Looking for ways to assist handicapped

By Paul Sassone

Paul Sassone

The world was not made with handicapped people in mind.

There are just too many curbs, too many steps, too many heavy doors, too many narrow doorways.

Making their way through the world for the physically challenged is, well, challenging.

But, the world doesn’t need to be quite as challenging as it is. Not that people go out of their way to make it difficult for the physically challenged. It’s that the world is designed and built for the most part by people who aren’t handicapped. How something will impact the physically handicapped falls between the cracks.

And there also is cost. It takes money to make buildings, buses, trains, etc. handicapped accessible. And that used to serve as an excuse for doing little or nothing for handicapped persons.

In recent years, though, laws have been passed requiring physical accessibility. And the situation has improved.

There still is a lot of room for improvement.

Some improvements don’t require new laws or more money spent. There are things we can do as part of our everyday life that will benefit physically challenged people.

Such as?

Well, grocery shopping, for one.

People with mobility problems often have trouble navigating from the parking lot to the store itself.

But with mobility problems comes ways of adapting. For grocery shoppers one of those ways is to grab a shopping cart from a cart return in the parking lot and use it as a walker to get inside the store.

But grocery stores — worried about liability should one of their shopping carts ding a car — send out a virtual regiment of shopping cart retrievers who gather carts and bring them inside.

So, too often, there are no shopping carts in the parking lot for physically challenged people to use.

This problem could be avoided — or at least lessened — if the cart gatherers would leave one shopping cart at each cart return for handicapped persons to use as walkers.

No extra cost. And no extra effort.

Which started me thinking: There must be other actions we can take to help those with mobility problems. Actions that require thought rather than money.

If you have any ideas along these lines write me here at the paper — editor@chronicleillinois.com — and I’ll share your ideas with readers.

–Looking for ways to assist handicapped–