Reposted from a story Published: Oct. 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM
NEW YORK, Oct. 25 (UPI) — NEW YORK, Oct. 25 (UPI) — The Statue of Liberty in New York will be wheelchair accessible for the first time when it opens this weekend after a year of renovations, officials said.
Statue of Liberty Superintendent David Luchsinger said the renovations, which include installing new staircases and an elevator designed for wheelchair-bound guests who wish to visit the observation decks, will allow about 26,000 more people to visit the monument per year when it reopens on its 126th birthday Sunday, CNN reported Thursday.
Luchsinger said about 3.5 million people visit the statue each year.
“Folks that have never been able to maneuver on the staircases can now go all the way up to the observation deck and experience that,” he said. “She’s not only our Statue of Liberty, she’s the world’s Statue of Liberty.”
Larry Hughes, a Vietnam War veteran, was chosen as the first wheelchair user to test out the elevator.
“You see this stuff on TV … but to actually be here, it takes on a whole brand new dimension,” Hughes said
Originally Posted on: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20121008/176483809.html
By JUJU KIM | @jujkim | October 8, 2012 |
Every time I rock wall climb I catch the 7 train from Main St., Flushing which has an elevator from the street level to the train. Then I get off at Queensboro Plaza where I roll 20 feet straight across the platform straight onto the train. When I get to the Atlantic Pacific Station I get straight onto an elevator to the mezzanine then a second one to the street level. Well the ABC 7 news announced that for the next month from Friday night to Monday morning the 7 train would not go all the way into Manhattan, but would stop at Queensboro Plaza. I thought, no problem I only go that far to go climbing. They forgot to tell the public and especially the disabled public, that the rerouting of the trains meant they were no longer wheelchair accessible. Even though I am a regular and all the Main St, Flushing station, the staff know me, no one gave us the heads up. Not only did the train terminate at Queensboro Plaza, but it stopped on a higher floor platform one level above my train that I need to go climbing.The platform we pulled up at had no elevators so me and every other wheelchair bound person would have to, like I did this morning, get out of their chair and crawl down over a 100 stairs on our asses while dragging our chairs behind us down the stairs. What amazes me is when you’re on a train they constantly bombard you with inane recordings that no one cares about but one really important one like “attention disabled persons disembarking at Queensboro Plaza, we apologize but the platform we will be stopping at is not accessible.” Is that too much to ask?
Since when is the price of a life of disability crawling on greasy spit (and god knows what else) covered metal plate stairs every time you catch a train? Put a little more thought into repairs next time MTA.
When I lived back in my native Australia I worked with a mental health therapy group called grow mental health international, our mission was when someone who had been in long term institutional care was being released we worked with them from a couple of weeks before release to help them reacclimatize with society. WE would regularly take groups of former patients on weekend getaways. The form we used for each patient looked like this.
Emergency contact number—
Special dietary requirements—
Do you use a mobility aid if so what kind?
The questions above were required because if the person requires medication we need to know in case they start showing symptoms, we could make sure they had taken it. The dietary requirements were neccessary to know about, because so many of us me included can actually be medical compromised if they eat the wrong thing and if there are diabetics amongst we must provide sugar free. Allergies are important to now about because so many foods have hidden ingredients, and while for most they are just flavor to many they are deadly.
Of course knowing about mobility aids means you can in advance organize appropriate accommodation, and organize help if the pathways and tracks used might make movement difficult for those using certain aids.
All this must be known before you ever get to the fun stuff which is the point of the trip such as boating or climbing or biking or any other activity.
To tell someone who is part of a group that is made up 100% of people who are dis or otherwise abled that “it’s not their faulty if you opt out of perfectly good food “ and that they shouldn’t be required to provide anything different for special needs guests is you sir opting out of your duty of care.
If a destination doesn’t want to provide special needs arrangements for special needs guests, then I am sorry they should be banned from encouraging them to visit. There is a medical term called “duty of care” in medical legalese there is a law that says if a doctor or medical professional comes upon a accident they don’t have to stop they can go straight past, but if they do they must provide care to the best of their professional ability until they are relieved by another medical professional with equal or greater or specialized skills pertinent to the condition of the patient. In short you don’t have to have special needs guests you can say sorry this destination is unsuitable for the physically compromised, but if you do you must do it to the highest professional standard. If you charge a fee for “all meals and accommodation” by law under the Americans with disabilities act if you are knowingly taking a fee to house and feed the disabled you must be ADA compliant and provide said services to the letter of the federal act or not at all. So as we new Yorkers say go big or go home you cannot charge for what you do not provide hmmm such a paradox isn’t it.
Below is a paragraph from the Americans with disabilities act pertaining to public accomadations.
Restaurants, hotels, theaters, shopping centers and malls, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, day care centers, and other similar places of public accommodation may not discriminate on the basis of disability. 28 CFR 36.201. Effective Date: January 26, 1992,
when you charge a set fee for food and accommadation and provide it for one half of the group but when the other half is disabled and their food requirements are part of that disability and you refuse to feed them because of the food requirements, you are in direct violation of the federal act above you have refused equal accomadation on the basis of their disabilities.
The Reddit masters are going to say I made this up they are going to say this couldn’t happen to one person so often, but again today a large ill mannered African American woman on a cell phone called me a faggot and an ugly bitch (obviously has gender issues) a C**t a mother fu***r all because she thought her over ample ass had more right to push a wheelchair using disabled woman completely away from the disabled service elevator at 74th st in queens.
I rolled up to the elevator and there was a woman 5 ft 5 inches at least 280lbs pushing a toddler in a stroller, I politely rolled over and said “wheelchair can I please get to the elevator?” ( The same one that’s the federally mandated elevator, that is covered by a law stating first loading must be for the disabled, then the elderly and then the pregnant only after that can the able bodied board) but I didn’t assert any right, I had been having a reasonable day. So I smiled and asked for access, to which the woman on the phone with someone started saying loudly on the phone”oh just some fat bitch in purple in a wheelchair trying to push her arse In front of the line like that’s gonna happen phhh”.
I said excuse me miss I know you have a stroller but if I can’t get on first I can position myself properly so others can get on and it is law after all. She screamed “Fuck the law you aint pushing in bitch” then she shoved her child with the stroller into me and kept shoving as she did she was screaming “she’s ramming me she’s ramming me” except I wasn’t moving my brakes were on. I as the door to the elevator opened said, I’ve had it I’m getting on, As the doors closed she repeated every disgusting hate filled slur and hate speech filled sentence and disgusting swear word ever invented.
We made it onto the seven train and we got to flushing. Ella and I always got to this corner fruit and veggie store near us, and I was sitting out front. I was wearing my purple climbing pants and my purple 3e wheelchair love hoodie in my purple wheelchair otherwise being Me, when a voice behind me yells “what kind of pansy ass nigger wears purple in a purple wheelchair what kind of faggot ass ugly bitch does she think she is” this all before they even saw the front of me .
As the offending loud mouth shoved past me and Zeus he looked and repeated all his slurs and added “the bitch is ugly to boot damn fat ass nigger”. The offending idiot was calling a white woman a slur normally directed against the wonderful African American people, he was not using the eubonic “niggah” which is not ethnic specific no he was using the hate speech form ending in er. His jeans belted below his thigh muscles showing skid marked bright blue satin boxers and he was insulting me? As he turned to start again his jeans suddenly fell to his knees and his girl had to hold them up. As he turned and grabbed his crotch, he got even more disgusting telling me that he wouldn’t touch and ugly bitch nigger like me.
So I rolled the last two blocks home and turned into my own building front walkway, and a Korean youth actually used me and my lap for steps and walked over me and I had had it. I blew up I yelled when did manners die? Really I’m your damn door step you insolent child? Then to my surprise a woman who has always when spoken to replied “No engrish sorry me Korean, engrish bewwy baad” suddenly sounding like a sound bite from Bill and teds big adventure yelled “Oh like chill bitch just chill”
So let’s sort this out once again the lowlife population that regularly uses the 74thst subway station prove inbreeding is alive and well in New York city, and manners caring and compassion have died. Its each overweight foul mouthed behemoth for themselves, and god help the decent the disabled the pregnant the elderly because “ I’s gonna beat their ass if they get in my way”. Then we have the teen product of a fine education and marvelous parenting(insert acknowledgment of use of sarcasm here), I finally know why the modern generation lives and dies by their cell phones, how else are you going to phone in your responsibilities and parenting duties if you don’t have the best phone on the market?.
And finally to the wonderful Asians in my neighborhood, I respect you if you wish to stay within your own people but you don’t get to play an extra from mash for fifteen years and only open your mouth to reveal a Californian surfer chick accent when you want to be a bitch. I have gone out of my way to be nice, I have wished you happy new year but you have ignored me and blown me off. If you and the rest of the Korean community hate the stereotypes imposed upon you don’t create them and don’t use them when you want to make out you don’t speak English. In this country no one is asking you to become close kissing cousins when they wish you happy holidays, if you want privacy you simply smile and say thank you same to you and keep walking. Now you have acted like you work in a Chinese laundry and have actually said “no speak engrish” while all the time being an obviously highly educated English speaking adult. You don’t get to claim high ground you are just plain rude and ignorant.
How are we expected to exist when we put up walls we abuse those less than us we phone in our parenting to the point where our offspring act like the worse kind of criminal and you act in such an ignorant manner to a neighbor of many years whose only crime is wishing you New Year.
We are all Americans, we all came from somewhere else to claim the gold ring to give our children the best life the world can offer and once we are established reach back and pull up onto solid ground of freedom those we left behind. I speak a dozen languages today I asked a Latino in his own language to please move and thanked him greeted a Chinese boy in mandarin and greeted an Iraqi woman in her language while thanking the Indian waitress with Namaste and greeted the Tibetan monk on the train with tashe delek. I just finished an email from my German friend Kristina and said goodnight to my poppa in Ukrainian I say this not to brag but to show I welcome you all I am open to all I hate none till they give me personal reason all I ask is that when I a wheelchair using woman ask politely to get in first so I can help you by turning my chair so more can squeeze I don’t have to fear for my life and that of Ella’s as I finish my request and if you couldn’t take your son straight from home to the church or to visit your most special friend without fearing what would come out of his mouth or that he would display prejudice then I’m sorry don’t let them out on the streets from me to suffer a cat can give birth it doesn’t make them a mother a mother is a woman who thirty years down the road can look and say I did ok I birthed and educated and released upon the world a loving caring well spoken compassionate human being. Until you do stop expecting we the people to clean up after them and take their crap.
Joan pulled out her cell phone and began to videotape, documenting what she believes was a violation of her son’s civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Bede — who was labeled a flight risk — can be seen in the video sitting at the gate, quietly playing with his hat.
In the video, you can hear Joan sobbing and her husband expressing disbelief.
“He’s behaving,” Robert says. “He’s demonstrating he’s not a problem.”
“Of course he’s behaving. He’s never not behaved,” Joan adds.
“I kept saying, ‘Is this only because he has Down syndrome?’” Joan said in an interview with KTLA via Skype.
The family has flown together dozens of times. The only thing different about this flight was that they had upgraded for the first time to first class.
“This little boy had a seat in the first class area, and for some reason, they didn’t want that. That wasn’t acceptable,” Joan said.
American Airlines claims Bede was “excitable, running around, and not acclimated to the environment” and that the pilot had unsuccessfully tried to calm him down.
“For the safety of the young man and the safety of others, American Airlines offered to book another flight for the family,” American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller told KTLA.
Robert says the family was warned their son’s behavior was a concern because their first class seat was to close to the cockpit and a distraction to the pilot could cause a mid-flight emergency landing.
“My son is no different from a 4 or 5 year old as far as behavior,” Robert insisted.
The Vanderhorsts claim Bede hadn’t caused any troubles and instead was being discriminated against.
Eventually, airline personnel called airport police to intervene — and the family was booked on a United Airlines flight.
The Vanderhorsts eventually got to their home near Bakersfield and say they were not refunded for their upgrade fee, which they were never able to take advantage of.
They say they plan to sue American Airlines, and hope their experience will teach the company and people in general a valuable lesson.
“Respect each person’s dignity,” Robert said. “Every one of us should be treated with equal dignity
Anyone who has read this blog knows My track record with the TSA is not good the first time the idiots met me they demanded that I a gay woman in a wheelchair who doesn’t have the ability to walk or stand do both and wait in the corner while said wheelchair was X-RAYED.
When I being the intelligent one pointed out the wheels under my ass and tried to explain why they were there and what that meant for their request a private room was ordered for me as “a Combatant who wouldn’t cooperate with a reasonable request”. below is a link to the story.
Well that episode caused a riot and a new novel titled “14 DAYS” due out in December.
Here is a link to a sneak preview at chapter 1 of the novel 14 days http://disabledaccessdenied.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/an-unedited-excerpt-from-chapter-one-of-14-days-a-new-novel-by-mia-g-vayner/
Well she who must be obeyed my beautiful Ella just got promoted and it’s holiday time in September so we are taking 5 days In Los Angeles to chill out, unfortunately that means two separate excursions through the land of the cerebrally lost, also known as the airport TSA check point. So watch this space and see what idiocy they have learnt since last we met
September 4th virgin Atlantic 7.15 am to Los Angeles returning September 9th is the flight we’ll be on.