Letter: Changes are needed to set America’s disabled free

June 13, 2013 

The disabled of America are still far from free. The disability rights movement was years ago, yet nobody ever talks about it or takes serious steps to improve the system that keeps the disabled, including wheelchair users like me, from having the chance to live a full life.

This summer, as I try to figure out how to get out into the community and do volunteer work while I am on summer break, I took on the frustrating task of figuring out how to find free and accessible transportation. I called a lot of programs, emailed people and filled out useless paperwork. It was depressing and very frustrating to figure out that in Anchorage, there are only three wheelchair-accessible taxis, that getting a waiver to ride the AnchorRides buses is almost impossible, and that if you can’t get to a People Mover stop or afford a car, you have no choice but to be a prisoner in your own home.

It is time to change things and let the disabled be free.

— Desiree Rodriguez


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