No Grumbling About the Americans with Disabilities Act
One of the biggest lessons I learned was: Thank goodness for the ADA.
The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 1990 law was largely aimed at preventing discrimination against people with disabilities in hiring and employment. But it also specified that all public venues, such as hotels, restaurants, theaters, stores and auditoriums, should provide accommodations to let people with disabilities use their facilities.
During the worst of my ordeal, that law was a lifesaver.
There were times as I shuffled along with my walker that I couldn't have climbed a sidewalk if not for a curb cut-in or entered a building if not for an automatic door. A temporary handicapped-parking pass let me park close to the front of drugstores and grocery stores. Had I parked any farther away, I couldn't have made it to the store and back.
While I was injured we drove to Wisconsin, and on that trip I took my first showers in weeks - because every hotel had a bar on the shower wall that let me hold myself upright while the water cascaded on me.
It was a vivid lesson in how necessary those accommodations must be to people with disabilities - and a reminder that all of us are just an unexpected injury away from needing them ourselves.