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A Day In A Life

A Day In A Life image A Day In A Life image
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Agenda Publications
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Have you ever had one of ihosc days? You arranged 24 hours in advancc lo uikc one of üie liflequippcd line buses to the grocery store, but as you sil out there waiting, it cruises past with 'tía driver staring at you? So you free wheel to the store and as you're going through the checkout lane you gel wedged in becausc the aisle is too narrow. After a lot of fuss and nonsense you're finally back home whcrc y ou find a message on your answering machine. The chairpcrson of a group you want to join is saying that il is unrealisticof you to expect the group to start meeting in accessible locations just bccause you want to bccome a member. About now it secms like a good idea to go on lion for a whilc. You choosc a trip to our nation's capital whcre you can visit places like Üic Lincoln Memorial and stecp yourself in Ihc niagnificenl words this country was foundcd on: "We hold these tiuths lo be sclf-cvidcnt that all men are created equal." You make arrangemcnts with the airline in advance. Ncvertheless when you get to the airport an altendant wants to argue that the airline can't transport clectric whcclchairs bccause the batteries are dangerous. You have to explain that your baltcrics are gel cclls and not dangerous, thal you have taken all the prccaulions that wcre required of you when youcallcd for reservations. Finally ihcy allow you to board. When you rcach D. C, and ihey return your chair, ihcy have handled il so roughly üial it lakes you several frighlening moments before you're able to gel it working again. Now comes the fun part. You arrive at your hotel whcre you have requested a room on one of Üie top floors. Tlie person at the desk looks at you wilh disdain and says, "Our only wheelchair room is on the firsl floot." Now you have 10 argue again. Il occurs lo you ihat it is none of his business ihat you can siill walk cnough to niake a barrier free room unnecccsary and ihat you didnotrcqucst a barrier free room bulyou'll teil himallof ihis anyway. After more conversation, he begrudgingly gives you ihc r(X)m you want, bul says you'll have lo wail while ihey gel il ready. He suggesLs you have a drink in ihe lounge while you wail. A drink is bcginning lo sound like a greal idea bul whenyougo üirough the door indicaled you find Üial while ihe restauranl is on yourlevel, die lounge is up six sleps. When you 're asked, "()nc fordinner?"you reply "()ne Cor a drink." The wailer ihen says "l'm sorry, bul I can't serve you a drink on ihis level. Maybe we could c;irry you up. How much does ihat ihing weigh?" You slart gelling ready lo cxplain (see LIFE, page 9) LIFE (from page 2) P.A. 220, the Michigan Civil Handicapper Civil Rights Act to him when you suddenly realize that you are not in Michigan and the protection you have there is not going to help here. Running out of fight you go back to the lobby to wait for your room. Are you tired of having those kinds of days? I know I am. That is why I am doing e verything I can to help promote the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discr imination on the basis of handicap in employment, housing, public accomodations, travel, Communications, and activities of state and local govemments. The ADA covers employers engaged in commerce who have 15 or more employees, housing providers covered by federal fair housing laws, public accomodations. transportationcompanies, thoseengaged in broadcasting or Communications, and state and local governments. And the ADA ' s enf orcement procedures include administrative remedies, a private right of action in Federal Court, monetary damages, injunctive relief, attomey's fees, and cut offs of federal funds. On Friday , July 7, a crowd of people will meet at the U-M Diag for a march ride along Liberty Street to the Federal Building. There we will drive home the importance of this civil rights legislation for people with disabilities. Speakers and performers will edúcate the public about the ADA and how it will positively affect all of us. Circle this date on your calendar now. Plan to be there with your friends, relativos and co-workers. It will require an ef fort by all of us in cities throughout the U.S. to demónstrate how the Fourth of July only means freedom for all when we're really talking about all of us!