Accessibility not an issue to be forgotten

Opinion

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How surprised and upset I was that not one of our two local papers?#34;papers who supposedly are for the people?#34;saw fit last week to put anything in their paper about a recent anniversary that occurred. The 15th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In a community that part of the normal sight is to see persons with disabilities going about their shopping in their wheelchair, to see doors that open at the push of a button, to have door to door transit service, to have busses that will allow if used correctly by both operator and passenger to bring a wheelchair on the bus and be locked. These sights are all part of what has happened since the signing of the ADA.

A lot has been done but a lot more needs to be done. All businesses in Oak Park need to be fully accessible to persons in wheelchairs; correct terminology needs to be used when describing persons with a disability or their disability.

As a former resident of a nursing home and now a resident of the Oaks in Oak Park, I did not and do not let my disability stop me from doing things. Yes, I have a disability. I have since childhood. No, you cannot see it, but that does not mean I do not have it.

When the 20th anniversary hits, let us all strive to be at least a village that shows by its efforts in being accessible to all that it welcomes persons with a disability. Let us all strive to use preferred terms when describing a person with a disability or their disability.

For an organization which has a website to get over 1,300 visitors a month to it, what does that say about information being put out there for people being able to know the services exist? Not much.

Joel Sheffel

Oak Park

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