October 19, 2010

Receiving the Full Menu

Every day if I need or want to leave my house, I do. Other than deciding which mode of transportation best suits my plans, I go. No one gives me permission, or denies me access, to drive my car or board a train, bus, subway, or plane.

I take this freedom for granted.

A video shared via email and a Facebook post seen within minutes of each other, have me thinking about this freedom, and others. I invite you to join me in this reflection.

The email and video, from Ms. Cyndi Jones, EDS seminarian and director, Center for an 
Accessible Society:

“I forward this video to show you where things are headed -- back 25 years ago, before the Air Carriers Access Act, when any flight attendant could deny you access to a flight or a connecting flight because of your disability.

“Whenever you get on a plane and hear them say something like: to sit in an exit row you must be able to see the instructions, hear the instructions, do the instructions ... or we will reseat you -- this was one result of the ACCA. Before that Act anyone except blind individuals could sit in an exit row.

“But if this policy persists [the carrier’s policy as stated in the video], people with disabilities may no longer have the right to fly.” 

The Facebook post: ‎

"I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

What do you think about this company’s approach to balancing issues of accessibility and safety?

What approach has your congregation or faith group taken regarding these issues?

How accessible is your church, the parish hall, and other church facilities to someone with a mobility impairment? A hearing impairment?

As a person of faith, what can you do to help deliver ‘the full menu’ to all of God’s children?