Without Let or Hinderance

SSW got me thinking. Over the last three months, I’ve had a new found appreciation for barrier free architecture. I dragged my father up the stairs this evening in a wheelchair. Today was a particularly bad day, but we “borrowed” the chair from the clinic he was at because he was so weak. The brownstone my parents rent is beautiful but incredibly unfriendly — pulling 200 lbs of person and chair up two flights of steps isn’t really ideal, albeit better than trying to piggyback 150 lbs.

In the next two months, my brother is planning to swap his more access friendly apartment with my parents. That apartment has an elevator, and the back buzzer door provides a ramped entrance. Let’s see how that goes.

0 thoughts on “Without Let or Hinderance”

  1. As I had told FC, I recently helped out with a program on “Practical Career Advice for Law Students with Disabilities” at the local bar association (in fact, I moderated – totally weird experience, since I still feel like such a rookie lawyer and never had to do that kind of thing before). The panelists were great, talking about what it means to develop a legal career as a person with a disability or how to go about requesting accommodations, dealing with prejudices and so on – it turned into quite a roundtable talk – but the turnout was real small (we expected small turn out, but this was real small).

    I guess the reality is that it’s hard to deal with the issues of disabilities. For those with less visible disabilities, you’d have someone who doesn’t want to “out” himself, so to speak – and this is a profession that can be very conservative and so very much about perception (thus, maybe partly explaining why there was such a low turn out; on the other hand, disability law is a trendy topic, so I was hoping for more law students, but oh well). For those with any disability, one would/should/could make requests for accommodations – but one shouldn’t let the disability become the obstacle – one is what one is, so don’t get the whole arrogant entitlement attitude, and so don’t become a problem for the employer – one should sell one’s legal skills, since one is pursuing a legal career (which is advice that can be said to anyone in a minority class pursuing a legal career (no matter the race, gender, religion, national origin, etc.).

    But, I’m always realizing that disability is so not like other “minorities” – there are so many kinds of disabilities, and not easy to unite or cover under one single rubric – especially when the law (and common sense sometimes) says you have to consider each situation on a case-by-case basis and within reason. It’s serious stuff, that’s for sure, so you do what you can (and hope that you’ve courts/legislatures/etc. that can figure it out too).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.