Posted to site March 16, 2011
Re: The cost of accessibility
Where is the threshold between cost of accessibility and benefit to society? And who draws that line?
In history, there have been many great leaders and contributors to society who have or had a disability. Each of them has contributed to a world of change:
economic, social, industrial, political and artistic.
This list includes, but is not limited to, Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Columbus, Mozart, Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Edgar Allan Poe,
Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Orville Wright, Franklin Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and Stephen Hawking.
Presumably all of these great people of their time were able to make change, not just for their own benefit, but for that of all humankind. With tremendous
barriers and obstacles confronting them, they were or are the authors of remarkable achievements.
Had their societies been openly accepting of people with disabilities, imagine what they may have accomplished?
Moreover, imagine how many other great people may have emerged had their society been accepting and accessible? Now imagine what future people with disabilities might achieve if we give them the chance?
An accessible society makes opportunity for itself and individuals with disabilities. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is for all Ontario,
not just those persons with disabilities.
In my Ontario, the cost is the lost opportunity for the next Hawking, Ford, Churchill, Poe or Socrates.
Tim Nolan, chair, advisory committee for persons with disabilities, City of Hamilton