People with disabilities ‘Roll on Capitol Hill’

ON A ROLL | One opinion

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Prairie Village man urges Kansas, Missouri lawmakers to speak out

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the skies at 22,000 feet, I’m drawn to big-picture thoughts of mortality, chance, consequence, accessibility, humanity — and whether the airlines will re-route my lost luggage and Super Shuttle will pay us for the 4-hour and 45-minute delay.

Already, it as been a long, strange trip. And  it’s only Day 1. The irony of inaccessible wheelchair access smacks us in the head.

As you read, scores of people with disabilities from across the national are gathering for the United Spinal Association’s “Roll On Capitol Hill,” an annual, all-out lobby effort to push an agenda of inclusion, freedom and independence. Continue reading

Opinion: Momentum gaining for better complex rehab tech

Bipartisan Senate push launched — Kansas City leaders silent

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Freelance writer Finn M. Bullers also uses a wheelchair as a result of having muscular dystrophy.)

Freelance writer/editor

 Donna Adell of Ottawa, Kan., is confused.

The power wheelchair her husband Charles uses was supposed to make his life easier after a hip-replacement surgery five years ago cut him off from an active life.

Medicare paid for the chair, Donna Adell said. But then refused to service the chair and provide replacement batteries because Medicare officials said the chair only was to be used inside the home.

“The whole purpose for the power chair was to help (Charles) become more independent — to get outside, to visit friends and neighbors nearby, and to go up to our mailbox,” she said.

Late Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-MS, joined forces in a bipartisan effort to improve the life of Charles Adell and tens of thousands of people with disabilities across the country. There are 380,000 Kansans with disabilities, 10 percent of whom use wheelchairs. Continue reading

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