posted by mysterychicken on .
Need help with this activity:
'Look around your community's sidewalks, streets, transportation system, and public buildings. How easily can a person with a disability get around? Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper expressing your views about what changes need to be made. Be sure not to use fallacies, and make your letter eloquent and firm, without being overexcited or pushy.'
I've looked around and the streets, sidewalks, and other places but everything is just average..I'm not really sure what changes need to be made. Can I get some suggestions?
My father (then age 91) had been having strokes and his ability to walk unassisted declined at a rapid rate from June to August. His inability even to use the walker moved into the need for a wheelchair, pushed by one of his caregivers (not by him or by my mom, neither of whom had the strength to do even that).
Very suddenly, all the problems were clear to all of us:
1. There is a slight step down from the interior of their front door to the front porch and another slight step down to the sidewalk. Those steps that had seemed so simple before suddenly seemed like mountains, especially for whoever was pushing the wheelchair.
2. Once out of the house and on the sidewalk, which was barely wide enough for the wheelchair, the caregiver needed to navigate two 90-degree right turns about 25 yards apart in order to get him around to the front of the garage whenever he needed to get in the car to go to the doctor or wherever.
3. Similar problems occurred out in public, even wherever there are handicapped access ramps and sidewalks and automatic doors.
4. Even in the house, built around 1975, many of the doorways were not wide enough, either for the walker or the wheelchair. There are now many, MANY gouges and scrapes along walls and doorframes throughout the house.
Imagine yourself in a wheelchair that someone else needs to push and steer. How wide do you think it is? How much of a turning radius does it need? What happens when the person pushing needs to get into a doorway that may open automatically, but is still not wide enough for the width of the wheelchair.
That's only one example. What else can you think of?
In addition to Writeacher's suggestions, you may want to check this site.
OK, thanks guys