Though I got rave reviews on my post about the
ADA, I followed some shares through Facebook and found a couple of haters claiming that I'd made it all about myself. Yeah, I was quite the killjoy about the ADA celebrations, but I fiercely stand by what I said - so fiercely, that I'm posting some excerpts from a full-fledged article that I wrote last year. Some of the points were included in Saturday's post, but hey - I want to make you think even more...
10 Things I Wish Were Different About the ADA
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives people with disabilities basic civil rights that are often taken for granted by others. Though far-reaching in its scope, there are a number of issues that were either poorly addressed or not considered even in the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), which was signed into law in 2008 and took effect in January, 2009. After polling some of my friends in the disability and activist communities, I created this list of things that I (and others) wish were different about the ADA. Some are controversial and some might even be covered by the ADA but are so poorly enforced that they may as well not exist. Who knows, though? Perhaps these items can be incorporated or strengthened in another amendment in the future.
That community integration was written into the ADA.
This is my number one wish. Over 2 million people with disabilities and seniors are trapped in nursing facilities against their will. Why? One reason is the outdated belief about the ability of people with disabilities living at home and in our communities. And secondly, funding for nursing facilities is federally mandated, while home and community-based services, which costs far less, is poorly funded, at best, and often cut or eliminated during budget crises. This is known as the institutional bias. A third reason is the lack of affordable, accessible, integrated housing, affordable public accessible transportation and home and community-based services and support in the area. Though the landmark 1999 Olmstead Supreme Court decision states that “unnecessary institutionalization is discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act” and calls for services to be provided in “the most integrated setting,” it was not included in the ADAAA. Hopefully that will change some day.
The ADA required taxicabs to be wheelchair accessible.
Many mid-sized and large cities here in America still do not have accessible taxicabs or livery services that are accessible to those who use wheelchairs, despite incentives in place to do so. Indeed, some cities fight tooth and nail to avoid mandating accessible taxis even in the face of clear need and demand for them.
The ADA required all movie theaters to provide captioning for deaf and hearing impaired customers.
In most cities deaf and hearing impaired people cannot enjoy a movie with hearing friends and family because there are little or no provisions for captioning. I have experienced this first-hand on many occasions with my spouse, who is hearing impaired.
Through the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), the ADA required uniform requirements for doors to be made accessible.
Unfortunately, there are no uniform guidelines for doors on public buildings to be made accessible with electronic openers due to climate differences around the country. Typical solutions such as doorbells and attendants have not always worked and disabled customers are often left in the elements staring balefully at a door they cannot physically open. If we can send a probe to Pluto, surely we should be able to figure out uniform guidelines for doors!
Read the rest of the article here.
So, what's your wish list for the ADA?