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A look at the Americans With Disabilities Act on its 20th anniversary

Helping people in wheelchairs

Last week, I saw a young woman in a wheelchair heading toward a long incline by a schoolyard.

Vibration-research_clip_image002_0003 Years ago, I stopped to ask a man in a wheelchair who was working his way up a very steep hill if he needed help. “Are you kidding?” he replied. He was happy to have help.

So I asked the young woman if she’d like assistance. She, too, was grateful for the help. It was her first day in a wheelchair after knee surgery on a ligament.

When we got to the top of the incline, I asked her if she wanted me to push her several more blocks to the bus stop. She said yes.

I was surprised how difficult it was to negotiate the wheelchair around the narrow spaces next to the streetlights on the corners.

When we reached the bus stop, the woman thanked me warmly. It made my day.

About 3.3 million people age 15 and older use a wheelchair, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s “20th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26.”

See “What Can You Do?” on Dizabled for suggestions on how to help a person in a wheelchair.

Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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