Your newspaper is makingway too much out of the new fees for parking in disabled spots (For disabled,accessibility now costs money, June 10, 2010).
The purpose of theAmerican Disabilities Act was not to create two sets of rules for disabled andnon-disabled persons. Its purpose was to ensure that all Americans hadequal access to the same opportunities. It is quite clear in the law thatthat while special accommodations are needed to assist disabled persons, thesepeople were also expected to comply with the same rules as everyoneelse.
For example, whenapplying for a job, an employer is expected to provide reasonableaccommodations to ensure that a disabled person has the access necessary toperform the job, but the disabled person also has to be qualified for thejob.
In much the same manner,the city has provided a number of parking spaces and other types ofaccommodation but instead of having a special class of people who don’t have topay, they now have to adhere to the same rules that everyone else does.
The city is correct inmaintaining that disabled people have the same opportunities, but now they justhave to pay like anyone else who drives and wants to park in the city. Ifanything, the people quoted in your article should feel that progress has beenmade in that we are treating everyone in the city equally.
– Micheline Eyraud