The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, telecommunications, commercial facilities, and state and local government. and, by law, the ADA must ensure equal opportunity for all disabled Americans. Unfortunately, although most companies do follow the guidelines provided by the ADA, there are still many improvements that need to be made in order to truly fulfill the ADA's purpose.
In my personal opinion, one of the first things that needs to change, is the lack of elevator access in certain areas. What does this mean? This means that although most public places do have an elevator, they only have ONE, and those who desperately need to use it, are lucky if it is fully-functioning.
You may read this, and ask yourself "What's the problem?" Well, just think about what would happen if that single elevator was broken down. For those of you who are in a wheelchair, or have limited mobility, you probably already understand where I am going with this, but if you are not in this situation, take a moment and imagine you were. Imagine you are in school, in a wheelchair, and you have a class on the second or third floor of the building, and the only elevator in that building is broken. You may be thinking "I can skip today - one day won't hurt" or "I can get my work later and still turn it in on time." Although you would be right, what would you think if the elevator broke down while you were upstairs? This is a whole other ball game, and I'm speaking from personal experiences.
In my school, I have a class in a building that only has one elevator, that is constantly breaking down. On several occasions, it has not only kept me downstairs, but it has also left me stranded upstairs. As I mentioned before, being downstairs, and not being able to go up is not such a big deal, but getting stuck upstairs, in my experience, only leaves you with one option - call security and/or a Fire Rescue Squad, and be carried down the stairs. I personally hate when this happens for several reasons: 1. It feels like an invasion of personal space, 2. It's embarrassing, and 3. It's always risky.
[Reasons Elaborated Below]
Invasion of personal space - When you have to be taken down the stairs, there are usually several people who come to take you. I've had about four to five people come every time, and each time, they have to move me from my chair to their own chair, and back again, once I am downstairs. It always makes me feel uncomfortable.
Embarrassing - Although I do believe that no one should care what others say or think about them without knowing their situation, it is still normal to view this particular situation as embarrassing.
Risky - Although the people sent to help are professionals, we can not deny the fact that accidents do happen. Lifting another human being while trying to walk down two or three flights of stairs is very risky, and there is always a chance that a dangerous situation can occur.
These three things could be eliminated if more places, such as my school, would have more than one elevator. Even if one is broken down having one or more additional elevators that lead to the same place would be much more effective in "ensuring equal opportunity" for the disabled community.
Have you ever been in a similar situation, and feel the same way about this topic as I do? Visit: https://www.ada.gov/ (ADA official website) ; http://www.driadvocacy.org/about/ (Disability Rights International) or call: (202) - 296 - 0800 to make your voices heard!