Mobility, Accessibility, Acceptability

From Mel West:
We at Mobility Worldwide (PET) know that we are not finished when we provide one of our hand-cranked wheelchairs for a leg-handicapped person. The task is just begun.
To be a full citizen the person, in addition to mobility, needs ACCESSIBILITY! A person in a wheelchair needs to be able to enter places of business, churches, medical centers, schools,
homes, etc., But often when they arrive at such places unintentional walls have been thrown up. The wheelchair will not go up the steps to get in. The door to the bathroom is too narrow, or the restroom is down a stairs.
If the person in the wheelchair needs employment the lack of ACCEPTABILITY may rear its ugly head. Fully qualified persons in wheelchairs are often denied employment opportunities for rather vague reasons, having to do with the stigma some still attach.
Mobility, accessibility, acceptability – the holy trinity for a leg-handicapped person.
When we made the persons in the geographic region served by Rainbow Network in Nicaragua, 60,000 persons, totally mobile, we began to tackle the other two. Treated plywood was sent to help build ramps, along with instructions on the desired slope, which is one foot “run” for each inch “fall.” A six-inch step up needs a six-foot ramp. Attitudes are slowly changing.
My Rotary club always says the pledge of allegiance to our USA flag each Friday morning before we eat. It always ends with “..liberty and justice for all.” That means mobility, accessibility and acceptability for all, including those whose lege do not exist or do not function.
Mel West

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