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Monday, August 31, 2020

GOLDEN HOTEL CAIRO, EGYPT -- 6

3-Star Hotel that Offers 10-Star Service at Backpacker Prices
Admittedly, from the street, the Golden does not wow you.  

There’s a not so glamorous sign wedged among the retail shop’s signage, a narrow entrance and a flight of more than a dozen stairs to reach an ancient elevator.

I’m used to elevators being flush with the ground floor entrance. 

That way, people who use wheelchair, walkers and crutches can access upper floors without doing the steps.

Well, there must be 100, maybe 10 times that many, beautiful old downtown Cairo buildings with the odd setup of enter, do the stairs, then enter a quirky but beautiful old cage elevator.

This is the kind of lift that doesn’t work unless you close the door tightly.

But it looked to be refurbished, so it had the best of both worlds – old world appearance but modern upgrades for safety and stability.

http://goldenhotelegypt.com/

Sunday, August 30, 2020

WHY I DON’T PULL PUNCHES ON SOCIAL MEDIA

I AM PROUD TO SHARE MY ADVOCACY FOR EQUITY, MY SHAMING OF BIGOTRY, WITH ALL – REGARDLESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES

"Republicans buy shoes too.”  That was Michael Jordan’s famous reported response to why he didn’t use his immense influence, talent, stardom and wealth to speak up for progressive causes or speaking out against policies and politicians that continue to hurt marginalized people.

MJ, famous for years for being apolitical, has a right to do whatever he wants to. Years after retiring, he broke his silence and condemned the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.  If had his bank account, I would not have waited so long to be fearless in calling out discrimination both overt and subtle -- damn the celebrity, fame, adulation and shoe contracts.

Actually, I’m pretty sure Jordan’s sofa change is worth much more than my accumulated net worth from 55 years on this planet.  And I take discrimination and inequity to task almost daily…on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, this blog and in nationally-published essays.

Most often, I take on policy and design that continues to enslave people with disabilities in poverty, underemployment, unemployment, substandard housing and worse.

I also have no trouble calling out local, state and federal officials for any act that is corrupt, hateful, arrogant, abusive or unethical.

More than a dozen friends have quietly, privately told me to knock it off. That I have probably offended a potential client or killed the chance for repeat business from a client who loves bullying, bigoted politicians and “leaders.”

They tell me I can ill-afford to rail against paving over park land, sweetheart deals to billionaires, bigoted/biased policies, demagoguery and other things infecting government on all levels.

Acquaintances have pleaded with me to take down posts that outline why Donald Trump is a white supremacist, a liar, a crook, a cheat, a person who mocks people with disabilities and plots to take away what little access to health care and social safety net that remains for them.

Maybe I’m a fool. But I’m a fool who sleeps soundly. A fool that will leave this world with his good name.

I am trained as a journalist. My DNA screams to me to shine a light on evil, corruption, hatred, racism, sexism, homophobia.

People are willing to think whatever they want, vote for whatever authoritarian, destroying of democracy that appeals to them.

But if they cannot work with me because I believe in social justice, in affordable housing, in a vast safety net, in equity in planning, transit, parks, infrastructure and mobility for all – then that’s their problem.

My work arrangements are like mini marriages. We have each other’s back. We can confide in each other. Trust, honesty and decency are treasured.

It is our duty, as Americans, to fight for equality. To shame elected and appointed officials who spew hatred and damage lives.

I honor that duty with most every word that comes out of my mouth, with virtually each word I type on my keyboard.

If that renders all my experience, talent, creativity and collaborative spirit void, then so be it.

Guess I’ll never have the wealth of Air Jordan. Guess we’ll have to get by with one small house, flying coach and investing wisely.

I cannot, will not, compromise my values for the dollar.

 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

GOLDEN HOTEL CAIRO, EGYPT -- 5

3-Star Hotel that Offers 10-Star Service at Backpacker Prices
On the plus side, the hotel workers and other guests were super quiet at night, so even a light sleeper like me was able to catch sound slumber.

Is it grimy? 

Well, a combination of sand from the desert, car pollution, street vendors cooking all sorts of food and dust cast off by more than 20 million Cairenes...

Yes, the city is blanketed in a bit of grime.

But I saw Golden Hotel workers mopping stairs, hallways and every inch of common areas at a pace that would put a Ritz Carlton to shame.

http://goldenhotelegypt.com/

Friday, August 28, 2020

GOLDEN HOTEL CAIRO, EGYPT -- 4

3-Star Hotel that Offers 10-Star Service at Backpacker Prices


Anyone reading this instantly knows this was my first trip to Cairo.

To answer my own questions.

All of the core of Cairo is noisy. Traffic is some of the worst on earth and drivers (don’t believe me, watch the movie Cairo Drive) have their own language of endless horn honking.

Shops also are known for cranking up Egyptian Pop to draw customers – in harmony (cacophony?) with blaring car stereos.

Thankfully, the shops underneath my room had zero music at any time of day.

The car horns, yes, you could hear them even through the tightly-shut door to my balcony, but after my first night, I got used to them. 

They are only slightly crazier than New York.

http://goldenhotelegypt.com/

Thursday, August 27, 2020

GOLDEN HOTEL CAIRO, EGYPT -- 3

3-Star Hotel that Offers 10-Star Service at Backpacker Prices


There were shops in the ground floor part of the building – would they be blaring music that kept me up?

The reviews mentioned an odd mix of retail, storage rooms, old apartments and a few hotel rooms carved out of a charming old Belle Epoch building.

Would the elevator be running 24/7, would it work at all?

Would there be street noises?

Would things be grimy?

Would there be hot water?

If it did have a good elevator and hot water, how could they do all of that for at roughly $30 USD per night – including full breakfast, maid service, taxes and airport pick-up?

http://goldenhotelegypt.com/

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

GOLDEN HOTEL CAIRO, EGYPT -- 2

3-Star Hotel that Offers 10-Star Service at Backpacker Prices


If you want to feel the vibe of the city, experience unique interiors, stay in a building with a façade worthy of the grandest arrondissement in Paris.

If you want to chat with a wise owner who has stories about every corner of Egypt and benefit from a front desk manager so versed in hospitality that he will literally nurse you back to health – stay at Golden Hotel.

When I was researching the Golden online, I saw an average rating of 4+ of 5 stars and a lot of positive comments from people like me – who want a private room (not a youth hostel cot) but treasure the quirky.

Still, I was a little uneasy. The street looked very busy. The façade looked a little tired.

http://goldenhotelegypt.com/

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

GOLDEN HOTEL CAIRO, EGYPT -- 1

3-Star Hotel that Offers 10-Star Service at Backpacker Prices


Golden Hotel, in the perfect location in Downtown Cairo, consistently gave me better service than many $300+ USD per night, 5-star (in terms of full amenities, not rating) hotels have.

It’s one of those places where you are treated like family and leave feeling like the owner and staff members are part of your extended family.

Maybe the Golden isn’t for everyone. 

If you MUST have a property with 5 on-site restaurants, a cookie-cutter characterless room in an ugly hulking building with prices soaring near $200 (sky high for Cairo) – then book a chain hotel and drop well more than $2K for 10 day’s stay

http://goldenhotelegypt.com/



Monday, August 24, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 20

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
“I’m happy to see young folks speaking freely about disability life without shame, sharing info on social media.

That’s what we need to do: to keep telling our stories. For too long, others have told our stories for us, stories which reduced our civil rights to dollars and cents,” Johnson-Wright said.

“Don’t apologize for being disabled. 

Don’t hide in the shadows. We need more than just the ADA. We need to keep pushing the cultural shift forward.”

Steve Wright has contributed stories about travel, urban design and civil rights. He has been a professional journalist for 40 years and has covered disability rights and the built environment since before the ADA was enacted. The Miami-based writer/activist gained all his insights into the fundamental right to access and accommodation when he met his now-wife of 30-plus years, Heidi Johnson-Wright, when both were studying at Kent State University in the mid-1980s.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

PROUD TO COLLABORATE WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

 MoMA show will feature Prof. Barnes' designs

Assistant Professor Germane Barnes will explore the expansive identity of blackness within the built environment as part of an exhibit opening in spring 2021 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

The exhibit, featuring 10 black architects-designers, was planned before the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. It is much more relevant since the killing of George Floyd and the renewed fight for equity and equality.

“MoMA has the oldest (museum) architecture department in the country. It is supposed to be modern and less old guard than other museums. “(But) it’s my understanding that there are fewer than five works in their permanent collection from black artists & architects,” said Prof. Barnes, who also is Principal at Studio Barnes Design Firm in Miami. “That is both alarming and serious. This show is certainly a step in the right direction, but there needs to be continued efforts in this vein.”

Prof. Barnes has explored black culture themes in exhibits in Miami looking at the traditional use of the front porch and the dining table. He said all those ideas will be wrapped into his portion of the 10-artist show at MoMA.

Click here for the full story:

https://news.miami.edu/soa-now/stories/2020/08/moma-show-will-feature-prof-barnes-designs.html

Saturday, August 22, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 19

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
“So, I filed a state civil rights complaint. 

When my boss found out, he flipped out and screamed at me!,” Johnson-Wright recalled.

“Ultimately, I got the toilet seat riser and a security guard was assigned to help me with the building entrance. 

I never got a door opener for the restroom. Such behavior would be inconceivable in today’s climate.”

Now with 30 years under the ADA, Johnson-Wright said PWD know their rights and are asserting them.

Friday, August 21, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 18

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Johnson-Wright, who has rheumatoid arthritis, started her first job out of law school when the ADA was brand new. 

She made a simple written request for a toilet seat riser and door openers for the restroom and the building’s main entrance. 

Weeks went by with no action and her state agency employer seemed to have zero understanding of the ADA.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 17

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Heidi Johnson-Wright is an author, speaker and ADA compliance professional who has used a power wheelchair for mobility for 35 years. 

She graduated from law school and got married – to this writer -- all before the ADA was enacted. Her experience with the federal law spans its entire history.

“One of the big challenges is getting people to understand that the ADA is a civil rights law and not a building code. 

While people are a lot more informed today, there are still those who hear “ADA” and think it consists solely of curb ramps and restroom stalls,” she said. 

“So, it’s my job to explain how the ADA applies to access to programs and services. 

For the most part, people want to do the right thing. 

They sometimes feel awkward around people with disabilities and are looking for guidance.” 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 16

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Calise said the ADA has created major positive impacts in New York, such as:
The City Building Code goes above and beyond the mandates set forth in the ADA.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has steadily increased the number of wheelchair accessible taxis.  

It passed regulations to mandate wheelchair accessibility in all for-hire-vehicles bases, including ride-sharing app companies.

The city develops accessible and affordable housing units by ensuring that a percentage of units in new affordable housing developments are set-aside for PWD. 

All units in new construction are adaptable should a PWD tenant require reasonable accommodations.

NYC: ATWORK that connects a talent pool of PWD to living-wage jobs and internships that meet their qualifications.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 15

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Victor Calise has served under two administrations as the Commissioner for the New York Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. 

He has used a manual wheelchair for mobility since an SCI in 1994. Calise, a 1998 Paralympics athlete, started with the city as its ADA point person for improving access in the parks system.

“As we approach the 30th anniversary of the signing of the ADA, I am proud that we have made great strides to increase accessibility and to prioritize disability rights in the City’s policy agenda,” Calise said.

“Disability Service Facilitators are strategically placed in City agencies so that disability rights are at the forefront of day-to-day decision-making.”

Monday, August 17, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 14

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS

AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 

Kennedy said PWD need to demonstrate their existing and untapped buying power to businesses.

“According to an Open Doors/Harris Poll in 2015, (over a two-year period) 26 million travelers with disabilities took 73 million trips and spent $34.6 billion on travel,” said Kennedy,

noting that because of the ADA’s advances, PWD have more than $200 billion in disposable income. 

“People will only start treating us as equals when we show them that our money is the same as theirs.”

Sunday, August 16, 2020

MORE THAN 250,000 PEOPLE READ MY BLOG

FOR DISABILITY ADVOCACY, URBAN DESIGN, TRAVEL AND MORE

When I started this blog a decade ago, I figured I’d post a few times a month.

It would be a place to share some photos from the road.

A spot to publish parts of stories cut by editors.

It would be a forum to fight for wheelchair access.

It could be a format for circulating ideas on urban design, architecture and planning.

I never guessed it would have more than 250,000 unique readers.

Nor would I have thought I’d make more than 2,700 posts and counting.

I certainly didn’t expect to have readers from more than 100 nations – despite virtually every post being in English only.

I couldn’t have dreamed that the entire volume of text would equal more than the word count of three non-fiction full books.

Or that I would post so much street photography that it would lead to a gallery show.

The images here are from Islamic Cairo.

Some of the mosques, madrassas and markets date to medieval times.

I hope you can become a follower of my blog.

I hope you can share its stories demanding better quality of life and built environment for people with disabilities.

Here are some stories on Universal Design, Inclusive Mobility and the ADA:

https://www.planning.org/planning/2016/mar/designforeverybody/

https://planning.org/planning/2018/feb/inclusivemobility/

https://www.planning.org/planning/2020/mar/access-denied/



Saturday, August 15, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 13

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
“It's not that difficult to be legally accommodating and doesn't cost that much money once you understand the basic needs of people.  

But those three letters instill fear in business owners to this day because they think they are going to get into trouble with the ADA police,” Kennedy said.

“The fact is that the ADA is a piece of paper that protects our rights as people with disabilities. 

There are no ADA police, and all you have to do is consult a local disability advocacy group for help in becoming more accessible -- help that is usually free.”

Friday, August 14, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 12

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Craig Kennedy, program coordinator for Open Doors Organization, has used a manual wheelchair for mobility for 25 years due to a T-12 SCI. 

The Chicago-based non-profit’s mission is to create a society in which all persons with disabilities have the same consumer opportunities as everyone else. 

Open Doors sponsors studies demonstrating the buying power of PWD, operates 465 accessible vans/taxis in Chicago and works on accessibility policy for 74 domestic and foreign air carriers. 

Kennedy said the biggest obstacle to ADA acceptance is that most people don't understand what it is, so they are afraid of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 11

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Altom said he never goes to explain accessibility modifications without a copy of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines in hand. 

He always has an extra ADAAG to give to the business owner.

“I want to work with the person. 

Maybe they always wanted to build a new door and now they can understand how to make the replacement door compliant, and maybe they can even use it as a tax write-off,” he said. 

“My mindset is to give the person the tools to help them, to let them make modifications that are cost-effective, so they see me and the ADAAG as an asset.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 10

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Billy Altom is Executive Director of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), based in Little Rock. 

He has used a manual wheelchair since a T-1 SCI in 1985.

“There is a huge difference in how you enforce the ADA in rural areas versus urban,” said Alton, who assists 46 member CILs.

“In an urban setting, if I go to a store and it’s not accessible -- I can file a complaint, or I can go 10 blocks down the street and get what I need at a place that’s accessible.

If I’m in rural America and I need to buy pig feed and there’s only one place in the county to buy pig feed and it’s not accessible – I may need to build a relationship with the owner and negotiate a way of making things accessible.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 9

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
“I was denied a ride by an Uber driver. That catapulted me into starting my own law firm,” said Simoneaux, who sued the rideshare firm.

“Micromobility – the sidewalks are littered with scooters that create barriers. Airbnb is largely inaccessible. 

We are going to have to look at regulations that speak to how people with disabilities fit into the tech-based world. 

We all need to commit – during the next 30 years -- to making sure technology improves the lives of people and is not a barrier.”

Monday, August 10, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 8

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Kelley Simoneaux is owner of the Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm in Washington, D.C.

She has a T-12 SCI and uses a manual wheelchair for mobility.

“The ADA has provided me an opportunity to run my life. It has allowed more visibility for people to show we’re integral part of the economy and community,” she said.

Simoneaux is very concerned that the gig economy, which was not in existence when the ADA was adopted, is going to erase many gains made under the ADA – because app-based companies aggressively claim they are exempt from it.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

BRIAN O’LOONEY’S INCREMENTS OF NEIGHBORHOOD

A COMPENDIUM OF BUILT TYPES FOR WALKABLE AND VIBRANT COMMUNITIES 
This fresh book shares the secret sauce for building efficient, sustainable and viable cites.

Think of this as a cookbook for urban design. 

You can flip to the section that shares facts, solutions and images of what you want to prepare that day. 

Just like the dessert baker doesn’t have to read all the meatloaf recipes, the architect tackling missing middle issues doesn’t have to read every chapter on parking, high rises or suburbia. 

O’Looney’s “recipes” share images of plans, at-grade photos, aerial images, under construction shots, views from different angles – providing an easy path from raw idea to appetizing built environment. 

Architecture impacts every one of us because it impacts every aspect of our daily lives.

A veteran architect shares his passion – in words and images – for the architecture of democracy and inclusion. 

If you’ve ever listened to an architect or planner explaining a building type or neighborhood style – but couldn’t picture exactly what they were talking about – this is your book.

Thousands of clear images plain English details provide an everyman’s guide to the complex world of placemaking.

https://www.amazon.com/Increments-Neighborhood-Compendium-Walkable-Communities/dp/1940743869/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=o%27looney&qid=1595530908&sr=8-1

Saturday, August 8, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 7

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Ciotti’s activism resulted in 10 years spent on Arlington planning commission. Ciotti’s leadership has led to 75 roll-in showers in units in new buildings. 

Her goal is to increase the mandated number of accessible showers from two percent to Arlington requiring four percent then ultimately10 percent.

“It allows people to age in place. 

It gives you dignity and a clean shower – whether you are a veteran returning with a major SCI injury or a person who simply ripped up your knee on a ski trip,” she said. 

“We have the ADA, but your community is only as accessible as you insist it will be.”

Friday, August 7, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 6

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Ciotti founded a NP group that represents the rights of patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and other PWDs. 

She knows the ADA paved the way to her having a successful business in our nation’s capital.

Ciotti, who counts legendary disability rights advocate/Crip Camp star Judy Heumann as a mentor, has campaigned for everything from automatic door openers at medical centers to more roll-in showers in public sector and private sector multifamily buildings. 

Combining ADA and Fair Housing advocacy, she first got interested in more accessibility in public housing high rises.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 5

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Rosemary Ciotti was a successful nurse practitioner, pregnant with her second child, when an inflammatory disease similar to MS gave her stroke-like symptoms and ultimately quadriplegia-like loss of limb use when it reached her spine. 

That was 25 years ago and though it was in full force for five years, she was barely aware of the ADA.

“We moved from a big house into a condo in Arlington, Virginia – landing in the land of ADA activists,” said Ciotti, who uses both a manual and power chair for mobility, largely because her right leg is effectively paralyzed. 

“I had a baby on my lap, my speech was still slurred and I was getting stuck in elevators. 

These activists got me off the couch and into activism.

They taught me that I had rights, that I didn’t have to miss four elevators while (abled bodied) people crammed ahead of me.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 4

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
“Before the ADA, playgrounds were not accessible for adults or children with disabilities.  

In the 1990s, we wrote regulations and now you see more and more poured in place rubber surfaces and the equipment is more accessible than it was before.

You have beach access routes and beach wheelchairs – that was almost unheard of before.

Stadiums and arenas: before the ADA, you were lucky to have a stadium where you could find a wheelchair accessible seat at all.

Now, we address sightline over standing spectators, and accessible seating dispersed throughout the facility – because of the ADA,” Capozzi said.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 3

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
Capozzi said one of the biggest successes of the ADA was the effect on public transportation, specifically public buses.

In 1989, the year before the ADA was passed, 40% of fixed route buses were accessible.

“Now, 100 percent of fixed route buses are accessible,” he said.

“Now, you don’t have to wait for every other bus to come along and hope the lift isn’t broken. Now, they are accessible and generally they are low floor buses with ramps, so there isn’t a cumbersome lift to break.”

Capozzi said there still are challenges – such as old subway systems that have very limited elevator access – and the advent of ride share, created by billion-dollar companies that claim they are exempt from the ADA. 

But he said park and recreation opportunities have increased infinitely, thanks to the ADA.

Monday, August 3, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 2

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
David Capozzi has been the Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board since 2008 and a staff member since 1992. 

The Access Board promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines.

He has a T-7 SCI injury and has used a manual wheelchair since 1977.

“I can remember before the ADA was passed -- in the early 80s -- you would have to call to a movie theater, restaurant, any place to see if it’s accessible. 

Now I assume it’s accessible,” Capozzi said. “I’ve seen a change in my own personal attitude: from thinking things were not accessible to expecting things to be accessible.”

Sunday, August 2, 2020

IF THE PANDEMIC IS SLOWING DOWN YOUR BUSINESS

SHARE YOUR TALENT WITH THE COMMUNITY
I have donated $10,000 in professional time, writing about the 30th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

I have contributed more than one dozen feature stories and prominent opinion pieces to an array of print and online publications.

The major stories have explored the ADA’s impact on urban design, town planning, architecture, transport engineering, sustainability, landscape architecture, mobility and public policy.

Images and ideas have been shared on universal design, inclusive mobility, aging in place, barrier-removal, resiliency, funding and how journalists cover (or ignore) the ADA and people with disabilities.
I have turned a slowdown of 15% to 20% in billings into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share my knowledge via my flare for storytelling.

Statistics say one in four people reading this is completely unemployed because of COVID19.

Easily half the households checking out this blog have been impacted by decreased hours, lowered pay rates and other financial hits caused by closures/lockdowns.

Lockdowns we must all support – because we don’t want our families dying due to virus spread.

I know pro bono work doesn’t pay the bills, but it keeps you active.
It keeps you engaged in what you do best.

It allows for creativity to flow instead of depression creeping in.
So whatever you do – whether it’s building houses for neighborhood cats awaiting rescue/adoption, drawing up plans for wheelchair-accessible house additions or creating coloring books that portray diverse people – fill your vacant hours with this work.

Your work product may be so impressive that it even serves as a marketing tool – drawing more clients to your business or attracting a new employer that offers an exciting fresh job opportunity.
Here are some of the stories I have published via my passionate pro bono storytelling:

Saturday, August 1, 2020

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AT 30 -- PART 1

VOICES OF VICTORY, CELEBRATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS
AND REMAINING CHALLENGES 
The ADA at 30. It conjures thoughts profound and emotional.

Groundbreaking federal Civil Rights legislation. 

Reason for celebration because humankind is better when we remove barriers that prevent people from living their lives to the fullest.


Because the ADA is all about embracing diversity while (deservedly) uplifting quality of life, we reached out to a diverse group of PWD and asked them to share their thoughts on the ADA at 30.