This week (this upcoming Sunday) is the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
I’ve often wondered if the ADA creates more problems than it solves for some, if not all, people with disabilities. It helps A LOT, but it also causes a lot of headaches.
I’ve come to realize however, that the ADA isn’t really for people with disabilities. It’s for the people who can’t even imagine what life is like to live with a disability.
Kind of like how birthday parties really aren’t for the people they’re throne for but for the people that go to them.
Without knowing it I managed to grow up just as the ADA was finding its “sea legs,” which probably explains why so many aspects of my life have become, in a sense, easier even though my mobility had had an endless ebb and flow.
I once heard it said that, “those who don’t need the law are truly freed from the law,” or at least that’s the best my brain remembers it as.
The idea being (I think) that we wouldn’t need as many laws (or any) if everyone operated with the same level of moral decency.
As great of an idea as this is I doubt it will ever happen, ever. Sorry all of you who dream of world peace.
It would be nearly impossible for someone to be able to imagine what it’s like to live with a disability, unless they do in fact live with a disability themselves; besides the fact that imagining it and living it are two different things.
That’s why the ADA is so important.
It gives people a clue into what’s needed in order for people with disabilities. Although it should be pointed out that what’s deemed ADA compliant doesn’t mean it’s accessible for those who need it to be, but it’s better than nothing.
(So if you don’t know anything about the ADA feel free to read up)
As much as I (and countless others) benefit from the ADA there always seems to be something new to learn.
Such as how many loopholes there are.
Like the loopholes for already existing buildings and/or religious institutions.
As a Catholic who works in a building that’s been “grandfathered in” (multiple flights of stairs and no elevator) I curse such loopholes often.
It would be nice if there were less (or no) loopholes in the ADA but that’s only a short term dream. Someday I’d like it if the ADA was an afterthought, making it in a sense unnecessary because access for all is a natural thing.
It seems so wildly unrealistic, but I can hope right?
*A similar version of this post was written on July 22, 2014