By Dhruv Khullar – July 11, 2017
Growing up, my sister never let our family get a blue “handicapped” placard for the car.
Born three months prematurely with cerebral palsy, she uses forearm crutches to get around. But she’d rather walk half a mile across a mall’s parking lot than take the reserved spot next to the entrance. (I found this particularly exasperating during the holiday season when a ready parking spot is more precious than the presents inside.)
But the prospect of less stigma and greater support for people with disabilities was a central reason my family immigrated to the United States. My sister was born the same year the Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) was passed — a law that reaffirmed America’s moral and practical commitment to equality.
More than 20 percent of Americans — nearly 57 million people — live with a disability, including 8 percent of children and 10 percent of non-elderly adults. And while the medical profession is devoted to caring for the ill, often it doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of the disabled. Continue reading