Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who has value

Okay, it's Wednesday. Just to give you a snapshot about what is called paratransit, it's a side-by-side program for those with disabilities and door to door service aligning with the fixed-route (bus) system. I try to schedule rides for pick-up, but not always do I know how long an appointment will take. Picture this. How long do you want to wait? As it is, I like to do my thing, and I used to take buses and subways in New York, and I had an appointment with a person working at Access Alaska, a non-profit known as an Independent Living Center. When I know how to define terms, I will do so for your benefit. I was working with the ADA Partners' Project Coordinator, David Barton, who is a wonderful person, as we were working on a presentation concerning hidden disabilities. ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act in this context. The CD was a training curriculum from Cornell University which has revamped disability awareness and ADA training more about resistance to implementing the five titles, and concentrating on attitudinal barriers which is what blind people focus on. I was finished in working out what topics and slides I would present and in short order, but did not have a bus scheduled for about two hours. It is called a "bus" but it is more like a say perhpas twelve-person bus with places for pedestrians and wheelchair spaces which are secured for safety. I did receive an earlier ride, but I get "docked" because I took an earlier ride, which they did not have to grant me, according to them, and therefore, I have a point against me. The contractor does not make the rules. The Municipality of Anchorage does. Why do they count our lives as so much less important than theirs? None of them would tolerate the wait times we have to be grateful for having these rides. Why make it a punitive process? We should just take it, and be meek, and subservient, that's all there is to it. Nevertheless, it was a great appointment, and though the CD was not terribly accessible, and it kept freezing Windows Explorer, I did save the text into Microsoft Word, and could read the items for the presentation at the two-day conference entitled "Full Lives" at the Sheraton tomorrow and Friday. I have presented at this conference at a couple of other occasions. One time, I presented by video tape when Daniel Sparks videotaped me about "Etiquette for Service Providers" in 2005, I think, and I was away at a workshop. Last year, I was part of a couple of workshops on disabilities and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking as a panelist. This is presented by AADSC which caters to direct service providers and also for people who work at Center for Human Development which is part of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, a UCEDD. That stands for a University Center on Excellence on Developmental Disabilities. I hope that is correct. I was an AmeriCorps member there as an Accessibility Coordinator and also conducted trainings and attended some wonderful trainings as well.

Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I love to train, and I love people. I just want people to have value and to be respected. Where is the discourse we so need in this day and age? Koraling Lynne

1 comment:

SidheBear said...

I do wish transportation wasn't such a frustration for you! I know I pretty much take for granted my ability to hop in my car whenever I feel like it and go where I want to go, when I want to do so!