Lack of accessibility

Re. Paralympian calls for change (Castanet, Nov. 21)

I am so glad people with disabilities are starting to speak up, and stand up, for themselves.

I am hard of hearing and I have lived my entire life in a constant struggle. My disability is "invisible" to 99% of the population, so I am constantly fighting for my rights—with employers or the school system (K-12 and even college).

Yes, it's better now but only because I had to tear down my own walls to get people to hear me.

There has been a lot of talk about human rights (transgender, Ever Child Matters, Indigenous, Black Lives Matter, Me Too). That is fantastic and we needed to do this, but we, as a society, completely forgot about a very vulnerable part of the population—people with disabilities.

It's tragic it took a couple incidents involving wheelchairs and airlines to finally start talking about accessibility.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of different disabilities out there that prevent people from working, yet disability funding from the government is $861 a month. I don't qualify (for that funding) because I'm not “deaf enough.”

If I didn't have the support I have now, I could easily be living on the street. We matter too.

Alicia Ferri

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