Your tax dollars at good work

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by TwoCatDoctors, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I'm disabled in an electric scooter and it makes me discover many things that others might not realize. Sometimes people never realize how well some of their tax dollars have been used, and they may never know unless someone tells them.

    The public buses here have changed so much since I used to take them back to work in 1992 (I wasn't disabled then). Now, the entire design of the buses changed and have become extremely handicapped accessible. The buses have more of an aisle now and have two levels---one level in the front is where the disabled are, and then there is another higher level behind the second door that you have to step up into and the non-disabled people sit there. The buses now come to the bus stop, completely stop and then lower down (they call it kneeling down or kneeling buses) so that they are almost level to the curb for scooters, power chairs and wheelchairs and put out a ramp so it’s easy to drive on the ramp to get on the bus.

    The bus driver then asks people to get out of the special scooter/power chair/wheelchair seats, and he lifts up that seat and puts it against the wall and I pull my scooter in there—so my scooter becomes like a bus seat. The driver then seat belts the front and back of my scooter.

    The other morning when I left the one place and scootered to the one traffic light. The city had changed the traffic light since I was there just the other week and it now emits a sound when the light is green and you are permitted to walk across the road—this is fantastic for anyone who has low vision or is blind and they know immediately that the light is green.

    Plus in the city, when the disabled cross a street and reach the sidewalk curb there is a small that is level with the street and the ramp is colored bright yellow (again for low vision people) and the ramp has raised bumps on it. So you can feel it if you are low vision/blind and walking so you know you are off the road and onto the sidewalk, and it helps a person with a scooter after dark know they have reached the sidewalk. Also, with the bumps on the ramp, it gives the scooters and walkers more traction to get up the ramp when there is rain.

    All of the above, the buses, traffic light that emits a sound, the curbs—all of it are just a few of the useful ways tax dollars are spent. I am so grateful for these many improvements to help the disabled remain independent.

  2. butterflydream

    butterflydream New Member

    All you are describing are good improvements.

    Wonderful to read this, thanks for sharing.
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    other cities have a long way to go to catch up, I think... make that, I know!

    I know a couple of disabled people who would take public transp. but cannot, since they can't climb up the stairs (even tho not in a wheelchair).

    So then they try to maintain a car, which is impossible on SSI.... they are continually in debt and often without things as a result. It's an impossible situation, and was like this even when the states had money.

  4. JimB51

    JimB51 Member

    I didn't know about them. Thanks for sharing .
  5. JLH

    JLH New Member

    You must live in a very large city that gets a lot of tax dollars in order to conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act to make sure that everything is handicapped accessible.

    However, I live in a small rural area where none of that exists! I even worked for the federal government in a really old plant that was built in 1950; however, when the ADA came out, they proudly went through the buildings and modified them to become handicapped accessible.

    The entrance doors were now wide enough to get wheelchairs through, but they were not motorized to open by a switch when you approached the door. Have you ever been in a wheelchair, with your purse and other things, and then try to open a heavy door by yourself, keep it open while you try to wheel yourself through the door, etc.? It's not easy, and there is not always somebody else around to help you out by opening the door for you. Even when there is somebody else around doesn't mean that they will help you!!! I know because I am in a wheelchair.

    The bathrooms had one stall made into a handicapped size; however, it was hard to get a wheelchair in it, and the doorway to get into the Ladies' Room was the same as I just described above!

    What engineers, designers, etc., need to do is be in a wheelchair for a day someplace and see if they can get in and out of rooms by themselves!!!

    What I find funny is that the largest hospital in the closest large city that has all these new buildings and doctor offices, didn't even make their doors wide enough to get a wheelchair through them! Every time I am wheeled into a doctor's office, the chair barely fits through the doorway, and sometimes even scrapes it!!! They certainly didn't design the doorways with wheelchairs in mind!! LOL Well, why would they? It's only a HOSPITAL with doctors' offices in it!! LOL
  6. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    You're preaching to the choir here, as they say and I belong to the local disabled group and the one member is paralyzed on one side and in a wheelchair. I have encountered many a door that was so heavy and I understand they do that so the wind doesn't blow it open. But still, it makes it very hard to open and setting it up to automatically open or a handicapped button would really help. Out here some places have dark metal outside doors and with the summer heat, the doors roast and can get too hot to handle to handle and people in scooters/wheelchairs/power chairs have to hold it open and hold it to get through --surely manufacturers figured that out by now but architects don't think of it.

    Yes, I still do get some restrooms that have the handicapped stall doors that open in (instead of swinging out) so that the scooters/wheelchairs/power chairs can't get inside, or they get inside and the door won't close. I mention it to the places in hope that they may make that adjustment. If the doors swing out, everything would fit inside well without a problem and people could transfer to the toilet. It's just that the person building it never buildt handicapped bathroom stalls before and never considered the the use of scooters/wheelchairs/power chairs in that stall.

    So with progress does come some let downs, but the progress leaves me inspired and very hopeful. I'm very grateful that progress has moved this far and I hope to see it expand even further and all over the U.S.

    I'm especially pleased to see tax dollars used positively and to help our neighbors, our relatives, our friends and many others, right here in the U.S. and I hope to watch for other new things that may be installed.