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Jul-26-2010 19:01printcomments

Yes! Those With Disabilities Are People Too!

Taking time to consider the achievements related to the Americans With Disabilities Act.


(CLEVELAND, Ohio) - At Salem-News.com we root for the common man, anyone who reads our pages knows that.

Among common men and women, some of our best friends are disabled.

It is important to note that today signifies a substantial mark in the progress for those who live with disabilities. Twenty years ago, the Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law.

Many of our disabled citizens never had a choice, some became handicapped through accidents and the like, and there are many who chose to serve their nation and for that, spend the rest of their lives with more challenges than others.

Yet we can't go far without encountering a disabled person who is a real asset in this society; people who rise far above others in their quest to see justice for all.

Of those wonderful people, we are great admirers.


Yes! Those With Disabilities Are People Too!

Attended a Saturday prayer breakfast a couple weeks back,
On Noble Road in Cleveland Heights is where it was at,
A traditional speaker, offering, then we were on our feet,
Headed to the chow line, oh yeah, now it’s time to eat.

Must admit at first I was more than just a little bit dismayed,
Although not required there was one guest, who did not pay,
When the basket was passed in front of him nothing came,
Then after the presentation out came his red and white cane.

Well, no wonder he didn’t acknowledge it when passed around,
And moving down the isle 6 people almost knocked him down,
Startled was I because of the apparent rudeness and disrespect,
We see that on the street but in a place of worship such neglect?

The House of our Lord and he was almost run over by sightful legs,
Because several knuckleheads wanted to be first for bacon & eggs,
So, I wondered what might have happened in a store or at the mall,
How many would’ve gone out of their way to pick him up from a fall.

It is the year of our Lord 2010 and we live in very perilous times,
On the phone Bill Grant reminded me of how many are so unkind,
His son Phillip has Cerebral Palsy and is confined to a wheelchair,
Yeah William, I hate to say you’re right but people really don’t care.

Encountering those less fortunate, cruel things do you think and say?
Should they need help do you walk toward or run the other way?
“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet,”
This quote must be foremost in our minds for everyone we meet.

It took a lot of pressure & perseverance but twenty years ago today,
Then President George H. Bush on 07/26/90 signed into law the ADA,
A bill that finally made discrimination against disabilities an illegal act,
For jobs, transportation, restaurants and housing, a long overdue fact.

There was actually a start-up movement five years before, okay where?
Several wheelchairs blocked bus routes, Cleveland, Ohio Public Square,
The police were taking them to jail and the reason they didn’t get there?
There’s no access to the paddy wagons or at the jail for their wheelchairs.

No, not everyone yet it seems there are less for them and more against,
Physically challenged their lives are backed up against society’s fence,
The world needs to rejuvenate its negative thinking with a positive view,
What would our Lord say? Yes! Those With Disabilities Are People Too!

By Luke Easter


Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Salem-News.com. Another former U.S. Marine, Luke explained what drives him to try to heal the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.

We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.

Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at: lyricsfromlucas@aol.com

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Merkley Statement on 20th Anniversar July 28, 2010 12:39 am (Pacific time)

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) this week:

“Twenty years ago, our nation took a stand for opportunity and inclusion by passing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before that time, millions of Americans living with disabilities did not have equal access to employment opportunities, transportation and public services. This legislation sought to right that wrong by ensuring that every American has a right to earn a living and can seize every opportunity before them.

“While it’s important to take a moment and recognize this critically important human rights legislation, this anniversary should also serve as a reminder that we can and should do better to improve the lives of Americans living with disabilities and their families. There is more work to be done to provide increased employment opportunities and improved access for those living with disabilities in communities across America.”

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