It is impossible for those without children with special needs to fully appreciate all of the ways that the child’s various challenges affect their lives. Of course, everyone understands the difficulties that certain physical and cognitive issues have on a child’s mobility, growth, and ability to live on one’s own. However, there are physical, emotional, financial, social, and mental pressures that these families face on a daily basis which many community members may not be aware.
Our Chicago birth injury attorneys know that these families do not expect pity or awards for the work necessary to deal with these particular challenges. And though these families face challenges, we continue to be amazed at the way that these difficulties are converted into amazing gifts. Children with certain challenges are sometimes able to enrich the lives of those around them in ways that can never be underestimated.
However, that does not mean that we shouldn’t collectively work to improve the day to day living experience of these community members in reasonable ways. Making accommodations for those with disabilities has been a centuries old struggle. For most of our history there was little actual accountability on the part of community members to create spaces that were open and available to those with disabilities. Fortunately, the world is changing. Most are aware of the American with Disabilities Act which passed in 1990. The measure is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against those with disabilities in a range of areas. This measure, along with many similar steps, signals a public willingness and need to take these certain vulnerabilities into account, allowing these individuals the ability to participate in society in the same way that the rest of us can.
But we still have a ways to go. That is because there are still various areas where those with disabilities, many of which were caused by birth injuries, are left behind. For example, a Lower Hudson Valley News story reported this week on problems at many local playgrounds where equipment for those with disabilities is in disrepair. The story highlights the case of one mother who brought her daughter to the park to play on the swings. Her daughter has cerebral palsy. The mother lifted the girl out of her chair and set her in the bucket shaped seats designed for those with special needs. However, as the swing started moving, the seat simply popped open, sending the girl careening through the air. Fortunately the girl survived with only scratches and bruises. Our Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys understand that these types of challenges are faced daily by families in this situation.
While investigating the accessibility of area playgrounds, many other families came forward and explained how parks in the region offered little for children were certain special needs. A disability advocacy group in the area is working on a study at the moment to fully identify the ways in which these spaces are open and available to children with disabilities. As it now stands, families usually only hear about accessible playgrounds through word of mouth from other families. One advocate explained, “There’s a network. You learn over time which playgrounds are better.”
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