Who Could Ask For Anything More?

In Columns, Just My Bellybutton, Opinion by Nathasha Alvarez

My friend calls me late last night, tells me some horrific news and expects me to sleep soundly. He tells me that a couple in Ohio puts their disabled children in cages. I think he must be playing with my emotions but the next day I read it myself.

What is our society thinking? Do they care? With so much emotional stimulation in the world, does anyone have some sympathy towards these neglected children?

It is difficult to digest. Here I am thinking that Audacity Magazine can inspire and motivate people with disabilities to reach a higher level of living than expected by society’s standards. But, when a medical expert suggests placing these children in cages, I realize that society’s standards for us must really be at the lowest level.

To cage children is disgusting enough, but to know that these children had a disability only adds salt to the wound.

Four years, our government preaches and praises about freedom established in a land far away. They proclaim that one day there will be equality for everyone like there is in the United States.

That theory can only hold so much water before leaks start to trickle and then pour like the floods of New Orleans. There is no equality for the disabled people of New York City. Many restaurants, retail stores, and businesses have one step, high enough to require a ramp, yet there is no attempt to repair this situation. However, there are no protests or lawsuits of discrimination.

I guess we are not good enough to visit their establishments. I prefer to think that they are not good enough to deserve my hard earned money.

There is another story in the press where a child with cerebral palsy is asked to leave the movie theatre because he is laughing too loudly while viewing the movie, “The March of The Penguins”. So now it is ok for us to enter the establishment as long as we don’t laugh above a certain decibel.

Even Miami has its own pitfalls. I am a regular rider on Paratransit, a special transportation service, for people with disabilities. Every now and then, a few of us who use the service exchange horror stories. So far, one of my personal favorites is the one that I witnessed myself.

A veteran driver strapped down three passengers with nothing more than a seatbelt around each wheel on the passenger’s wheelchair. No tie downs, no safety straps. Nothing.

This is someone who is supposedly an expert in transporting people with disabilities. The shocking part wasn’t the driver’s actions as much as it was the response of the owners.

To put it nicely, the driver is still transporting people with disabilities and is still considered one of the company’s best employees.

The driver endangers the lives of three people with disabilities and goes unharmed from any type of reprimand. I guess our lives don’t mean as much. Or maybe we should really be so grateful that those people are kind enough to go into a multi-million dollar transportation business for us. Golly! I am so grateful!

I hope one day I can really properly thank that driver for risking the lives of us measly people who obvio

usly should be placed in cages, transported with nothing more than seatbelts, and be denied access to public places.

With rights and liberties such as these, who could ask for anything more?


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