When I started college at the University of Miami in 1985, Student Disability Services had never before accommodated someone in a wheelchair. There were no accessible rooms or campus facilities. The bathrooms barely fit my chair and I couldn’t close the door behind me. In fact, I had to roll from classes all the way back to my dorm room to use the bathroom.
You know what’s sad about the disabled community? We’re okay with the bottom of the barrel representation we get in congress with the bare minimum in benefits. We’re told to be grateful for the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA) because we are “lucky” to have them.
To some people, this may not seem like a big deal. What’s the problem with being allowed to bring one of your best friends with you everywhere? Unfortunately, it’s a huge problem. Every legitimate service animal has been evaluated, and will continue to be evaluated to make sure that it is suitable to be out in public where you may experience large crowds, loud noises, and a huge list of distractions. A lot of average pets can be easily scared by many of those things, which can also mean aggression and violent behavior. That is not safe at all for the public, and especially not safe for service animals.
It is inevitable that everyone in their lifetime will get sick, old and in need of healthcare. The fact that we have private health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies profiting off of our illnesses is outrageous. Insurance is supposed to be for things that MIGHT happen. With 100% certainty, every American will get sick and old. There is no might about it. But as long as we have big money in politics with big pharma and the private health insurance lobby being in the pocket of our politicians, we will never see the end of corporations profiting from the most vulnerable among us.
When you actually know what your rights are you can ensure you don’t allow someone to trample over them. Educate yourself, demand change, and don’t be afraid to speak up against discrimination…for you and everyone succeeding you.
There will always be those people that are awkward with the fact I’m a quadriplegic. I don’t mind that at all. What do I not like? The people who try to tell me their occasional gout is just as debilitating and requires disabled parking and government assistance.