Thursday, January 24, 2008

The power of bitching

Here is a story relaid to me by my late grandmother. This illustrates how we can get the accommodations we need if we complain enough to the right people.

My grandmother was living in Mexico. She had to use a walker. Whenever her chauffeur would drive her to the grocery store he would park in the disabled parking spot. Unfortunately she was frequently finding the parking spot occupied by able bodied people. So she complained to the store management. The store management did something about it. If I remember right they had a chain strung across the parking spot. Whenever she needed to park there someone would come out and move the chain.

This goes to show what we can do if we bitch loudly enough at the right people. If we need some kind of accommodation we should ask for it. Now of course depending on the situation we may run into the ADA. But if we can circumvent the ADA by going directly to the right person it can sometimes be easier to get what we need.

Here is a personal example I mentioned in my previous post. I couple of years back I took a writing class at a college here. In that class we had writing assignments to do in class. Handwriting for me is a chore. So I asked the teacher if I could use my laptop and email her the assignments. She said that was fine. If I had gone through the office of students with disabilities, who knows what kind of red tape I would have had to deal with.

In general I think it's best to go directly to the person first. If you can't get your accommodations that way, then go through whatever office or agency you need to.

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