Not Here! Not Now. Not Ever.

By | November 19, 2017

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Not Here! Not Now. Not Ever.
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The election is over. Donald Trump is President-Elect. So, now what? Well, if we were willing to "wait and see," it didn’t take long for Trump to show his hand. Soon after his election he named Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Bannon, executive chairman of the ultra-conservative website, Beitbart News became Trump’s chief executive in August 2016. Breitbart, a media darling of the alt-right, often focuses on fringe issues like birtherism and racist and homophobic topics. Followers of the site think Fox News is too tame.

Rather than treat news as facts, Bannon’s style is to treat each story as an unfolding narrative where facts are less important than the grand crusade of the right against the left. Victories are more important than the facts. That’s the way he ran Trump’s campaign and now we are in for the same during his administration.

According to Will Rahn of CBS News, "offending progressives is something many conservative pundits love to do, in large part because progressives can be easy to offend…. The alt-right’s innovation here…is to take that tendency to its logical extreme. Did a Jewish author say something you disagree with? Send him a photoshop of him being sent to Auschwitz! It’s all in good fun, you see."

More important, Trump’s election has given license to these extremists to play out their conspiracy theories in the real world. Since the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has received over 200 reports of hate crimes in the country: Swastikas painted on a suburban Maryland elementary school bathroom, a Muslim student threatened at the University of Michigan demanding she remove her hijab or be set on fire with a lighter, and Black students at Penn being put on a racist message showing a calendar for daily lynchings. Yes, that’s all in good fun, isn’t it.

Is this the kind of country we want? I’m not going to "wait and see." History shows we’d better start speaking up and speaking loud.

Not here! Not now. Not ever.

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An overview of Accessible Housing
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Accessible housing refers to the construction or modification (such as through renovation or home modification) of housing to enable independent living for persons with disabilities. Accessibility is achieved through architectural design, but also by integrating accessibility features such as modified furniture, shelves and cupboards, or even electronic devices in the home.

In Canada, FlexhousingTM is a concept that encourages homeowners to make renovations that modify their house over time to meet changing accessibility needs. The concept supports the goals of enabling "homeowners to occupy a dwelling for longer periods of time, perhaps over their entire lifetimes, while adapting to changing circumstances and meeting a wide range of needs"; Universal Housing in the United States and Lifetime Homes in the United Kingdom are similar concepts.

Great Britain applies the most widespread application of home access to date. In 1999, Parliament passed Section M, an amendment to residential building regulations requiring basic access in all new homes. In the United States, the 1988 Amendments to the Fair Housing Act added people with disabilities, as well as familial status, to the classes already protected by law from discrimination (race, color, gender, religion, creed, and country of origin). Among the protection for people with disabilities in the 1988 Amendments are seven construction requirements for all multifamily buildings of more than four units first occupied after March 13, 1991. These seven requirements are as follows:

1.An accessible building entrance on an accessible route,
2.Accessible common and public use areas,
3.Doors usable by a person in a wheelchair,
4.Accessible route into and through the dwelling unit,
5.Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations,
6.Reinforced walls in bathrooms for later installation of grab bars, and
7.Usable kitchens and bathrooms.

Access is typically defined within the limits of what a person sitting in a wheelchair is provided a Real link so he/she is able to reach with arm movement only, with minimal shifting of the legs and torso. Lighting and thermostat controls should not be above and power outlets should not be below the reach of a person in a wheelchair.

Sinks and cooking areas typically need to be designed without cupboards below them, to permit the legs of the wheelchair user to roll underneath, and countertops may be of reduced height to accommodate a sitting rather than standing user. In some cases two food preparation areas may be combined into a single kitchen to permit both standing and wheelchair users.

In spite of these advancements, the housing types where most people in the United States reside – single-family homes – are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, or any other federal law with the exception of the small percentage of publicly funded homes impacted by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. As a result, the great majority of new single-family homes replicate the barriers in existing homes.

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