… just go read Liz Henry’s post. She is more eloquent (and informed!) about this topic than I ever could be.
But if you want a peek into my outrage on the topic, I do have a couple things to get off my chest
(Rant mode on.)
HELLO! Did you all not even CONSIDER accessibility when you were planning the inaugural? Was there not even a possibility that ONE important attendee on the stand may need help, access, a ramp, or other accomodation to enjoy the ceremony just like any other American? Did it not even occur to you to check to see that the Vice President had the most basic accomodations for his injury? You had two days warning, after all, and he IS WAS the vice-president.
/Rant mode off.
But really. . . if this is the best we can do for the Vice President of the United States, what hope is there for the rest of us?
I’ve not spent much time in a wheelchair, not like my blogfriend Liz, so I barely feel qualified to talk about this … but it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to start understanding the basics.
1. Access. Can everyone get into the venue?
2. Participation. Can everyone perceive the action and participate, whether hearing or sight impaired?
3. Compassion. Can everyone get the respect they deserve?
I’m no Cheney fan, but when I saw him sitting alone in the midst of a crowd of happy chatters, my heart sank. He was alone, behind the bulletproof glass, and no one thought to sit with him at that important moment.
I remember sitting alone in a wheelchair myself, accidentally left alone facing the wall in the chemotherapy unit, and feeling helpless. It was a horrible feeling, even worse than the needle and IV bag that I’d have to carry around that day, with the chemicals that burned my cells and took my strength. It sucked.
So, seriously. Next time? Let’s not whisk our wheelchaired friends off to the side so summarily, okay?
It’s the law.