Being unable to move around in school, unable to walk up three simple steps to get to work, and live life to its fullest… result because the world was not necessarily designed to comply with the needs of physically disabled people. Most people have the ability to walk, run, and maneuver swiftly and easily. But for the many disabled people around the world, unfortunately, it is the exact opposite. Most of the handicap population is able to modify their personal belongings in some way, like homes and automobiles to accommodate their needs, but the outside world still has not followed.
Handicap people deserve the right to accessibility freedom so that they can safely access their education, have no issues or danger when commuting to work, and so that they can enjoy their life and live it to the fullest.
Starting off, people with disabilities need to be able to safely access their education needs. Going to school is even required by the United Sates government through multiple laws, until a person reaches at least 16 years of age.
If people with accessibility issues are physically unable to attend or even get to their school, they would be breaking the law unintentionally, and be unable to do much about it. In addition, “The Department of Transportation states that only 55-60% of public buses have wheelchair lifts. Even the buses that do have wheelchair lifts find persons with disabilities being denied access due to lifts that are not working properly, or bus drivers who do not have the training to operate them.
” (Taormina-Weiss 2). If only 55-60% of public buses have wheelchair lifts, so many buses are not able to transport wheelchairs and other assistive devices for the people that must have them. In fact, “Some 480,000 school buses carry 25 million children… The number of students transported by each school bus: 54.” (ASBC 1). With those numbers, it is estimated that around 264,000 school buses are not equipped or able to take people with physical disabilities around. That is an insanely large number, and if a school is unable to take their disabled student or students to campus, the results will be negative. The student’s future may be negatively impacted by missing out on the important education given, and also by how the law does not allow people to not go to school.
Eventually, after a person with physical limitations has completed school, they will need to go to work. All citizens need currency to eat and have a home, requiring them to work. People with physical limitations need to be able to access their work place so that they can have a profit and live. New York City, one of the most populated and culturally diverse cities in the world, has an extremely bad transportation system for people who are physically limited. To confirm, “With 472 stations in total, the New York City subway is one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world. It’s also one of the least accessible: Only 25 percent of the stations are designated wheelchair accessible, the lowest rate of wheelchair accessibility for any heavy rail system in the U.S.” (Farmer 5). With how large the city is and is so busy with residents and visitors and the traffic they cause, people usually choose to take the subway to avoid chaotic situations and even the frustration of just parking. If a person who is unable to take the subway due to how it is not accessible and also does not own a car, they will not be able to work. Also, “The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted to ensure all persons have the right to access public buildings and have reasonable accommodations for any disabilities, whether at work or school or in everyday leisure activities in the community.” (Falstad 2). On top of the fact that people need to be able to make a living to cover expenses and live, the New York City subway also violates the ADA’s rules that state it is a must for making public buildings accessible to people of all kinds because of how it is barely accessible for the limited.
In addition, living life is not just for learning and working, but also is for exploring the world and experiencing fun, and some fun is not accessible to handicap people. People that can walk can easily pass through narrow and bumpy trails. For example, walking down to the beaches’ shore, around a puddle of mud, and throughout a steep mountain trail. The people who are physically limited are unable to manage traveling through these areas because either they are too weak, or their transportation device is unable to maneuver over the rough terrain. As stated by Megan Simcox, “I’ve realized that a lot of the national parks aren’t very handicap accessible… This issue really hit home when I visited Grand Teton National Park. I had a miscommunication with the ranger and ended up on a trail that was way too difficult for me. I tire out very quickly, and I can’t walk fast, so I was completely exhausted by the time I got back. Miscommunications like that often happen with MS and other invisible illnesses. There are a lot of people who are less mobile than I am, and they want to enjoy nature too.” (Schuknecht 2). Megan, who stated this, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis the year before the Huffington Post article was published. Multiple Sclerosis, (M.S. in short) is an unpredictable disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves, resulting in the human body malfunctioning, and causing many major physical limitations. She explained how she was not able to enjoy the park’s trail because of how it was not made for people with similar issues as her and she was forced to exert all of her energy just to navigate through the trail, unable to enjoy much of it. The natural beauty and remarkableness of the public United States National Parks is life-changing to many, and all people deserve to be able to have the freedom to have access to and be able to safely and easily explore them.
Nevertheless, older buildings are designed mostly for people who have the ability to walk, as people who needed special devices and modified architecture were not considered when the buildings were originally created. In fact, there are so many places in this country that are not handicap accessible, including the majority of homes. To confirm, “About a third of housing in the U.S. is potentially modifiable for a person with a mobility disability, currently less than five percent is accessible for individuals with moderate mobility difficulties and less than one percent of housing is accessible for wheelchair users.” (Black-Plumeau 1). Due to how even the majority of homes in the United States are not handicap accessible, it makes sense that so many of the larger public buildings have the same issues, but due to ADA laws, the buildings must be modified, and that cost can be very expensive. Correspondingly, “A threshold ramp in a doorway could cost as little as $100, but larger ramps, depending on material and size, can cost $1,000 to $15,000… The price for widening doorways averages $500 to $1,000, depending on the amount of work involved. However, sometimes widening is impossible because of structural restraints, says Bob Samson…” (Boyd 4). Changing the architecture of a building by making it accessible has a potentially large expense and requires a lot of work, and some companies and groups are unable to afford the cost. Even though the construction likely requires a lot of time and work, it would violate the ADA avoiding it, resulting in quite a few problems. Also, effectively completing the job has the ability to make the life of people with and without physical limitations so much easier and much safer.
Altogether, with so many important reasons for people with physical limitation disabilities to access having the freedom of being able to access all public places, the reasons that stand out the greatest are those that affect the most important valuable aspects of living life in the world today. Having an education is one of what shapes the future of a person, plus often one leading factor of their overall success, and not being able to access education due to the school’s poor transportation system is not fair. Working is a must when it comes to making money and being able to pay bills for everyone, and not being able to even get close to a work place because of how the city was designed to not accommodate someone is taking their accessibility freedom away, especially due to the fact that everyone else goes around just fine. And finally, simply enjoying life and being able to explore the world and all of the amazing places on it is something that many enjoy doing and dream of doing. All people should not be restricted of being able to access these places because of their body’s limits. Having the ability to safely travel to school, commute to and from work like everyone else, and live life to its fullest are the reasons of why people with handicap disabilities deserve having accessibility freedom.