Why Fight Accessibility?
January 26, 2004
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO--In a column entitled "Why should the disabled have to fight so hard for equal treatment?", the Albuquerque Tribune's Barbara J. McKee took a brief look at some of the issues behind an accessibility case heard earlier this month by the U.S. Supreme Court.
"If you are a person with a disability, you're not a real person who deserves the right to vote. You're not worthy of having an elevator that allows you to attend a court session," McKee wrote, referring to the case of Tennessee v. Lane.
In that case, George Lane, who uses a wheelchair, is trying to sue the state of Tennessee because it has not required county courthouses to be accessible to him and other Tennesseans with physical disabilities. The state is arguing that the U.S. Constitution protects state governments from having to pay damages in suits filed by individuals.
"Why do people fight accessibility?" asked McKee. "Why do they believe an elevator or a ramp is an infringement on their rights to an unblemished staircase? Had the state of Tennessee simply taken the money and time to install an elevator eight years ago, none of this would be happening. How much of the Tennessee taxpayers' money is being wasted fighting the installation of an elevator?"
"Why should the disabled have to fight so hard for equal treatment?" by Barbara J. McKee (Albuquerque Tribune)
"State of Tennessee v. George Lane and Beverly Jones" (Inclusion Daily Express)