Thursday, February 23, 2017
Beyond Back Of The Bus: Just Stay Off The Bus
(C) 2017 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- Feb. 23, 2017
At first it seemed like any other time when Debra Buell used a county public bus.
When the bus arrived the driver used the special lift to get her and her power wheelchair on board. Then he secured the wheelchair.
This takes time. But two women sitting in the front of the bus were annoyed. Apparently it was a life-or-death situation for them to be somewhere else without any delay.
Debra tried to ignore the women and their rude comments. But the women kept on, saying that people like Debra should just use the special paratransit service. After all, they thought, only the able bodied should ride on the regular bus. Without catering to someone in a wheelchair the bus would run on schedule.
The women kept complaining when more time was taken to drop Debra off at her destination.
Debra shared this story today at a meeting of public officials and advocates for the disabled held at the Clinton County Government Center. She told her story without any anger or bitterness even though such feelings would be understandable.
There was no justification for the two women to insult and debase someone deserving equal treatment. A selfish nasty person deserves an appropriate comeuppance. Poetic justice.
Maybe a car accident or an incurable disease will disable both women. If not the aging process will bring about chronic infirmities. Walkers or wheelchairs should be waiting for them in the future. Limited mobility would force them to confront the same challenges people with disabilities face every day.
One can only hope.