For L.A.’s disabled people, scooters and bad sidewalks aren’t the only hazards
old and new buildings side by side. older buildings don't have to comply with the ADA, which means most accessible housing is not covered by rent control even though rates of poverty are high among people with disabilities

Yes, messy sidewalks are hard. But so are shops and restaurants with steps at their entrances. So are blocks that lack curb cuts or have ones that are poorly designed. So are broken elevators. So is the fact that in L.A., if you’re a disabled person (which is what Radcliff calls himself rather than a person with a disability), you generally have to spend more on rent, because the properties covered by rent stabilization are older ones less likely to be accessible.

More broadly, accommodating disability is often done in such a perfunctory, ungracious manner that it makes disabled people feel “othered,” lesser and separated from the rest of us.

Once when he and a friend went to a concert at Pershing Square and staked out a spot on the grass, a guard told them they they were fire hazards (which became the name of their trivia team). He made them move to what was essentially a concrete pen — with a sign on it that said “ADA,” for the Americans With Disabilities Act.

According to the Social Security Administration, for those who are 20 now, the odds of being disabled by retirement age are greater than 1 in 4.

Did you ever stop to think that the same kind of planning designed to deny homeless people places to sleep also denies comfort to others who have physical problems and might need to take a seat and rest?

Read more in the LA Times.

Image credit: PlusONE / Shutterstock.com

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