Sunday, June 29, 2008

ADA Restoration Act Passes House, Etc.

Stephen Kuusisto at Planet of the Blind reports that the ADA Restoration Act was passed by the House with a vote of 402 to 17. I had not seen this in the papers, though an article about the act before emphasized a statement by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that some changes could be costly. The writer failed to note that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce actually officially endorses the ADA Restoration Act. I don't know why I'm surprised that it passed by such a large margin, but I really am. Finally, discrimination will no longer be condoned because of weird readings of the law.

I've had this Twilight Zone kind of weekend in which now no one seems to notice me or react to me quite as extremely as they had been. My daughter noticed, too, that people's reactions are more sedate now that I'm not wearing the neck brace. Yes, people noticed, but they didn't stop what they were doing and turn around and gawk. I've returned to a more familiar space and it feels more comfortable. Honestly, I had thought people's reactions would be kinder when disability is more visible. Not so at all, though when it's not as visible, then you get the "lazy" reaction or dismissive responses to real needs. There's disablism regardless.

After 5 minutes of debating in the car today whether to take my scooter into a restaurant, we left it in the car. And then ran into VBW's CEO, whom I don't know but who recognizes me (aren't that many people in scooters at work). I'm not sure whether his reaction was "faker" because I wasn't using the scooter or that he didn't want to be noticed, but he did not look pleased. Damn it, it wasn't a long walk to the table, though the restroom situation turned out to be challenging. In better news, the middle manager who turns down most of my requests for accommodation (pretty minimal requests, but greatly needed and consistently turned down for 3 years) has now left and has been replaced with a manager whom I know and like very much, and who is very reasonable about and empathetic to disability issues. Very nice guy.

We took the kids to see Wall-E this weekend. They got the environmental and consumer messages, something we've already talked about, but I had to explain how "Wall-E" and the giant corporation BNL parodied Wal-Mart and similar stores. What's ironic is all the Wall-E products in stores and the cheap plastic disposable watches handed out at the theater. I was left all alone with the kids when my husband sought refreshments during previews. I couldn't help but snort and laugh aloud about a new Cartoon Network show called Flapjack, only because (don't click at work, it's probably PG or PG-13 but sexist, women reveling in pancakes) I'd recently but introduced to the flapjack video on youtube. Hubby threatens my feminist license is going to be revoked for linking, but if, like me, you happened to catch the final lyrics, "amphetamine omlette on a cold summer day, polyurethane toast and a dirt flambe," hubby points out that they're not the point and anything could have been sung. If Ms. magazine accepted videos for its back page, this one would be a nominee.

I finally purchased a Tempur-Pedic pillow today. It's been very difficult to sleep without the neck brace, and the extra support helps and may help keep the other disc spaces from degenerating as much or me in PT as much. Having my husband rub my back puts me to sleep instantly, but I wake up again from pain, and using a rolled towel hasn't worked. I also found a support cushion that fits in my scooter and will reduce some of the pain from it--by pushing the cushion forward a little, I can get a little more support behind the knees to relieve some of the pain caused by inadequate support.

What we'd really like is the couches we tried out at the store, an average of $5000 each. I don't think so, though ours are 12 years old and losing support (others have commented they're not good for me). We are not in the market. They were amazingly comfortable, not just supportive, but pain relieving. I wouldn't mind one of their mattresses either. Hey, I can dream, can't I? Yeah, that's a big dream all right. Pain free seating, fully supported, so that I can be upright (though reclining) rather than lying down.

Random fevers. Rheumatic.

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