Friday, June 30, 2006

Donna and the DJ

We were having coffee at Wegman's market this afternoon and we met one of Donna's favorite DJ's from 107.1 FM. Donna was so excited, because she listens every evening to her show...without fail! Lisa was kind enough to pose for a photo with Donna here.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A very telling photo

There's a very interesting photo on our Flickr site that I hope you will take a moment to view. It speaks volumes about the challenge of living with a disability. I titled it "A totally insane situation", and when you view it, I think you will agree. Anyone who is disabled or who has a friend or loved one who is disabled should have a look here.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

There's a photo of ours on Flickr that I'd like to share. Click here to view. Here is the text that goes with the photo: Access Link actually arrived on time today! Last week they arrived over an hour and a quarter attempt to call us on our cell phone and tell us they were running late...horrendous service provided to some of our most vulnerable citizens. Hold your mouse over photo to read additional notes.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Please take the time to read this

In thinking over what happened to us yesterday when we had to wait one hour and 20 minutes for our bus to arrive just to get home from the supermarket, I thought of a couple of important points. We manage to get millions of children back and forth to school each day on time. We wouldn't tolerate the busses arriving over an hour late to take our kids to school, would we? Of course not. Commuters take trains and busses to work each day...would they tolerate an hour and twenty minute wait for their bus or train? They would be fired if they arrived an hour and twenty minutes late for work...and over 40 minutes late on a regular basis. Yet the Access Link bus often makes us wait over 45 minutes for our bus to arrive when they are running behind schedule. When it comes to transporting some of our most vulnerable citizens, the disabled, they are expected to regularly wait 45 minutes or more for their bus ride to work, to the market, to an important appointment, whatever...and this happens a lot! We would not tolerate such horrendous bus service for our school children, and commuters certainly wouldn't put up with it...certainly not on a regular basis. But when it comes to transporting the disabled, the attitude of NJ Transit is, "If you don't like our service, stay home!"

Our bus arrived an hour and 20 minutes late yesterday. Donna can't go to a wedding, a party, a baby shower, a dinner date, or a movie, because of this pitiful bus service from New Jersey Transit. All those events would be over or almost over before she even arrived! What if Donna and I decide to get married? Will the justice of the peace and the brides maids and best man wait over an hour for us to arrive at our own wedding because the bus is late again!!! This is really insane, and something has to be done about it! We are telling the disabled, "You are second class citizens. You don't deserve the same quality of bus service we provide to our school kids, our commuters, or the ordinary person going to the market on the public bus."

Friday, June 02, 2006

Is this any way to treat a fellow human being?

Today we went out on the Access Link bus to go grocery shopping. It's normally pretty hard to deal with the fact that we are expected to wait up to 40 minutes for the bus to arrive(on both ends of the trip...going and returning home). However if WE are more than 5 minutes late they will leave without us. Well, we were told to be ready for the bus to take us home from the supermarket by 5:57PM this evening, and by that hour we were sitting outside the store waiting for the bus....which finally arrived at 7:20PM!!! Is this an acceptable way to treat our most vulnerable citizens...people with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Multiple Sclerosis? What if they want to meet family or friends for dinner or a movie and the bus is an hour and 20 minutes late? These are people who are often very ill. Should they be expected to sit and wait over an hour and a quarter for their bus to arrive? And don't forget, the bus is often late on BOTH ends of the trip. Donna has a home health aide come in the evenings to give her dinner and get her undressed and washed up and ready for bed. The aide is supposed to be with her for 2 hours. She is not going spend an hour and 20 minutes of her time sitting and waiting for Donna to get home. And even if she did wait all that time, there would be almost no time left for dinner and personal care. Fortunately, I am there to help Donna out in these kind of emergencies. Disabled people who don't have someone like me to help out can't use the bus. They are not capable of taking care of themselves if the aide leaves before the bus arrives. This is not an acceptable way to treat the sick and disabled. I know people who depend upon taxi cabs to get to work or the supermarket. When the cab is 20 minutes late, they are furious. How would they like to wait over an hour and a quarter for their cab to arrive, and then wait again when they were ready to come home? No one would put up with such horrible service, yet the disabled must suffer with this on a regular basis. We are the richest nation on the face of the globe. Is this the best we can do for people like Donna?