HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Friday, October 7, 2005

Disability Law Editorial

Today's New York Times has a very moving editorial by Susan M. LoTempio, a woman who uses a wheelchair for mobility.  The editorial concerns her recent experience at a concert and her inability to view the concert from her assigned seat and the rather rude treatment she received when she complained about her line of sight being blocked.  Ms. LoTempio writes,

When Sir Paul came out and launched into his first number, everyone stood up, and all I could see was a wall of gyrating backsides.

Too close to the stage to even see the huge monitors overhead, I moved into the aisle to try to get a view. The security guard told me to move back. I asked him where I could go to see around the masses of bodies, and he ordered me to stay where I was.

I tried to remain polite, but that painful sensation I get when I'm being dismissed or patronized swept through me and I yelled back, "These tickets cost $300, and I can't see anything."

"Stay there," the security guard shouted, his face just inches from mine. "If you don't like it, you can leave."

He abruptly took off, returning with the guy from the disabled services office, who looked around and said there wasn't much he could do.

It was then that I snapped. More than forty years of having to enter restaurants through kitchen doors; years and years of being carried up the steps of public schools; and countless times being hauled onto airplanes like a baby in a buggy culminated in this one degrading moment. Who gave them the right to take my money and then take away the concert? Who gave them the right to make me look as if I had done something wrong?

More work needs to be completed on making sure that all buildings comply with the ADA.  [bm]

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