Thursday, June 25, 2009

Woman's mobility stolen

Renee at Womanist Musings brought this heartbreaking story to my attention:

OSHAWA -- Someone stole Gaile Kelly's legs.

The motorized wheelchair that links the 54-year-old woman to the world was taken sometime late Sunday or early Monday, leaving her confined to her small one-bedroom apartment above a bodyshop.

"Well, I can't get around or do anything," said Kelly, who suffers from spina bifida and also has a broken left foot. "I can't walk anywhere."

... Kelly and her husband, Stephen, kept the 1992 Fortress scooter locked under a trailer behind the Grenfell St. apartment, in the King St. and Park Rd. area. They kept it outside because it's impossible to carry it up the 15 steps to their apartment.

Renee covered most of the major issues at stake, but I had something to add:

This heinous act is not only reflective of individual hatred and disregard for the lives of others, but also institutionalized ableism. If her apartment were fully accessible to disabled persons, she wouldn't need to leave her method of movement outside and vulnerable to attack. Not only would her scooter be safe, she would be able to move about her apartment.

Every human should have full access and mobility where they operate, particularly in their own home. Fifteen little steps stopped this woman's mobility.

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