Monday, March 5, 2012

How to make life easier for people with disabilities

This week I wanted to write a blog post directed towards those who might not know how easy it really is to make a difference in the lives of those of us living with physical disabilities. Here's my Top 5 list of how doing a few little things can help make life easier for those of us who use wheelchairs or have physical disabilities.

1) If you are a business owner don't let the fact that someone is in a wheelchair or that they have a disability keep you from giving them a chance. Many of us are very talented people who if giving the opportunity will prove ourselves as an asset to your company. So the next time someone with a disabilty applies for a job within your business please give them a chance. I am sure you won't regret it.

2) If you are a home owner taking care of your property mainly the sidewalk in front of your house during the winter months this is very important. Since during this time of the year an icy snow covered walkway or driveway will severely limit our ability to get around safely. When you clear away snow and ice it really helps to make the communities we live in more accessible.

3) Don't be so quick to assume that accessible parking permits are seniors only passes. The truth is disabilities come in ever shape and form and can affect those young and old. To me it is truly sad that some people have no clue about what a disability is or what it looks like, what people need to learn is that a disability can affect anyone, even those who still have the ability to walk. So they next time you see someone parking in these spaces who doesn't appear to have a disability just leave them alone.

4) Continuing on the accessible parking theme this one's for permit holders. Do NOT park in the middle or on the cross hatching between any two vehicles already occupying an accessible parking space. No one should be parking their vehicle like this in any accessible parking space. This area was created to provide drivers and passengers with disabilities the room they need to exit their vehicles safely.When you park this way you make it harder for those of us who use these spaces to properly enter and exit our vehicles. Your permit doesn't give you the right to park this way.

5) Get involved in supporting a charity that benefits those living with disabilities. There are many organizations that have been created to help those in need of wheelchairs and mobility aids. When you make even a small donation it can go a long way in improving the lives of people with disabilities who are in need. Each year I join the Durham Region Walk for Muscular Dystrophy to make a difference in the lives of other's living with MD.

The hope behind this very unique "How to" list is to encourage people who aren't already doing so to get involved in playing an important role in improving the lives of those of us living with physical disabilities.

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