Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Disability Discrimination

I know it is hard to believe but I get discriminated against regularly because of my disability.   I know this sounds crazy right?  I thought so too, until it started happening to me on a regular basis.  It happens to be at least every month.  The majority of people in this world are nice decent people, but one sour apple can really ruin your day.  I have learned to stick up for myself and to complain and write letters to companies anytime a discrimination occurs.  My disability has really given me a lot of self confidence in this sense.

Luckily, I have the American with Disabilities act backing me up.  Under Title III, it says any private place of business that is open to the public must make accommodations for people with disabilities.  There is even a special section for airports.  I have only had one incident of discrimination happen at the Bellingham airport.  One good thing about having a disability is I never have to wait in line at the airport!  I have learned to carry around a copy of Title III in my person in case any body gives me any trouble. It also helps to carry a cane with me because it signals to people that I have a disability.

I will share a few of the most recent discrimination stories with you.

I was at the mall crossing the road to the parking lot.  I was in the crosswalk.  When I get tired, I walk with an obvious limp with my leg dragging behind me.  I always have to walk slowly and gingerly.  As I got finished crossing the cross walk, the lady waiting for me in her car yelled out her window "Hurry up, your holding up traffic!"  And then sped off to get a parking space.

I have had two incidents at Target.  I always ride the power carts to do my grocery shopping.  I cant go to a store that doesnt have these power carts.  As I was getting on the power cart at Target an employee starts yelling at me and running over to me.  The employee says to me "These are not for children to use, these are for the elderly and people with disabilities."  Another time at Target I was riding around on my cart and an employee was glaring at me and rolling her eyes and sighing.  I thought that she couldnt be rolling her eyes at me.  When I went to ask her where an item was she says to me  "you know you shouldnt be riding that thing."
I did write to Target and they promised to speak with all 400 employees in the store about the American with Disabilities Act.  Also, they were very apologetic.

These are just a few incidents that happen to me on a regular basis.  I can understand why people would be confused, since I am young, healthy-looking, and dont look like I have a disability.  However, there are a lot of young people with disabilities and I think it is important to bring awareness to this.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Angela, I enjoyed reading your blog a lot! I just thought of something after reading this. You should get your doctor to get you a Handicap Parking Permit. When I had my foot surgery 2 years ago, my doctor granted a temporary one, which only lasts 6 months. I'm sure in your case you can get a more permanent one. But it comes in handy, especially when you can't find a parking spot!