Posted 3 days after the 30th Anniversary of the ADA (Posted 7/29/20)
“See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” Ecclesiastes 7:29
First, Happy Hump Day to you! Hard to believe this work week is already half complete…but such is life these days! This year is mercifully coming up on being 2/3 over and few will miss it.
Changing gears to the positive. My friends at a wonderful local organization who helps tens of thousands experiencing disabilities called Empower:Abilities reminded me that this week (actually the 26th) represented the 30th Anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act. I was in college when this bill was being discussed and I remember doomsday-minded folks saying that if we passed the ADA, businesses would fail all around us, the stock market would crash, and all puppies would immediately die a painful death (OK…I added that last one). I have always been a Reagan-minded, conservative person, but I tend toward not being sensational on matters political, so I, instead, looked at the content of the bill and thought to myself… “Self, this bill won’t cause huge problems at all and will actually HELP many, many folks. What is the deal???”. Then it passed. After the typical complaints and brief flare-ups trying to get it repealed, sensible people realized that it wasn’t a huge problem after all, they made the necessary changes, and all went away better for it.
Are there regulations that make a few things harder in this bill? Sure. There are hitches/costs with all regulations. I get it. I really do. I was in business for 10+ years. However, the lives of folks who have disabilities (and all of our lives) are greatly improved with this bill. I mean, is it really too much to ask to save some parking for folks who cannot easily get to and fro? To build buildings to accommodate everyone within reason? To look beyond the external things or challenges to see amazing potential? (Read the bill in the links I provided…it does soooo much!) Since when is it American to exclude someone from employment because accommodations have to be made? So the ADA happened. Were there growing pains? Sure. But now, 30 years later, there is a generation of business owners, contractors, teachers/administrators, and the like who have worked their entire career in the helpful shadow of this bill and have now made these accommodations just a normal part of doing business… because of the law…sure…but also (hopefully) because of all of this new advocacy they see the tremendous resource people with disabilities are for our workforce and our nation as a whole. Sadly, it wasn’t that many generations ago, in my opinion because of the over-emphasis of evolutionary theory, that someone with a disability was shunned and often institutionalized as somehow a strain on genetics. This thinking that any “type” of person as less than another type of person is how we got Nazism/racism in general, and a bunch of other things that plague our culture.
Political rant over…
Thank you ADA for doing some wonderful things and for helping countless folks, most of whom who wouldn’t complain…but whom needed it.
In a similar vain, just a thought about COVID-19 today. I have brought it up before and I probably will again. Stop saying “I shouldn’t wear a mask or be restricted in my activities. It is only old people who die!”. Just stop. Wait…repent of your sinful disrespect of the humanity of seniors first, then stop. Again, not unlike the ADA discussion, since when do we prioritize the “able-bodied”, if you will…those who (we think) contribute more to our economy or to the betterment of humanity somehow… over others. That attitude is truly unAmerican to the core and it needs to stop. Every single person is made in the image of God (Imago Dei). We are sooooo invested in dividing up into little camps that we are missing the beauty and wonder of the differences in each of us. A senior with dementia is “worth” every bit as much to society as a CEO because they are an image-bearer of God Himself. Can they accomplish as much as a CEO? Nope. But neither can a baby and most appreciate the wonder and value of a baby. I am so frustrated with this conversation! We have to protect vulnerable populations like we always have. America has ALWAYS went to bat for the little guy…be it a person or a nation. We cannot withdraw and prioritize convenience over humanity.
OK…the rant is now really over.
Sorry this deviated from our typical frivolity and/or discussion of dementia. We’ll get back on track, if you will, tomorrow. Until then, Happy B-Day ADA…and be safe.
Update: We had a nice visit with mom today outside of the nursing home. She is a little bloated, but was happy and seemed the same. All things considered, things could be much worse. 🙂
Dad Joke: 14. Why did the scarecrow win an award? Because he was outstanding in his field!
A quick, funny story as you leave the table:
In the late 1980s, my sister and I took my grandma to the Battlefield Mall to shop. Grandma was in a wheelchair and, pre-ADA, we parked a city block away and pushed grandma toward the entrance. Something distracted us for a second…we forgot something in the car (?) and both of us walked back toward the car and left Grandma waiting. When we turned around, to our horror, grandma had rolled away and was picking up steam. We caught up to her and averted disaster and had a big laugh in the process. Grandma hadn’t realized we were gone and thought we were in a hurry to shop. 🙂 Grandma Applegate was, to this day, one of my very favorite people to ever know and I sure miss her and her smile, exhibited 10,000 times including that nearly tragic day.