes) to get something to eat, before their ride would come to take them to their next appointment. They use a transportation service just for handicapped people.
My friend, that is in the wheelchair, is diabetic and was needing to get something to eat. They went to a Kentucky Fried Chicken(KFC) in Lexington, KY to eat their lunch. They were going to go to the buffet, to make sure that they would be finished eating by the time their ride arrived. When they arrived, there was a commercial vehicle blocking the handicap ramp in to KFC. My friends asked the driver to move his vehicle. The driver wouldn’t move his vehicle, he would only offer to help my friend to get his power wheelchair up the curb and into the building.
Power wheelchairs have to be handled very carefully so as not to break any of the automatic components on the chair. There are many various adaptations that can be made to power wheelchairs, depending on what the individual person needs. Needless to say, my friend can not allow anybody, that is not specially trained in moving the power wheelchairs, to move his chair.
With my friend being diabetic, he had to get something to eat or he would end up having to be rushed to the hospital. That left them no choice but to wait, and that being the case, they had to cancel their ride to his next appointment. It took the driver of the commercial vehicle 41 minutes to move his vehicle. With having to miss his next appointment, my friend now has to set up another time for the transportation service to come to take them to the new appointment that he has to make.
An official complaint against Kentucky Fried Chicken was made, when my friends got home.
I have written about this topic in other blogs before, but it is one that needs to be repeated every now and then. Obviously there are similarities and there are differences in normal people and disabled people. First off, we are all created equal and should be treated with equal respect. But there are things that have to be considered where disabled people are concerned.
The statement that disabled people just want to be treated the same as everybody else is true. But obviously there has to be treatment that is different. We want to be treated in that we want to be given an equal chance to try to do whatever job we have confidence that we can do. When you see a disabled person in a wheelchair, don’t just automatically assume that they can’t do anything for alone. There are many people, that to look at them, it would seem that they would not be able to do anything alone.
Say someone was missing a limb such as an arm. Most people would think that the person would not be able to do much of anything alone, such as get dressed, eat, or work. I have seen documentaries on people that didn’t have any arms, but they could do most everything with their feet. That included being able to drive an adapted car. I saw a video just the other day where a young lady with no legs was riding a skateboard, and doing very well. There was another video of a girl with a prosthetic leg doing gymnastics.
There was one 14 year old girl, Gabi ShuIl, who had cancer in her right knee. The cancer was removed from her upper right thigh to mid way her lower leg. The doctor’s then proceeded to reattach her lower leg, through a procedure called Rotationplasty, where they rotated her lower leg 180 degrees and reattached it to her upper thigh. Watch the video to be totally amazed.
Those were just a few examples of some amazing things that disabled people can do. Granted that there are some that would appear to be not so bad off, but they are unable to do much of anything. A friend of mine was born with arthrogryposis and cannot bend his knees, his arms, or his wrists, and can only barely bend his fingers enough to do computer work. At first glance you would think that he could do all of the above.
There are people that act as if anyone that is in a wheel chair is not only unable to do anything physically, but that they are also mentally challenged in some way. For some reason, all the people seem to be able to do is to stare at the person in the wheelchair. All I can figure is that they were not taught that it is not nice to stare at others. I don’t know about other disabled people, but I would rather someone ask me about what is wrong than to just stare at me. What I am trying to point out is that many times, looks are deceiving.
When you arrive at a store door at the same time as a disabled person in a wheelchair, at least offer to hold the door open. The disabled person may be one of those that refuses to let anyone do anything for them. But, the disabled person may be someone that doesn’t want to be a bother, but is having a difficult time trying to open the heavy store door alone. I, myself am in a wheelchair. From time to time, I have trouble opening doors. Whenever someone asks me if I need help, on those days I accept their help. On the days that I am able to open them myself, I politely say “No thank you, but I appreciate your offering, hope you have a nice day.”
Many times I have been told that, “Disabled people don’t like to be helped.” this may be true of some, but others really need the help. Before you help, be sure that what you are about to do is OK with the person that you are assisting. What you are trying to do may be hurting them and not helping them. Please understand that people with disabilities have different needs and everyone is different. What might have worked for one person may not work for another person. Most importantly, always ask before you help a disabled person.
If you come upon a disabled person who has fallen out of their wheelchair, ask these important questions and do the things below:
Is the person breathing and able to speak?
If the person is able to breathe, but not able to speak due to their limitation, then check for any injured limbs, but DO NOT MOVE ANY PERSON THAT IS NOT ABLE TO SPEAK TO YOU! CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
If the person is able to speak to you, then ask what happened and are you hurt?
If the person is not injured and is not in pain, then get some other people that also understand what the circumstance is, and tell the disabled person what you are about to do.
If you are going to move the wheelchair, or place the wheelchair back in its upright position, then identify whether or not the wheelchair is a manual chair or a power chair.
If the wheelchair is manual, then place your right hand on top of the push handle bar and your left hand on the bottom frame of the wheelchair while another person is on the other side making sure the wheelchair is stable. If you are able, attempt to lock the brakes, or put your right foot behind the rear tier. This will help you to get support and will keep the wheelchair from moving.
If the wheelchair is a power chair, then make sure the wheelchair is turned off before trying to do anything with it. Please make sure that there are no exposed wires or any broken parts that will keep the wheelchair from moving. Depending on the wheelchair model, you will have to find the frame of the wheelchair. Please understand that some power chairs have custom parts and seating. Never grab any part of the wheelchair that has a piston or actuator attached to it. Try finding a back handle of the wheelchair and the bottom of the wheelchair frame. Please be aware that power chairs are extremely heavy and may require up to six people to get the chair back upright. If the disabled person is able to be moved safely out of the chair, then do so before putting the chair back up, but always ask the person what is the best procedure to follow. If for any reason you are unsure about how to move the wheelchair or the disabled person, please contact your local emergency services . Most states will not charge to assist or take care of minor injuries. They only charge if they transport a person to the hospital. Please consult your local emergency fire department for more information.
When you are driving, please be considerate of disabled people, as well as any other people that are walking or on bicycles. Don’t stop in a crosswalk when the stoplight changes. The white lines are there to let pedestrians know where the safety zone is, not for you to stop in the middle of them, and block the wheelchair ramp, because you weren’t paying attention. Nor should you try to turn right on the red light when the white light is on, and someone is trying to cross. The white light shows that it is safe for pedestrians to cross, not for you to try to turn before they can even start to cross. The white light doesn’t stay on long enough to even get across the street as is, let alone for you to turn red because you don’t want to wait for the people to walk across the street. Just try to remember that the people crossing the street are out in the weather, whether or not it’s good, and you are in a vehicle. Also try to think how you would feel if it was you trying to cross the street and someone was stopped in the crosswalk and blocking the wheelchair ramp. Try to imagine how you would feel if you were the one in a wheelchair the next time that you don’t want to wait for a disabled person to cross.
Like the title says, we need to be more accepting and compassionate of others. This is especially true of those of us that happen to be disabled or handicapped, either from birth, from an illness, or from some sort of accident.
As those of you that have read some of my blogs may already know, I am disabled due to an illness as well as numerous orthopedic problems. For a very good summation of when the disability started, please read the blog of March 5, 2016 titled “There Is Almost Always Someone Worse Off Than You”. Below you will find a picture of what I looked like when I worked, before I lost my job for being too disabled, and having to have too many surgeries.
One of my best friends was born with a condition called arthrogryposis as well as having spina bifida. He is unable to bend his arms, his legs, or his hands, and can only slightly bend his fingers. He can move his fingers enough to do computer work. As a matter of fact, he is a genius when it comes to computers. Below is a picture of Vladimir and his girlfriend Kalin.
There is one very famous little boy, that people all over the world know, that is disabled due to an accident, and his name is Tripp Halstead. On Sept. 11, 2010, Tripp Hughes Halstead was born. He was injured by a tree limb falling out of a tree and hitting him in his head on the morning of Oct. 29, 2012. He was not expected to survive the night. I have been following him since about the first or second week after his accident. Below is a picture of Tripp before the accident. he was such a smart, sweet little boy that everywhere that he went people would come to be with him.
The next picture was right after the accident when he was in the hospital, right after his initial surgery and not expected to live. Nothing like the vivacious little boy above.
This next picture is of how Tripp used to be right after he was discharged from the hospital to finally go back home. These were his stiff and expressionless days.
The next picture is of Tripp now days. He still cannot do much more that have awesome facial expressions and try his hardest to move his arms and legs and to talk. He has come so far. It is just amazing. But he still has a long way to go. However, he is alive and he is happy most of the time. The two pictures bellow show some of his facial expressions.
Everyday he makes great strides in his alertness and his overall personality. Tripp is really a trooper. Nobody knows how much more he will progress, but he has already surpassed any expectations that anybody had after his accident. He is truly a miracle little boy. He tries so hard to talk, and his laugh is contagious. He just keeps progressing more and more everyday. Below is a picture of Trip with his Mom and Dada in a special article that was done on him. To read the complete article go to http://bit.ly/1QKBoDa
My purpose in doing this article is to point out how many different ways there are that someone can become disabled or handicapped. Society needs to stop treating us like we are third class citizens and don’t deserve to even exist on this earth. My friend has helped so many people with their computers that there is absolutely no way to keep count of them. I went back to school pulling oxygen tanks and wearing a face mask. I started work looking like the picture above. All of us handicapped or disabled people fight everyday just to be able to enjoy things that most people take for granted every day of their lives. We do matter, much to some people’s dismay.
I may be wrong in my thinking, but every time somebody treats me badly or doesn’t wait long enough for me to cross the street, because the walk sign has already changed, I wish that they would have to be in a wheelchair for a few days and see just what it’s like for us. I can almost guarantee that once someone that is so call it normal ends up in a wheelchair, they will think and act quite differently from what they currently act.
There is a story that I think about every time I hear someone talk about not being able to deal with the limitations of a disabled or handicapped person. The story goes something like this: One day a disabled veteran had finally been returned to the states after a lengthy recovery form injuries received during the war. Not wanting his parents to welcome him home just because he was their son, he called them first. He went on to describe his “best friend” that needed a place to stay until he could get back on his feet. He started out by saying that the friend had night terrors and would sometimes cry and scream out in the night. His parents said that theat was OK, and that they would let him stay in the bedroom further-est away from them so his screaming would not bother anybody. The son went on to say that he had only one arm and would need help with being fed. Once again, his parents said that there would be no problem with them helping to feed him. Then came the last straw. He told them that he had no legs and had to use the bathroom in his bed or else someone had to carry him to the bathroom and physically put him on the toilet. At that point his parents said that they could not handle that. He told their son that they were sorry, but that his friend would have to find some place else to stay, that he could not stay with them. They said that it would be hard enough for him, their son, to get used to being back home and having to deal with the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that everybody was talking about all of the returning servicemen having to deal with. At that point the son said OK, that he understood what they were saying. Just a few hours later there came a knock at the parents door. It was the local police. They told the parents that they had found a serviceman in a phone booth that had only one arm and no legs. He had blown his head off. Unfortunately the police said that the ID was that of their son. At that point the Mother passed out. She realized that the son was feeling them out asking them about accepting the friend when it was actually him that he was talking about. He did not want to be a burden on them.
Please take the story to heart. You never know when the handicap or disability may happen to a loved one or even yourself. Learn to be more accepting and compassionate to the disabled or handicapped people that you come upon.
Hailey and Flynn go everywhere together. He is her literal life-saver.
Hayley Ashmore has struggled with several conditions throughout her life, including epilepsy, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and reactive hypoglycemia. The 16-year-old often has seizures that can be extremely dangerous.
That’s where her service dog, Flynn, comes into the picture. He is essential to her well-being, and is very good at his job. Except there is one thing that happened recently that absolutely everyone should know.
She and Flynn were brought together when he was just a little puppy.
One look and you can tell, it was love at first sight.
Due to her many health conditions, Hailey needs Flynn. He has been trained to detect when one of her seizures is about to happen.
This incredible skill gives them time to find a safe place for her to be, in order to avoid hurting herself.
Unfortunately, he’s so adorable that it can often be hard to keep people away from him. Recently, while visiting her father at his office, an employee was unable to resist – and Flynn became distracted at the worst possible time.
The employee ignored the red “STOP” sign that Flynn wears and it nearly cost Hailey her life. Normally Flynn gives her a 10 minute warning, but since he had been distracted, he hadn’t given her as much time to prepare.
She fell hard to the floor and hit her head. It could have been much worse, but it also could have been avoided entirely.
Flynn is Hailey’s lifeline and without his full attention, she could be seriously injured – or worse.
Hailey was lucky this time. Now, she wants everyone to know: “Do not pet service dogs.”
“The only time somebody should ever approach Flynn and I is if I am unconscious and/or having a seizure. Besides that, nobody should try to pet or get near him. I wish people could understand that’s what the giant stop sign patch means. If somebody distracts him I can get seriously hurt. If you see a service dog in public please educate your children, your friends, your family, anybody else that they are doing a really important job. Thank you.”
This was a close one, but people need to be more educated and know to never distract a service animal. Please share Hailey and Flynn’s story and help spread the word.
To all of my readers, please keep the above experience of Hailey in mind if you are ever tempted to pet a service animal. Disabled people have these animals because they are medically necessary to aid the person in their daily lives, and to help to keep them alive. Hailey was very lucky that she only received minor abrasions to her face and forehead. This situation could have ended up in her death, if when she hit her head she had hit it in just the right spot.
I know that some people, when asked if their animal may be petted, do allow the animal to be petted with a very gentle and fast pat on the head. When the person is asked before the animal is petted, at least the person knows that the animal is going to be distracted. This allows the person to be a little more alert to their body for just a few seconds.
The problem arises if the individual is not aware of the fact that someone is being rude and petting their animal without permission. The individual has no idea that the animal is being distracted in any way, so they are confident in the fact that the animal will alert, if there is a problem, like they have been trained. But if they are being petted, there is no way that the animal is able to alert. They are not paying attention to the individual. They are paying attention to the person that is petting them.
So, please refrain from petting any service animals. If you have to do anything to let the individual know that you like their animal, simple tell them that their animal is a pretty animal, a beautiful animal, well behaved, or whatever the case may be. It could mean the individual’s life if you distract the animal in any way.
Disabled people, just by the nature of them being disabled need more time to do almost everything. When they cross a street, whether they are walking or are in a wheelchair, they need more time to get across the street. If you are in a car and are turning, please allow them to cross in front of your car completely before you turn. If by chance you get very close to them, they could be startled and fall, possibly getting hurt, or you could even get too close and hit them with your car and tip over their chair.
One time, back last year, that happened to me and my friend. We were at a corner stop light and the walk sign was on. There was a car at the light waiting to turn right on red. We started across the street and the driver just hit us. Luckily she was going slowly enough that it didn’t hurt us It did make both of our chairs lean over on just one side of wheels, and then fall back down. That was sort of scary.It all happened so fast.
She was a college student that had never been involved in an automobile accident before, and didn’t even know what to do. I always thought that the driving test included what to do in case of an automobile accident. But, I guess not.
Most disabled people are very good at using many different things to their advantage. Some are items that can be picked up, and others are things such as hills or different furniture that was meant for one thing and the disabled person uses it for something else that hardly anybody, if, anybody at all, has ever thought of.
Using a hill to your advantage is nothing new. Bicycle riders do it all the time. They use the hill to coast down so they can take a little break from having to pedal the bicycle. People in manual wheelchairs also do it a lot of the time. Sometimes it can prove to be a mistake, if the chair starts going too fast and they don’t have the power to slow it down. When this happens, many times there is an accident. You may be wondering why I am concentrating so much on going down a hill. The main reason is to bring the awareness to vehicle drivers to be on the watch at all times. Disabled people in manual wheelchairs just may be coming down that hill, that you are coming down, at the same time. After all, nobody wants to be in a motor vehicle accident.
With most corners in the city having the cutouts for easy access for wheelchairs crossing the street, it means that on one side of the street the access ramp goes down, but on the other side of the street, the ramp goes up. A person coming down the ramp may have built up enough momentum to be propelled up the ramp on the other side. If this is the case, then it will be very hard for the person to stop in the middle of the street if you decide to turn in front of them.
That very thing happened to me just the other day. I was coming down a hill, off of a bridge over railroad tracks. The hill is a fairly steep hill. My speed was moderately fast, and I knew that I would be able to make it up the cut out ramp on the other side of the street, with no problem. Someone decided to turn off of the street, going parallel to my direction of travel, and turned left, off of their street, and went directly in front of me. I almost got hit. I was going so fast that it was very hard to stop. After I stopped, it was hard to regain momentum to make it up the ramp on the other side of the street.
When you are driving, please don’t block the crosswalk. Those white lines are there for a reason. The first white line that you come to is where you are actually supposed to stop your car. The second white line(usually around four to five feet away) that you come to is the end of the protected area for. Many times, but not always, there are stripes between the two sets of lines, designating that the whole area is part of the protected area. This is the area that any person, a pedestrian, a person in a wheelchair or even a person pushing a baby in a stroller, is deemed to be safe from vehicles. Most traffic lights are not in favor of anybody in the crosswalk. The “don’t walk” flashing hand sign pops up before anyone can even make it across one lane of traffic, let alone the whole street. More times than not, the flashing hand has stopped flashing and the light is ready to change by the time that the person finally reaches the other side. Don’t be in such a hurry that you automatically drive off when the light turns green. If anybody that is crossing the street is not completely across the street by that time, you may hit them. Is it worth possibly killing someone, just to save a couple of minutes? I would surely hope not. You could be risking life in jail, just to save a couple of minutes, if you did hit and kill someone. Even if you didn’t kill them, you would probably receive a citation and/or ticket for hitting someone in a crosswalk as they were in the process of crossing.
Think about how you treat disabled people. It could be someone in your family someday, or possibly even you. If you would not want someone to cut you off, or make you open a store door that is so heavy it would almost take a strong man to do it, or try to throw something at an item on a shelf that you need, because you can’t reach it, then don’t do it to the disabled person. Granted, there are some do-it-myself people that would rather break their own arm than to let someone else do anything for them. They have to “prove” that they can do it alone, without help from anyone. To not help people, because you think every disabled person is like that, is wrong. Most disabled people that I know appreciate anything that another person does for them.
If by chance a person, in a wheelchair, on a walker, or with crutches, has fallen down, go to their aid. Ask if they are hurt, or do they just need help to get back up. If they are hurt, then call 911 immediately and remain with them until help arrives. Don’t try to move them. If they only want help to get back up, then help them to get back up. Granted there may be some that don’t want help by passersby, they want the professionals to help them. But then, there will be some, that all they need is help to get back up.
I can remember one time, when I was in a power chair that I had, before it gave up the ghost, and I was going down a hill and hit a very uneven section of sidewalk. The wheelchair went flying head over heels and landed on top of me. I was on my hands and knees with the wheelchair on my back, and I was screaming to the top of my lungs for someone to please help me. This was on a very busy street during rush hour traffic, and the weather was nice. By nice, I mean not too hot and not too cold. Many cars passed by me with their windows down, but none wouldn’t stop to help. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, four cars pulled into the parking lot of an auto parts store, just in front of me. Oddly enough, the first person out of their car was a lady, and then there were three men. My seatbelt was holding me in the chair. When the seatbelt was released, I immediately fell flat on the ground. The lady help me down, so that I wouldn’t hit the ground too hard. As it was a power chair, it took all three men to upright the chair. They put the cushion back in the chair and helped me to get back into it. I wasn’t really hurt, just a little sore from having to be on my hands and knees for so long.
My point is, if you see a disabled person that is down, please go and help them. For that fact, if you see anybody down, go and help them. Be the “Good Samaritan”, that people talk about a lot.
In my opinion, all architectural companies need to have a wheelchair bound person working for them, This person is essential for them to be able to make sure that there are at least some already built houses that are accessible. Why should a disabled person have to be put in a nursing home because they or their family is unable to afford to buy land and have an accessible home built? Why can’t it be a requirement that every new subdivision have a certain number of accessible houses that have to be built. This means accessible bathrooms with roll in showers and grab bars all around the shower and the toilet area as well as sinks at a correct height for a chair to fit underneath them. The kitchens need to have the appliances low enough for the disabled person to use them, as well as the sink being lower and having a spray hose on the faucet, cabinets and countertops need to be lower and have open space for the wheelchair at the bottom. There needs to be an automatic dishwasher. The laundry room and washer and dryer need to be accessible as well.
The washer and dryer need to have doors that open in the front with controls that are accessible from the front as well. Appliance companies need to take the wheelchair bound person into consideration when designing their appliances. Don’t get me wrong, but I just think that there needs to be accessible options for those that need them. I know that not all people are disabled, but there are many that are, and more and more becoming that way everyday.
Our population is living longer and longer with the advancements in medicine that we have today. They are also able to stay in their own homes longer for the same reason. Many medical machines that used to be available only in medical facilities as in patient recipients are available for home use today. This helps to alleviate the need for away from home admissions and treatments. There are numerous home health agencies that offer a wide variety of medical service in the home. These services can range from simple activities of daily living (ADL’s as they are commonly called), such as bathing and dressing the person to light housekeeping like doing dishes and laundry, on up to advanced skilled nursing care that may include IV’s, and wound care to doing medical treatments with machines that are now accessible for such home usage.
All of the things mentioned above need to be taken into consideration when building accessible homes. In addition, these homes also need to have wider doors to be able to accommodate hospital beds and therapy equipment. They need to have a higher power availability. There may be many different machines that are necessary, for the disabled person’s care, that will need the extra power. Along with needing more power availability, of necessity, there will have to be more power outlets to plug these machines into. No matter how many surge protectors you may have, there is a limit as to how much power is available for the house as a whole to be able to consume. Once this limit is reached spontaneous combustion may result if there is even a small spark of any kind.
In doing this post, I don’t mean to sound like all doom and gloom, I am only trying to point out as many extra accommodations that a disabled person may need as I can think of. There would be nothing worse than moving into what a person thinks is an accessible home only to find out there is not enough power to operate the necessary machines, there are not enough outlets in the room to plug in all the necessary machines, and the doors are not wide enough to allow for a hospital be to be moved into the bedroom and therefore it has to be set up in the living room or the dining room. For a person to think that they have found the perfect accessible house, only to find out that these things are not accessible, would almost make someone want to just sit down and cry.
I know many of these things because I am disabled myself. Granted I do not need extra power to my apartment, but I could stand to have some more outlets for my hospital bed, my nebulizer, my CPAP machine, the CD player, my clock and my fans, a nite lite, a lamp, to charge my cell phone, and of course for my TV, along with it’s additional machines, such as the DVD/VCR player, and the converter box. I do have surge protectors for these machines, and unplug them whenever a bad storm hits so that there is no way that lightning can strike them if they are unplugged.
At this time, I cannot think of anything else that needs to be included. If by chance I do think of anything else, I will update the post and make a special note of the updates.
I never really looked at it that way, but that is a very valid point. Only there are some drawbacks. The family couldn’t visit anytime they wanted to and the “prisoners” couldn’t spend any holidays or vacations with their family or friends. Nor could the “prisoners” go on outings to their favorite stores, go to movies, go out to restaurants, or go bowling, etc. I like my freedom, but other than that, maybe the tables need to be changed and the Medicare/.Medicaid rules apply to prisoners and the prison routine for meals, showers, and medical care apply to senior citizens. I don’t know the answer. But as a senior citizen on social security disability, I know that I feel like I’m being treated like a third class citizen, if a citizen at all. People in wheelchairs, senior or young have the worst way to go if they can even get wherever they need to go at all. There are so many barriers, such as; no “even with the street” cut outs on corners (even a 1/2 inch lip of concrete on the cut out at the corner can be an insurmountable challenge for a senior citizen in a manual chair); sidewalks that are barely wide enough for the smallest chair, if there are even sidewalks at all; utility poles in the concrete on the already narrow sidewalks; stairs into buildings and no ramps to be found in a lot of places; heavy doors that are not automatic and have no push plates for wheelchair access; restrooms that are not accessible; and the list goes on. I wish that everybody that has anything to do with structural architecture and/or street and sidewalk planning, had to be in a manual chair for 48 hours. Maybe then they would see what people in wheelchairs have to go through everyday. Since I became disabled, not a day goes by that I don’t face at least one, if not many of these obstacles. And I am not the only one. there are many many people worse off by far than what I am. I am one of the luckier ones.
It seems that there are many people that feel like senior citizens have lived their life and it’s time for the younger generation to take over. That is an understandable feeling and even an action to actually be taken in some circumstances.
There are many senior citizens that unfortunately have lost some or most of their faculties and are in need of younger people being able to take over the areas of their life that they can no longer handle. For instance, if their memory is bad and they have been diagnosed with dementia, then others need to make sure that the rent and bills are paid. If there are any appointments that have been made, then they need to be seen to, so far as taking the senior citizen to the appointment, or making arrangements for them to get there. If by chance, their situation is even worse than that, then more intervention needs to be done.
My own Mother is one of these people. When my Pop passed away in his sleep in February of 2011, my Mother went into shock. She woke up that morning, leaned over and gave Pop a good morning kiss. He was stone cold and stiff. Mama knew that he was gone, but didn’t know if he could be resuscitated, so she called 911. When the rescue squad arrived, they told my Mother that Pop had died early in the night and that they could not resuscitate him. All my Mother could do was say, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” She called my sister to let her know that Pop had passed away, and my sister arrived at my Mom and Pop’s house within minutes. She found my Mother sitting there repeating the phrase “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Since that time, my Mother has gone back and forth between my sister’s house, having her daughters checking in on my Mother when my sister has to be gone for any length of time, or staying at my older brother’s house. My Mother mainly stays with my sister, but when my sister has to be gone for any length of time, she will either take my Mother to my older brother’s house, or one of her daughters will check in on my Mother several times a day while my sister is gone. Daily, someone has to give her her bath, dress her, clean her up whenever she has accidents on herself, and fix her meals for her.
I wish that my Mother could stay with me, but, as I myself am disabled, I am not able to help with my Mother. As a matter of fact, I have friends that help me out. I have diabetic neuropathy in my extremities, asthma, diabetes, an Indiana Pouch (artificial bladder), and many other medical problems. I am able to walk some around my apartment, because there is always somewhere that I can sit down when my back and/or legs give out. Whenever I leave my apartment, I am in a manual wheelchair.
My point is that my Mother would be one of those senior citizens that has lived their life and it’s time for the younger generation to take over. My sister, her daughters, and my older brother have taken over. Even though, I too am a senior citizen that needs help, I can still do most things for myself. So I do not need the younger generation to take over for me.
Senior citizens have a hard way to go, but the disabled in general have a hard way to go too. Now to go on to the disabled in general.
The passage of the ADA was a big step for disabled people. It opened many doors to us that would otherwise have remained closed for ever. However, it wasn’t good enough. It was my understanding that only buildings that had been built before a certain year were allowed to be so call it “grandfathered in” due to their construction, the aesthetics of the building being maintained for historic reasons, and the cost involved in renovating them. I witness buildings being built to this day, that are businesses, and are not being built accessible. My question is, how in the heck are they getting by with avoiding the ADA in their construction of an inaccessible building? How are they being built without even having ramps or wide enough doors for power chairs to go through, and if by chance there are ramps and the doors are wide enough, the doors are so heavy that the majority of disabled people are not even able to open them without someone helping them. Some of these buildings do not even have accessible restrooms. But they are allowed to be built anyway.
Not only are some new buildings not ADA compliant, but roadways and sidewalks are not accessible due to serious flaws in their construction. The cutouts on the corners of the sidewalks (when there are even sidewalks to be cutout), many times are not level with the roadway where they are located. If there is even a “lip” (concrete sticking up above the roadway) as small as one half of an inch, there are many elderly people, and younger people, that do not have enough strength in their arms and upper body to get up these seemingly small “lips”. The width of many sidewalks are not able to accommodate larger power chairs. The placement of utility poles on the sidewalks makes it almost impossible for a wheelchair to pass by, so the wheelchair either has to go off of the sidewalk into the grass or into the street. There is also the issue of the height of the sidewalk when compared to how low down the ground and grass are. I am in a manual chair, and when I go off of the sidewalk into the grass, I am stuck until someone is nice enough to help me back onto the sidewalk. If by chance I ended up going off into the street, I have to hope that there will be someone kind enough to help me out of the street before I get hit by a vehicle, or to call for an ambulance,once again before I get hit by a vehicle, if I injured myself in the fall.
Last, but certainly not least, is the transportation issue. Most places do not have accessible taxi cab service for disabled people in wheelchairs. Unfortunately, the ones that do are generally not accessible 24/7/365. A disabled person will have to wait anywhere from 30 minutes up to an hour and a half, if they can even get a cab at all, to get a cab that “normal” people could get in 15 to 20 minutes. The most unbelievable part it that it is almost impossible to get a cab on a Friday or Saturday night if you are in a power chair. Luckily, I am in a manual chair that can be folded up, so I am able to get a regular cab, if the cab driver will even fold up my chair and put it in the cab. I have had a driver refuse to take me because they said that since I was in a wheelchair, that I had to get a handicap cab. I told her that my chair folded up and she told me that that didn’t matter. She told me that because I was in a wheelchair period I had to get a handicap cab. She turned around and drove off. The worst part about it was that the government is subsidizing the cab company because they were the first in the area to offer handicap cabs. It is hard to believe that the government will subsidize such discriminatory act against disabled people in wheelchairs knowing that the ADA is in force. Buses at least are equipped with two areas where the seats can be folded up and a wheelchair securement area is available for the two chairs on each bus. The only problem is when one seat is already taken and my friend and I, who are both in wheelchairs, need to get the bus. One or the other of us has to wait for the next bus. We usually take turns on who waits. He will usually make me and his girlfriend go first and he waits, but if he is the one with most of the packages from the store, then he goes first along with his girlfriend, and I wait. The main problem is when it’s raining and there are not bus shelters at all of the stops. One of us ends up drenched. Another problem with the buses is in the newer shopping malls, the builders did not think about wheelchairs when they designed the streets within the shopping center, so there are no cutouts for wheelchairs to even get to the bus stop. The bus has to stop in the middle of the intersection and put the ramp down. When there is no curb for the ramp to rest on when the bus kneels down, the incline of the ramp is very often too steep for the wheelchairs to even get up the ramp. When that happens, a supervisor has to be called to come with a special van that has a lift in it to pick up the wheelchair. If we are all three at the bus stop together, we are in a fix. Those vans only have room for one wheelchair. I’m not trying to have a woe is me article here. I am just trying to point out to those that have no idea what it is like to be in a wheelchair just what kinds of situations can arise on a daily basis.
Needless to say, when one considers all of these pitfalls, it does make some sense that the elderly would be better off in prison and the prisoners would be getting punished more by being in a nursing home and having to foot the bill. After all, they are being PUNISHED FOR COMMITTING A CRIME AGAINST SOCIETY. The only crime the elderly has committed is living a longer life than what they can take care of their self.
After reading this article, please make comments if you wish. I do read all comments that are not spam, unless they are in a language other than english. I am sorry, but I only understand english.
No, kids with special needs are not weird or odd. They have not lived long enough to get either one of those traits. Most children are sweet and innocent. Any children that are “different” are only differently abled. It is the few bad apples (that are also called bullies), so to speak, that think that and call these very special children weird or odd.
You can ask most any parent of a special child and they will tell you that their child is a blessing. God doesn’t make mistakes. He sends these very special children to just the right parents that have the extra love and understanding to appreciate these special little angels. Further more, it is a proven fact that every special child has at least one area in which they are a genius. This is true whether it be in singing, playing piano, art, math,and so on. These geniuses can actually put other people to shame when the other people are “tested so to speak” side by side. I have seen many programs attesting to this fact.
A good friend of mine is one of these special people. He was born in Moscow, Russia on July 6, 1987. On June 5, 1994 he was adopted by a couple from Chicago, Illinois. His name is Vladimir Krasvine Stafford, and he was born with arthrogryposis. This is a very rare (1 in 350,000 babies are born with it) birth defect where some or all of the joints are involved. It is not known whether or not the condition is congenital. In Vladimir’s case, his elbows, hands, fingers, knees and feet were affected. His elbows don’t bend, his hands are turned inwards in a clubbed form, his knees don’t bend, and his feet were turned inwards. At the age of 12 both of his feet had to be amputated, so Vlad now has two prosthetic legs from the knees down, and as a result is totally wheelchair bound. Most people would look at Vladimir and wonder what in the world he could possibly do? Nothing, would be their answer, and they couldn’t be further from the truth. At first glance, when you see his extremities, your first thought is that none of his extremities work. It is true that most of his extremities don’t work, but he is one of those very inspirational people, and he capitalizes on what does work. His mind is so sharp, he is a genius, and he can use his fingers in a very constructive way. He fixes computers, and has even built many of them from the bottom up, so to speak. He designs websites and hosts them for a living. Surprisingly, he does all of his own typing. He doesn’t use any kind of “speak for the computer to do the typing” kind of program either. Looking at some of the websites he has designed will make you almost lose your breath, and you will obviously see what I mean. The man is brilliant.
Watch the video, (as soon as Vlad can upload it, he is very busy with Rilex Technologies, his tech company for all kinds of computer technology services) of still shots from his childhood years and see his progression. He won many awards in school for his grades, his scholastic achievements, and his culinary skills. Yes, you read that correctly, his culinary skills. The man is a great cook and dreams of one day owning a restaurant. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he will see his dream come true some day.
If the truth be known, ALL OF US have something that could be considered “weird or odd” about us. And the older we get the more weird and odd we become to other people, because we get so set in our ways. The plain fact is that people need to be more tolerant of each other. When you come across someone that is special and different from you, just think about how you would like for others to treat you and treat the other person that same way.
I am finding this very upsetting, as will most wheelchair bound people that I know, that will fly in the future. People in wheelchairs have a hard enough time just living life everyday. But when you have to worry about your ability to fly somewhere should the need ever arise, it’s even worse.
In today’s society, anybody that is different in any way has a hard way to go. The difference doesn’t necessarily have to be in the person being handicapped. The difference may be in the person being smarter, not too good looking, short or tall, wears glasses, has hearing aids, or any other of a number of things.
For the most part, society accepts and is starting to accomodate people in wheelchairs more and more. Street corners are being redone so that the curb is even with the road(or that is what it is actually supposed to be), there are little lifts from one floor to the next floor in government buildings where there is a mezzanine, and in some churches, many buildings have had elevators put in them, businesses have installed ramps outside and threshold ramps inside between the doorways, and many communities have started providing handicap accessible transportation, via accessible buses or taxis, for wheelchair bound people.
Up until this current incident, I was under the impression that all airplanes, except for privately owned airplanes, were wheelchair accessible. This goes for commuter flights also. I started having to depend on wheelchair accessible transportation in 1995 when I first ended up in a wheelchair. There has never been a problem with accessibility before now. However, after this incident, I will be leery of all airlines except for Delta. My friend, Vladimir Stafford and I went to Seattle in 2013 to a vlogger fair there. Both of us are in wheelchairs. His wheelchair is an automatic one, and mine is foldable. Needless to say, I don’t have as much trouble since my chair can be folded up. Delta has a great system, and they are very gracious and helpful in any way necessary. They even gave us blankets when we got chilly. The attendants came by quite often to see if either of us needed anything, and were always in a cheerful mood. We were very impressed with their service.
If the person in this incident had have taken Delta, then she would not have had any problems. I don’t imagine that she will ever take American Airlines again. I sure wouldn’t, especially after how rude they were to her and then them saying that there was no way that they were going to compensate her for what happened. I hope the Better Business Bureau puts a bad mark in their record for this.
One thing is for sure, I will not even consider trying to fly on American Airlines after this incident. The way they treated this passenger was totally inacceptable. There are many other wheelchair bound people that feel the same way that I do. This incident has lost American Airlines a lot of clientele. They not only lost wheelchair bound people, but also people that support accessibility for wheelchair bound people and the families that travel with the wheelchair bound people. I am sure that they families will not take American Airlines if they think that there is a possibility that the same thing might happen to their loved one.
American Airlines shot their self in the pocketbook with this one. And their response to the passenger was unheard of for any large company like American Airlines.