I do not consider my disability a ‘special request.’
April 5, 2019 7:47 AM   Subscribe

"Accessibility is more than whether a door frame is wide enough for a wheelchair. It’s equally about the hospitality diners with disabilities receive when they come in for a meal, including whether employees are nimble in accommodating them so they can have the same experience as other diners. One in four U.S. adults—61 million people—have a disability that impacts major life activities, according to a 2018 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The most common disability type, mobility, affects one in seven adults."
posted by everybody had matching towels (41 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
Okay yes this article is DC-focused but I think the themes are pretty universal, especially the Best Practices part at the end.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:48 AM on April 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


Clearing a path for people with special needs clears a path for everyone (I understand this comic uses the unfavorable language in question, but I do think the idea is worth spreading )
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:56 AM on April 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


So i was just reading somewhere on twitter where an organizer/activist was comitting not to share information about events unless those notices included accessibility information for would-be attendants. I dont blame the restaurant owner for not installing an elevator where the code didnt require it - the industry has such abysmal margins in general id take him at his word that the added cost and lost floor space would ahve made it prohibitive, but i DO think it sends a fucked up message to host an event in a space you know is inaccessible. That didnt seem like the most egregious part of this story but it jumped out at me - how could you host an event with an open invite in a space you knew some people could not enter?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:00 AM on April 5, 2019 [9 favorites]


Oh man, Red Bear! I just went there recently, and I'm not really a beer nut but I found it welcoming on multiple fronts and would totally go back. Glad to hear they explicitly built their space with openness and accessibility in mind.

And I totally agree, Exceptional_Hubris. It can be challenging to plan events in DC, where everything is even more expensive than in other places, but it's amazing how many events are planned in second floors up rickety, narrow staircases.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 8:10 AM on April 5, 2019


“Basic accessibility for people with disabilities has now been required for more than 20 years,” she wrote. “I do not consider my disability a ‘special request.’”

This. The ADA passed in 1990, and gave a twenty year period to bring everything into compliance. That's now nine years overdue, and honestly not getting a lot better.

Also,

“We would have lost a lot of space and we wouldn’t have been able to make what we needed to pay the rent.”

If your business depends on continuing to exclude people with disabilities to be "successful", then I don't think it's all that successful.

I'm in the liminal space of mobility disabilities. I can walk with a cane. I can climb some stairs, but I avoid it whenever possible because it's really hard on me. There are a lot of places that have an upstairs or downstairs that I just can't get to because there are too many steps and I will hurt too much later. And I have it easy, because a few steps in is something I can do. My friends who use chairs or scooters can't do that, and often end up functionally excluded from public life. It's the constant "oh well not everything has to be accessible, find something else" and then the next place you find says the same thing, and the next one, and the next one, and you end up staying home because it's too much to deal with the constant ableism of the built environment and people treating you like your existence is a problem for them.

I want to say that the future is accessible, but I'm not holding my breath.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:14 AM on April 5, 2019 [40 favorites]


I am acutely aware of how challenging event planning can be - a space a political org im involved with uses on a regular/rotating basis is otherwise completely awesome and i feel great supporting them when we collect cash to pay for our space use . . . EXCEPT its on the upper floors of an older bushwick building with no elevator.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:15 AM on April 5, 2019


Clearing a path for people with special needs clears a path for everyone

I like this bit from the article:

“You’re either going to get in a horrible car accident or age into disability,” Arias says. “I hate to be that real with people, but that’s the truth. It’s not like disability is never going to touch you because, surprise, it is. Then you’re going to be like, ‘Holy shit, I should have cared more about accessibility.’”
posted by ryanshepard at 8:18 AM on April 5, 2019 [38 favorites]


I do wonder (which means someone hopefully tried it somewhere) if public subsidies for retrofitting public commercial spaces with elevators would speed or encourage installation.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:19 AM on April 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Often it's the little things that trip you up - one or two stairs. My org takes accessibility seriously and we've had to move events or tear the event planning companies a new one quite a few times, because they treat "wheelchair accessible" as just another point to tick until they realise it's something that can get their contract cancelled. You literally can't trust venues until you check them out yourself.

On the other hand, as I recently learned, this 1955 stair-ridden monstrosity is now wheelchair-accessible despite being a listed building, via a glass elevator by the front steps, a wheelchair lift in the inner doors and discreet ramps and electric doors in an inner courtyard. If you can make a Stalinist triumphalist fortress accessible, there are few excuses left.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 8:38 AM on April 5, 2019 [12 favorites]


TFA is open in another tab ready for me to read, but I'm instantly reminded of a boy in my high school class. Well, he should have been in my class, but he used a wheelchair full-time.

It was a rural K-12 in one building, with grades 7-12 housed in the 1911 and 1937 wings and K-6 in the 1962 wing. You've probably guessed by now that only the 1962 wing was wheelchair accessible.

They had seven years to come up with a plan, but when he graduated from grade 6, the school board decided it was cheaper and easier to pay out-of-district tuition and transportation to bus him to school in the county seat an hour away than it would be to install an elevator and a few ramps.

So, he didn't get to go to school with his lifelong friends, and it was difficult to socialize with his new classmates outside of school because of the distance.

Partway through our senior year, they had to do some other kinds of renovations to the building and installed the elevator and ramps while they were at it. They offered him the choice to come back and graduate there, but by that time he had settled in at the other school with new friends and there wasn't much point. I mean, it's not like it ruined his life or anything remotely like that, but it just ticks me off whenever I remember it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:52 AM on April 5, 2019 [18 favorites]


Other local diners with disabilities report interactions with restaurant employees that range from disappointing—not receiving any eye contact—to egregious—staffers calling them a “fire hazard” or a “liability.”

Accessibility is more than whether a door frame is wide enough for a wheelchair. It’s equally about the hospitality diners with disabilities receive when they come in for a meal, including whether employees are nimble in accommodating them so they can have the same experience as other diners.


Unfortunately discussions around accessibility start and stop around level access for wheelchair users, but it needs to go way beyond that. And it has nothing to do with staff being "nimble" about it. It actually has to do with proper training for staff. Under Ontario's legislation, accessible customer service training is mandatory, but it's poorly enforced and of uneven quality. That said, it's an important piece of the puzzle in making a business or organization accessible that goes beyond the clueless "ramps/elevators and that's all" approach to accessibility.

Protip: Generally speaking, the minute someone starts in with "special needs" terminology is the precise moment at which you know that, in all likelihood, they don't know a goddamn thing about accessibility.

If you can make a Stalinist triumphalist fortress accessible, there are few excuses left.

Heh. As part of preparations for the 2004 Athens Olympic and Paralympic games, they made the frigging Acropolis accessible.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:55 AM on April 5, 2019 [28 favorites]


A 2018 American Institutes for Research study found that people with disabilities have disposable income totaling $490 billion.
The only recourse is to file a complaint with the Department of Justice and incur legal fees or file a complaint with the DC Office of Human Rights for free.


Hmmm - just an idea, but wouldn't a members-based association (or charitable foundation) be able to hire legal staff that could do this on a full-time basis? (And/or work with local lawyers on pro-bono?)

There is AAPD, but it only seems to be for general advocacy - maybe something more in line with the "Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)"?
posted by jkaczor at 9:00 AM on April 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


They just built a new grocery store under the mall near where I change buses. It is down about 6 steps from the mall, and is nominally accessible, because it has one of those tiny single person elevators to go down those stairs. A tiny, single person elevator that can only be operated by pushing a button and waiting for the employee at the take-out counter to be free and come over and operate it on your behalf. It's a brand new elevator, built in 2018 -- did it really require assistance to operate? If you can push a button to summon help, can't you push a button to make an elevator go down? It just seems ridiculous to me.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:01 AM on April 5, 2019 [12 favorites]


A 2018 American Institutes for Research study found that people with disabilities have disposable income totaling $490 billion.

Really? Most of the people I know with substantial disabilities live in poverty, on government benefits. I am guessing that there are a few quite wealthy people with disabilities throwing this number off. If not, I'd like a larger cut and I'm sure my clients would too.
posted by bile and syntax at 9:09 AM on April 5, 2019 [5 favorites]


Really? Most of the people I know with substantial disabilities live in poverty, on government benefits.

$490 billion / 61 million = $8032
posted by aubilenon at 9:23 AM on April 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


It is down about 6 steps from the mall, and is nominally accessible, because it has one of those tiny single person elevators to go down those stairs. A tiny, single person elevator that can only be operated by pushing a button and waiting for the employee at the take-out counter to be free and come over and operate it on your behalf. It's a brand new elevator, built in 2018 -- did it really require assistance to operate?

I'll bet they designed it that way to prevent kids from joy-riding the elevator. Because that's, y'know, more important than not making people with mobility challenges artificially dependent on others for their mobility. *sigh*
posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:38 AM on April 5, 2019 [5 favorites]


pushing a button and waiting for the employee at the take-out counter to be free and come over and operate it on your behalf.

Just to make it absolutely clear, because this sometimes has to be shouted in bold:
"Let us know when you get here and someone will help you" is not accessibility. It is fucking demeaning.
posted by Etrigan at 9:45 AM on April 5, 2019 [38 favorites]


Hmmm - just an idea, but wouldn't a members-based association (or charitable foundation) be able to hire legal staff that could do this on a full-time basis? (And/or work with local lawyers on pro-bono?)

Yes.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:51 AM on April 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


"Let us know when you get here and someone will help you" is not accessibility. It is fucking demeaning.

Just to add to that, "access to facilities, goods, and services at the same time and in the same place as everyone else" is one of the stock phrases used by accessibility experts to explain how it should work.

Hmmm - just an idea, but wouldn't a members-based association (or charitable foundation) be able to hire legal staff that could do this on a full-time basis?

This not a real solution for the following reason: it assumes that enforcement of accessibility legislation is the obligation of private citizens to go out and DIY it. There's nothing wrong with advocacy and/or lobbying, but enforcement should be a government function, full stop. Getting there, on the other hand, is a different matter to be sure, but making it "charitable" kind of assumes that basic human rights are an optional proposition.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:59 AM on April 5, 2019 [7 favorites]


Thanks Little Dawn, I was searching to see if I could find or link to something relevant (I would be more concerned if there wasn't one at all), but didn't turn up much.
posted by jkaczor at 10:07 AM on April 5, 2019


but making it "charitable" kind of assumes that basic human rights are an optional proposition

Bad choice of words on my part, I meant: "non-profit" organization.

enforcement should be a government function

Agreed - but... until the next regime change? It's not like governments have been reliable, "sane" or long-term-stable for awhile. (And, I am not singling out the US here either)
posted by jkaczor at 10:15 AM on April 5, 2019


Agreed - but... until the next regime change? It's not like governments have been reliable, "sane" or long-term-stable for awhile. (And, I am not singling out the US here either)

Oh, they need to exist for that reason - no argument there.

Standards-based legislation (Manitoba's overview of standards-based regimes around the world is pretty good and - more importantly - what's done with it once it's in place - is the key. Enforcement of various titles under the ADA comes down to there being some sort of complaint about it, and then the relevant entity (DOJ, HHS, FCC, etc., depending on the title) taking enforcement action.

Ontario's accessibility legislation, the AODA, requires the filing of compliance reports, and gives an arm of the provincial government the power to audit organizations that fail to comply so it's a more proactive level of enforcement. Or, at least, it is in theory. The reality of that enforcement, particularly against private-sector organizations, is quite different, and rather toothless at the present time (source: I'm married to someone who had input into the original drafting of one of the regulations under the AODA back in the mid-aughts and we've closely watched its implementation and enforcement - or lack thereof - in the intervening years).

So to your point, the existence of not-for-profit legal clinics and advocacy groups is definitely very necessary because there's a looooong way to go even in jurisdictions where reasonably good (on paper) standards-based accessibility legislation exists.

tl;dr: *screams into a pillow*
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:31 AM on April 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


We need to make sure our electeds spend time outside of cars, with people with disabilities if they don't have disabilities themselves (right now, anyway). Yesterday, some of the candidates in Denver's upcoming city council and mayoral elections took part in a race designed to encourage accessible thinking: Amazing Mobility Race story from Denverite.

Pay some goddamn attention, people who are responsible for making this shit work. Listen to people telling you about their experiences getting around the world, and if you don't have anyone telling you these things, find some people who will. It's easier than it's ever been to educate ourselves. In conclusion, here's a Twitter thread full of horrible sidewalks.

I've never posted restaurant/bar/etc. reviews online, but I'm thinking that I should start, and try to do it with an eye to accessibility (rather than, say, whether the service was obsequious enough or whatever usually seems to be the thing with online reviews.) Not sure what the most useful site for reviews would be nowadays.
posted by asperity at 10:46 AM on April 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


I don't have much to say about this subject any more: My personal issues with restaurant accessibility have been more-or-less solved by some well enforced regulation in the UK over the past couple of decades. It hasn't worked out as well for everybody, but in my selfish personal case it's great, I no longer have that sense of dread when exploring new places to eat and just waiting for something to go wrong.

The irony is that there's still a perception that disability regulation is expensive and awkward red tape that puts businesses out of business, when in this case the regulations have reduced their liabilities by giving them firmer definitions of what they need do to legally discharge their responsibility, while (theoretically) enforcing the same standards equally on their competition. I think that additional, well judged regulation is probably more economic (and way less abusive to customers) than waiting for the next disability rights lawsuit.
posted by Eleven at 10:47 AM on April 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


It may be specific to San Francisco, the state of California, or the US, hard for me to say. But I spent the better part of the last year with a severe physical disability (loss of use of one lower limb). And I was FUCKING APPALLED at how much people aren't just inconvenienced by your disability, but actually don't give a shit about it and are happy to help themselves to resources reserved for the disabled. I'm looking at you, assholes that park in disabled parking spots without an actual disability. May you burn in a thousand hells.

Down at my local Safeway there's a big theft problem so the SFPD has pretty much permanently assigned an officer to the front door. I've talked to a number of them and although they have the authority and mandate to write an $800 ticket to the people who do it EVERY DAY there, I never have seen them even be troubled to look. Nobody enforces shit.

/open new tab to figure out where I can go to help advocate for disabled rights

Man this galls me.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:53 AM on April 5, 2019 [13 favorites]


I'm in the same straits as bile and syntax, but a bit less workable - climbing a flight of stairs (in the NY subway as I had to do this morning) is pretty draining to me, as I have to take it one step at a time.

Then when I went to get lunch, someone had turned off the up escalator (we need a fucking escalator to get to the elevator bank) and had to go to the Disabled Elevator To The Lobby, which you need to call the security desk to get it turned on, so you have to hope that the person at the desk is paying attention or not dealing with a problem. So there I am with my soup rapidly cooling and waiting for them to let me use the elevator, and I'm not hanging up (I can't do the stairs up there, with a cane on one hand and my lunch in the other)... and then it gets picked up and hung up. So I hang up and I call again. This happens twice more, until someone picks up the phone and says, "what do you want?"

"...the disabled elevator, which you need to turn on?"

A grunt, and then it comes on.

But this is kind of a normal day. A few months back they put up a note they were going to do escalator AND elevator maintenance for the ground floor access all at the same time, for a week. There was an impromptu disabled rights protest in the building office (and while I was livid, the gentleman who uses a wheelchair was yelling at the top of his lungs).

(Earlier this week someone complained about me carrying my bag while standing (yes, I was left standing in the NY subway from 34th Street to Chambers Street on the C train), and I said, "One hand is holding this upright so I don't go flying, one hand holding my cane so I don't fall down, what should I do, hang it off my dick?" and somehow I was the asshole.)
posted by mephron at 11:23 AM on April 5, 2019 [24 favorites]


Thank you for posting this article, I enjoyed reading it.
posted by medusa at 11:40 AM on April 5, 2019


but making it "charitable" kind of assumes that basic human rights are an optional proposition

Bad choice of words on my part, I meant: "non-profit" organization.


I'm an attorney at a nonprofit working in the disability field. We are swamped, constantly overworked, and often not able to take on some of the hypothetical bigger cases because we are trying to help people get the services they need to survive. Trying to sue one business at a time into compliance - it's like bailing water with a teaspoon, and then management changes and it's back to the same old same old. I do some special ed work, and we end up having to deal with the school districts over and over and over because "follow the kid's IEP and stop putting them in seclusion" is apparently too hard.

We need the government to give a shit, and for the culture to change.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:07 PM on April 5, 2019 [19 favorites]


One of the more depressing lectures in law school was the day that lawyer and disability advocate David Lepofsky came in to my administrative law class and talked about how it took about 20 years of law suits and public shaming campaigns to get the Toronto Transit Commission to do something they agreed relatively early in the process that they *should* and even that they *would* do -- provide accessible stop announcements (visual and audio) on all forms of transit vehicles. Mr. Lepofsky is an entertaining guy so sitting in the lecture itself wasn't depressing, but thinking about how much personal time and effort he spent on trying to get them actually *do* things they had been promising for years they would do is a bummer. The TTC is a government agency. If even the government doesn't want to do the right thing, what hope do we have that for-profit businesses will?
posted by jacquilynne at 12:42 PM on April 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


"One of the more depressing lectures in law school was the day that lawyer and disability advocate David Lepofsky came in to my administrative law class..."

He has a memorable and pointed line that "There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are disabled, and those who are not disabled -- yet."

We all get our turn. Don't you worry.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:21 PM on April 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


Don't you worry.

No... worry.

So I already vented some, but here's this: I get a lot of crap at work and I am the only obviously disabled person here. I've been talking to HR about some things (the main doors are heavy as hell and have no power assist; the men's room is a freaking disaster if someone had a wheelchair because they broke a leg skiing or something), but I still have gotten crap from people.

People in the "not disabled yet" category are very much in the 'won't happen to me!' camp, and being reminded it might just happen to them makes them very hostile.
posted by mephron at 1:36 PM on April 5, 2019 [12 favorites]


The most common disability type, mobility, affects one in seven adults.

The most common type of impairment that effects major life functioning is not categorized as a disability, because assistive technology is widely available and cheap, and it's not considered "weird looking" to be seen in public with glasses. The stigma of "disability" is not attached evenly across all impairments, no matter how debilitating they are without assistance.

I don't know if that's because glasses have a long history of effectiveness, if it's that they used to be a matter of privilege and wealth, or if it's that they work so well and so unobtrusively that other people forget that a lot of us are effectively blind without them.

I expect to see more disability activism over the next decade or two, as the Silent Generation reaches the point of "needs devices to move around" and more of the Boomers discover that being white and rich doesn't literally make doors open for you. I also expect a lot of it to involve rich aging white Boomers getting upset that the accommodations they demand are also being used by young "hooligans*" who have the same types of problems.

* "Hooligans" will be spelled "Millennials."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:14 PM on April 5, 2019 [18 favorites]


A 2018 American Institutes for Research study found that people with disabilities have disposable income totaling $490 billion.
bile and syntax: Really? Most of the people I know with substantial disabilities live in poverty, on government benefits. I am guessing that there are a few quite wealthy people with disabilities throwing this number off. If not, I'd like a larger cut and I'm sure my clients would too.

The people writing the article don't seem to have grasped the difference between disposable income (after tax income) and discretionary income (what you have left after paying for basic needs like housing, food, clothing, healthcare, and for disabled people any necessary assistive devices) which is what is relevant when you're talking about money available for minor luxuries like restaurant food.

I found the report being referenced: A Hidden Market: The Purchasing Power of Working-Age Adults With Disabilities [April 2018]. The full report, in PDF format, is linked below the summary.

That quoted $490 billion disposable income is a lot less exciting once you suss out that they're dividing it amongst ~22 million disabled adults aged 16 - 64 ("working age"). Divided equally (which, lol, it isn't), that's $22k per person - and that has to cover all expenses. The report puts discretionary income for the same group at $21 billion, which divided equally (and it's not) is $954 per person per year or $80 a month. Eighty dollars a month to spend on everything that "goes beyond basic needs" (adequate food, housing, clothing, healthcare, assistive devices). I suspect from the wording in the report that a cell phone would be considered a "nonessential product or service" and a "luxury" if it isn't necessary as an assistive device.

So yeah, as a demographic we don't typically have a lot of money to be dropping on restaurant bills.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 3:14 PM on April 5, 2019 [8 favorites]


One of my favorite disgruntled bloggers with disabilities is the Smart Ass Cripple. I first started reading his blog on the recommendation of the late, great Roger Ebert. His posts are funny and brilliant, and ought to be required reading for anybody involved in public policy that affects people with disabilities.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:31 PM on April 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


I wanted to quote this just to recognize how true it is:
People in the "not disabled yet" category are very much in the 'won't happen to me!' camp, and being reminded it might just happen to them makes them very hostile.
I don’t know how hard it’ll be to change the culture but that attitude is a real barrier. I work in software and have been happy to see Microsoft’s Inclusive Design become common, especially the aspect of recognizing temporary and situational disabilities as near-universal because e.g. a parent holding a baby in one arm or pushing a stroller has so much social approval that it avoids the “taking this seriously requires acknowledging my own mortality” trap, which is a challenge in a typically youth/WASP-oriented field.

I like the idea of getting people to think of accessibility as a universal benefit from the practical perspective of getting political support to actually do things but from a certain angle that seems like giving up on empathy for people not directly related to you, which seems to be a recurring theme in modern political discourse.
posted by adamsc at 7:32 PM on April 5, 2019 [4 favorites]


The only recourse is to file a complaint with the Department of Justice and incur legal fees or file a complaint with the DC Office of Human Rights for free.

Hmmm - just an idea, but wouldn't a members-based association (or charitable foundation) be able to hire legal staff that could do this on a full-time basis? (And/or work with local lawyers on pro-bono?)


Paul Hansmeier, the infamous copyright troll lawyer, did this in Minnesota, and not out of the goodness of his heart. He partnered with a local disability rights group to get a kickback out what he'd make. They targeted only small businesses, having disabled people front as the injured parties, with Hansmeier's legal group threatening legal action and offering to go away for remediation and a cash settlement. He got into trouble for pulling that scam, too, as did the group, but a lot of small businesses in small towns went out of business because they couldn't afford to make the changes required, in the old building they usually didn't own themselves.

That's the part of the ADA that is broken: the onus is on the business, not the property owner, to make the property accessible. That little used book store or antique shop in the small town you visited? Yeah, the owner barely makes enough profit to keep going, certainly not enough to pay for ADA-mandated improvements to their landlord's property. So they don't, their business isn't accessible, and they just hope nobody files a complaint or lawsuit. Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why so many small businesses have begun posting "no publicly available restrooms" signs. The cost to retrofit a bathroom in an old building is, again, more than they can afford. The cheapest solution is to make the bathroom inaccessible to everyone.

It'd be so much better for this country if there were funds to make these businesses accessible.
posted by Lunaloon at 3:33 PM on April 6, 2019 [3 favorites]


In my country (UK), 1.8% of the population are registered as wheel chair users. 0.6% of the population are wheel chair users under 60 years old.

Under the building codes, every new home has to be built to allow any wheel chair user to access and use it. In my case, the necessary modifications cost £3,000 ($4,000). That’s the same cost as upgrading the house’s insulation to the highest standard, cutting its energy bills by 50% for the entire life of the house.

My house is on a steep hill and is inaccessible by wheel chair. The house is built on a steep site and is forced to be built over two levels. No-one can benefit from the facilities I’ve been required to install.

Although I could afford to fund both the wheelchair accessibility modifications and the insulation, many cannot and are compelled to forgo the insulation upgrade for the wheelchair mods. As a consequence, capital that could benefit the whole of society is being allocated for a purpose that benefits at most only 1.8% of it.

We are heading into a time of spiralling energy costs. These will will hit those on low incomes the hardest. They would benefit from homes completed to higher energy efficiency standards the most.

In a world of finite resources - of which capital is arguably one of the most constrained - every demand on them is a “special request”. To state that you don’t consider yours to be so is to deny the rights of others - many equally deserving - to have theirs considered.
posted by falcon at 10:30 AM on April 8, 2019


As a consequence, capital that could benefit the whole of society is being allocated for a purpose that benefits at most only 1.8% of it.

... at the moment.
posted by Etrigan at 6:32 AM on April 9, 2019 [4 favorites]


Pitting disabled people against environmentalism is not an ethical tactic. We can care about both, and it's not a zero-sum game.
posted by lazuli at 6:33 AM on April 9, 2019 [10 favorites]


My house is on a steep hill and is inaccessible by wheel chair.

Lots of wheelchair users drive cars. It's a thing, FYI.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:37 PM on April 9, 2019 [6 favorites]


Under the building codes, every new home has to be built to allow any wheel chair user to access and use it. In my case, the necessary modifications cost £3,000 ($4,000).

If it's a new building, those aren't modifications, they're just requirements for building to code.
posted by Lexica at 10:27 AM on April 10, 2019 [5 favorites]


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