Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “The Dumpster”

It is perhaps ironic when a blind person says a picture is worth 1000 words. I studied poetry in graduate school and have built my life around a deep affiliation with language. Nonetheless here is a photograph which may defy customary language. We’re talking about the Americans with disabilities act at 30. This photo shows a large trash dumpster outside the central administration building of Syracuse University. The dumpster is located in a disability parking spot.

If I told you this is a rare occurrence at Syracuse University I’d be having you on. I have more than once complained about obstacles blocking crosswalks, dumpsters in parking spaces, retrofitted auditoriums without spaces for wheelchairs, inaccessible software. Despite this the problems repeat.

How is it that 30 years after the Americans With Disabilities Act this shit continues to exist not just on college campuses but in every element of the public sector?

It’s because the ADA is imagined as something for “other people“ and therefore it’s fit to be ignored.

We’re talking about white privilege as we should. Able bodied privilege comes from the same family. Inconvenience as deliberate action is never innocent.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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