Citizens With Disabilities - Ontario
"TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER"

         



Accessibility Issues At Queen's Park

9th February - 2008

Corey Davidson, a Public Administration and Governance student at Ryerson University, shared with us some concerns about accessibility at Queen's Park: A Clear Message

While on a tour of Queen's Park today, I noticed that the legislative chamber did not appear to be wheelchair friendly.When I asked the tour guide about how a wheelchair-bound MPP could take their seat, I was shown that there was a ramp that led to a small area at the back of the opposition benches that could accommodate wheelchairs.

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, this situation is a microcosm of the societal segregation faced by disabled persons.

We have recognized that sending blacks to the back of the bus was reprehensible, so how can grouping all MPP's who use wheelchairs into a small section in the backbenches be justified?

The message being sent here is clear:

If you use a wheelchair and are elected as an MPP, we have a place for you in the backbenches. However, if you aspire to be Premier or a member of the cabinet or shadow cabinet and sit in the front benches, you are out of luck.

[There is also no outdoor public entrace with a ramp].

Disabilities And Politics

Nearly 90 years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken with lower motor paralysis [due to polio at the age of 39].

In order to continue his political career, he went to great lengths to conceal his disability (see http://www.ur.umich.edu/0304/Oct27_03/19.shtml) from the general public - using painful steel leg braces, a cane and the strong arm of one of his sons - to make it appear that he was still able to walk.

It is sad to me to think that if Roosevelt were running for political office today, he would probably go to similar lengths to mask his disability, even though he would not be able to pull it off.

Reproduced from http://lawiscool.com/2008/02/09/accessibility-issues-at-queens-park/

More accessibility articles.