Door Opener for PWD?
Very disingenuous for Mr. Abbott to call himself a door opener for people with disabilities while using his office to deny ADA protections to fellow citizens [“Greg Abbott: The Cowboy Candidate,” November 2013]. I hear his argument that he is the state’s defense attorney. Of course, as governor he would be elected to serve all Texans — nobody’s attorney. A very direct way for Abbott to counter his inconsistencies is to state that, if elected, he would prioritize the waiver of sovereign immunity to ADA violations. That would align with the overwhelming majority of Texans who hate discrimination for any reason.
Abbott Versus Obamacare
The article on Greg Abbott was a fair description of his politics and his motivation as a person with a disability to become governor of Texas.
But there is one correction on a statement attributed to me that I heard Attorney General Abbott make about declaring a victory at the Battle of San Jacinto. The issue he was referring to was about how Texas would prevail over the Affordable Care Act in the courts, not the ADA. He made the analogy that the Supreme
Court ruling that the ACA was constitutional was like the loss Texas received at the battle at the Alamo, but that Texas would ultimately prevail at the Battle of San Jacinto.
ADAPT of Texas
Ironside Killed Ironside
I think Jeff Shannon is half right [“Who Killed … Ironside?” November 2013 online-only article]. People with disabilities didn’t get behind the new Ironside and neither did anyone else, because they ignored their base in casting, production, development and direction. Part of the reason the show failed is because the producers flubbed the details, and those few who tuned in saw it even if they didn’t know why. That’s a problem because if a show gets a crucial element like the lived experience of disability wrong, they are likely to handicap other aspects of the show as well. That said, Shannon’s final assessment is spot on: It’s a real shame and a missed opportunity. So much more could’ve been done. Too bad it wasn’t.
Ironside as Guest Cop?
The show wasn’t good enough to survive. However, it might be fun to see the character Ironside make some guest appearances on other NYC cop shows. They seem to exist in the same “universe,” and crossovers like that have been done before.
Sleep Apnea Option
I was injured in 1977, diagnosed with sleep apnea 2004 and had the surgery for it [“CPAP for Sleep Apnea: Breathing Under Pressure,” November 2013]. It worked for a few years until I gained weight and got a little older, both of which contribute to sleep apnea. After that, I tried the CPAP machine and could not handle it. As a C4-5 quadriplegic, I cannot reach up and adjust the mask when the air would leak around it. My pulmonary specialist recommended an oxygen concentrator, and I have been using it without any problems for the last six years. It’s great because the cannula just goes in my nose, like when I have been in the hospital and sleep without any problems. Yes, the concentrator makes a little noise, but it is in the other room and the noise is minimal with a long tubing on the cannula. I can also close the bedroom door and not affect the tubing. I would recommend it for anyone who cannot handle CPAP.
More on CPAP
After discussing my post-polio issues with the pulmonary doctor, I felt he knew nothing about breathing issues and polio, so I found someone who did. Dr. John R. Bach, who is in charge of the Center for Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation Alternatives and Pulmonary Rehabilitation at University Hospital in Newark, N..J., says people with breathing muscle weakness should not be on CPAP machines, and BiPAP machines are of minimal help. His recommendation is that if there is a problem breathing at night, then the person should use a ventilator at night. The concern is that with both a CPAP and a BiPAP, the user is exhaling against pressure, since both machines deliver a flow of air into the lungs. The BiPAP expiratory pressure can be lowered, but he states that the usual pressure settings for a BiPAP of 10 inspiratory and 5 expiratory are suboptimal. He says the way to rest muscles is to use a ventilator with pressures of 18 to 20. CPAP and some BiPAP settings can weaken muscles used to exhale. If a person has paralysis with normal lung function, then the CPAP would be beneficial for sleep apnea.
If you have a neuromuscular condition, be sure your pulmonary doctor has a background in neuromuscular conditions. Your life depends on it.
I am a C5-7 incomplete spinal cord injury survivor. I live in the Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon. Eugene is a great city for wheelers [“Disability-Friendly Cities …,” October 2013]. We have paved trails that go along the Willamette River. You can travel by trail from Springfield’s Island Park to West Eugene and beyond. We have a disabled dance team here, our city has disabled programs for outdoor activities for both winter and summer, and our streets all have good curb cuts with access throughout the city. Our disabled community even got the federal government to change its plans for the new Wayne Morse Federal Building. The original plans had access from the back with an elevator. It now has a beautiful ramp designed into the front of the complex. Springfield also has paved trails that meander along the river for miles. A great place for wheelers!
Nice City to Visit …
San Francisco is my favorite city to visit. The hills can be a challenge, though there are usually routes to where you are going that avoid the steepest grades. The public transportation is amazing. Between BART and Metro I can get around very independently. For a heat-sensitive person with MS, the climate is the cherry on top.
Hotels: A Loser
I recently stayed in a Value Place hotel where they had remodeled the rooms since my last visit, and the bed was so high I cold hardly climb into it [“How to Get an Accessible Hotel Room,” November 2013]. The door to the room would not open all the way. When I tried to turn around in the bathroom, the back of my chair hit the trim on the door and pulled it off. Not only that, they reduced the number of “accessible” rooms with the remodel — amazing since they are in the same town as the Mayo Clinic and get a lot of clinic visitors. In my opinion, all accessible rooms should also be on the first floor. You cannot use the elevators in the event of a fire or loss of power.
Hotels: A Winner
I’m a T12 para. For just about every hotel I’ve stayed in, I’ve put together a Power Point with photos from my rooms with tips and suggestions. I approach management in a friendly manner in the hopes they will take my PPT seriously … when building new or remodeling. My suggestions would have no impact on the cost of the room in new builds and remodeling. Out of the many PPTs I’ve sent in to hotels, there’s only one that I felt was really positive — the Hyatt Bellevue in Bellevue, Wash.