If the meeting had been held in the basement, she would not have been able to attend.
The woman expressed her frustration during a period for questions and comments, and while those present listened, some were clearly frustrated because the meeting was going off topic. But imagine for a few seconds you are this woman and life is already difficulty because of your disability and is more difficult each day you leave your house.
The difficulties don’t stem from your poor attitude, because you are positive, despite your hardship, but they stem from the fact that each and every time you go out into the world and want to be a part of society, you have to struggle or are unable to participate because of the lack of handicap accessibility.
Yes, it has improved tremendously over the years, but as long as there are even a few places that are restrictive to those with disabilities, then improvements must continue to be made.
A disabled person should not be prevented from participating in society because the venue only caters to the able-bodied.
Likewise, while times are tough, and money is tight, it seems to me to be much easier for the able bodied to point that out, especially when they are able to come and go as they please. They don’t get dressed up for a show or an event they are excited about and then have to turn around because they cannot even enter the building, or turn around because they can enter the building but then cannot navigate inside. Can you imagine? Everyone else is getting ready to enjoy their evening and you are stuck in the corner, unable to move because of restrictions related to your disability.
But a disability should not restrict anyone if society has the ability to eliminate those restrictions.
Stephen Bartlett may be reached at email@example.com