For years, wheelchair users have felt like second-class citizens when it comes to traveling. It had reached the point where a lot of people felt trapped in their homes, or dependent on other people in order to just get out and shop for groceries, or other mundane tasks that able-bodied people take for granted.
Travel was tricky with airlines, buses and coaches making little allowance for the extra space, time and help required when dealing with a wheelchair user.
However, with the ongoing amendments to the ADA, things have definitely begun to improve. Wheelchair users now have the confidence to apply for jobs they might never have considered before, and to travel more freely.
Employers, businesses, public transport firms, shops and hotels are all bound by strict rules and guidelines with regards to providing access, facilities and equal opportunities to wheelchair users. Whereas once it would have been unlikely for a wheelchair user to be seen in many workplaces, changes to laws have meant that accessibility around the workplace and positive discrimination have opened up more opportunities for the less able-bodied. This has obvious benefits for wheelchair users but ADA works both ways. Job vacancies can now appeal to a greater number of applicants and businesses are finding that many highly skilled applicants can now apply for positions, regardless of their disability.
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-Ashley Lyn Olson