Public Comment

Living Disabled

Lois A. Crispi
Saturday December 10, 2016 - 09:20:00 AM

This article is written solely from my point of view on the lot of the Disabled in Berkeley and elsewhere. However, I believe there are thousands who would agree with me. I am an elderly woman who was born 76 years ago with a serious birth defect. My life expectancy was six years. The hardest part of being Disabled is that one is looked upon as a nonentity. The word NONENTITY is worth repeating. The assistance received when I was born helped minimally at best. It’s not much better today.  

I need physical therapy every day to remain in a vertical position, not the short length of time Medicare decides then allocates. I need a decent cost of living adjustment; everything goes up but my income. The 1 and 1/2 per cent yearly income that some boardroom committee decided is not fine. Some years there is no increase, however, things continue to go up. There is money for every thing else, but not for the growing number of Disabled. We are a wealthy country, what happened, why were we are left behind? It is because no one cares? Perhaps they just want us to go away. Are they afraid they may become like us? The majority of people will become disabled, ability is a temporary state.  

When did the pharmaceutical companies get to raise the prices of drugs to astronomical heights? When did they decide how many pills you can purchase? If you don’t have insurance, the Over The Counter cost for two prescription could be $600.00 for one and $380.00 for another, that’s a one month’s supply. Did some become greedy? Who's tending the store? Where do they think money comes from, the proverbial tree? An important question is, WHEN DID THE INSURANCE COMPANIES GET THEIR M.D’s?  

We all hope to get ahead. This is the fantasy for the Disabled. We know we will not get ahead. What will become of us? The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) gets a C- or less on my report card. There are still places that are inaccessible for me. The ADA was established in l990; they have conquered the too heavy door or the curb on the sidewalk. We need much more. I’m available, I’ve never been asked, “Are your needs being met?” I went to physical therapy in a facility where I was carried up a flight of stairs by two men. 

Disability is no longer limited to crutches and a wheel chair. It permeates the land. It includes women, who are degraded, and what about the immigrants, who is watching out for them? They will become statistics with no identity. There’s the sick and dying who can’t get the medical care they need, have lost their homes and all their belongings. Many have lost loved ones, to say nothing of their minds. The world is disabled, except for the people who run the it. One need not look far to see Disability is everywhere.  

Hopefully. this is to be the first in an article on the difficulties the Disable face every day in Berkeley and elsewhere.