Ada Fisher: Policy changes could help people with disabilities – Salisbury Post

By Ada Fisher

The life of the late Senator Robert “Bob” Joseph Dole is a poignant reminder of the need to re-engage for the well-being of people with disabilities.

Dole and several others formed legislation for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The long name of this provision was legislation intended to establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability, which was to end denial. access to jobs, schools and transport for people with disabilities.

It all sounded good, with the changes to walkways, building exits, and the apparent convenience available to those with many of their unmet financial needs reasonably met. The pandemic highlights major issues for those with limited ability to move or who cannot afford the labor, food, clothing and devices to respond to a little more easily to their needs.

Concerns about terrorism have already hampered the availability of parking lots near buildings as disabled spaces are often too far away for people with reduced mobility. An appeal mechanism for seeking assistance would be useful for the postal service as well as for large businesses and hospitals to help customers access facilities. If people often came by car to help us get in and receive their services, this would allow people to maintain their independence in their living conditions.

The hierarchy of needs focused on food, clothing and shelter has been addressed bit by bit before, but building designs still lack what would work best. The incline of the ramps is often too steep for those who do not have motorized chairs or power assistance. Doors that open outward require too much energy to enter with a wheelchair, cane or walker while a sliding door with automatic grommet would be preferred. Crossing stairs is often difficult while special elevators would be preferable.

Often overlooked is that the disabled toilet is located at the back of the line rather than conveniently near the door. Expanding the size of the stalls to accommodate wheelchairs and increasing the space for this would limit the need for parents with children to monopolize these facilities or allow people with unisex needs to respect their privacy.

Better bathroom spacing in large hotels and public facilities is also a major need as full bladders often cannot withstand walking or rolling.

Section 14 (c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a section that was written into the 1938 Act, allows employers to pay below minimum wages to workers with disabilities. This equates to nearly 200,000 workers receiving less than the minimum hourly wage according to data from the Ministry of Labor. Unfortunately, people with disabilities have an additional problem, as many face additional needs that are not covered – help with housekeeping, additional assistive devices, etc. Tax deductions or deductions for these might help. Medicare Part H – to help with activities of daily living – should be considered.

Cars adapted to the needs of disabled drivers are often more expensive. Homes with stairs or tightly configured bathrooms and kitchens are often an adaptive nightmare. Double guardrails attached to the uprights would help negotiate the stairs. Thus, would be the elimination of humped sills to provide a smoother walking surface.

Such situations could be facilitated by tax relief to help users and builders. There is also a need for architectural design thinking on these topics, with road testing by people with disabilities through the models prior to their approval.

The pandemic highlights areas where a new look is needed in our practices affecting transport, buildings and service needs for people with disabilities. If done correctly, they would also help able-bodied people better.

Ada M. Fisher of Salisbury was a member of the North Carolina Republican National Committee from 2012-2020, was a medical director at a Fortune 500 company, served on the Rowan County Board of Education, and worked as a teacher in secondary education.


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